Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata - 19/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata

How well placed is Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.


Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata is a long established aoga providing a total immersion Samoan language curriculum that integrates cultural values within a Christian ethos. It is licensed for 46 children including 12 up to two years of age.

Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata is not well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

ERO's reports for the aoga have identified ongoing concerns.

The quality and lack of leadership in the centre has impacted negatively on the quality of care and education for children.

The 2013 ERO report identified some progress. However, the key next steps identified in the 2013 report have not been adequately addressed. This report identifies significant concerns in all areas of centre operations.

The Review Findings

There are some positive aspects of programmes for children. However, teaching practices do not reflect an understanding of relevant theories and practices in early childhood education.

The contact person agrees that to improve outcomes for children, teachers will need to work with an external provider to:

  • increase their understanding of current early childhood legislation, educational theories and best practice

  • develop a philosophy statement to guide teaching practices

  • focus on supporting and planning for individual interests and strengths

  • develop robust self-review processes that evaluate teachers’ effectiveness in supporting children's learning and implementing Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum

  • provide a safe and hygienic physical environment

  • accurately record and notify parents of accidents and ensure that sleeping children are monitored carefully

  • develop a nutritious menu that meet the needs of all child and is displayed, and ensure that children are fed when hungry

  • seek ways to increase partnerships with parents.

The board of trustees, contact person and supervisor should act with urgency to:

  • strengthen the organisational culture, increase their understanding of their governance and employer roles, and build leadership capability in the centre

  • implement a rigorous self-review cycle to evaluate centre operations

  • strengthen strategic and annual planning and align with centre budgets

  • hold more regular meetings, with appropriately recorded minutes

  • develop and implement personnel policies and procedures and systems of robust appraisal for all staff to meet legal requirements

  • ensure supervisor's reports to the board provide information that gives assurances that the service is meeting its legal obligations.

It is imperative that trustees give priority to contracting an early childhood education advisor to assist them in implementing all of the above recommendations to ensure positive outcomes for children.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children’s health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements

Actions for compliance

ERO found significant areas of non-compliance in the service related to:

  • the quality of the curriculum and professional practice

  • the provision for the children's health and safety

  • governance and management.

Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008, C1-13; HS1-30; GMA1-12. Education (ECE) Regulations 2008, 43(1, 2), 46(1, 2), 47(1a, e, 2).

Recommendation to Ministry of Education

ERO recommends that the Ministry reassess the licence of Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata. ERO will not undertake a further education review of this service until the Ministry of Education is satisfied that the service meets licensing requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Ta Fesilafai Aoga Amata will be in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

19 October 2016

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service


Beach Haven, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

46 children, including up to 12 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 17 Girls 7

Ethnic composition













Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%

Based on funding rates


Reported ratios of staff to children

Under 2


Better than minimum requirements

Over 2


Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

August 2016

Date of this report

19 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)


Education Review

September 2013

Supplementary Review

March 2010

Supplementary Review

November 2008

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.