Tautua Aoga Amata - 23/06/2016

1 Evaluation of Tautua Aoga Amata

How well placed is Tautua 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.


Tautua Aoga Amata is a full immersion Samoan language centre located in Otara, Auckland. This all-day service has a strong emphasis on gagana Samoa and aganu'u Samoa. The centre is licensed for 35 children with up to eight children under two years of age. Children are from diverse Pacific backgrounds and most are Samoan.

The service is governed and managed by the Pasifika ECE Alliance group. The professional services manager mentors the staff to improve their practice. They are also supported by a business manager and administration officer, a caretaker and two relievers who work closely with the five registered teachers.

The board and staff have made good progress in addressing the areas identified in the 2012 ERO report. They have worked collaboratively to re-establish and develop a clearer focus on internal evaluation. They continue to work with the Alliance to strengthen this area of their work.

The Review Findings

Parents have chosen this centre because of the focus on Samoan language, culture and identity. There is good evidence of parents' contribution and involvement in the programme. They relate well to teachers and leaders and support the vision and philosophy of the centre to promote gagana Samoa and aganu'u Samoa.

Teachers who are fluent in and model gagana Samoa support children well to learn the language. Some children respond in Samoan.

Teachers are caring and supportive of children. They work well together as a team and relate well to parents and whānau.

Children in the centre are adventurous and confident to take risks in their play. They are encouraged to explore and make choices to develop their play ideas.

Children up to two have access to all areas of the curriculum and are able to enjoy play with others of different ages, especially in the outdoor environment. These children are confident to play outdoors and enjoy developing their play ideas amongst older children. They benefit from tuakana/teina relationships that support them to be more independent.

The centre environment shows the emphasis that teachers give to children's learning. The environment is culturally inclusive, and literacy and numeracy are promoted both indoors and outdoors. There are some good opportunities for physical activities. Teachers could now look at ways to reorganise the environment to be more focused on learning.

The programme promotes the strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Improved documentation shows children's learning. Teachers use children's interest and strengths to plan for the programme. Children's learning in portfolios are revisited by children and their families.

Ongoing work towards improved professional practice, supported by the Alliance Group, continues to be a focus for the centre. Teachers receive good professional support through the appraisal process and teachers identify their development areas through goal setting. There are sound management and health and safety practices in place

Strategic planning is led by the Alliance Group and leaders at the centre are supported to implement strategic changes. The professional manager provides mentoring and coaching to build leadership capability. The internal evaluation process begun recently is informed by indicators of best practice and outcomes for children.

Key Next Steps

Centre leaders and the professional manager are clear about the future focus areas. These include:

  • embedding management practices that are aligned to strategic priorities

  • strengthening teaching/ planning and assessment practices and documentation

  • building partnerships for learning with parents and whānau

  • embedding robust evaluation to ensure teacher practice and the environment are more challenging, engaging and learner focused.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Tautua 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.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Tautua Aoga Amata will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

23 June 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


Otara, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

35 children, including up to 8 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 15 Girls 15

Ethnic composition



Cook Island Māori








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

April 2016

Date of this report

23 June 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2012

Supplementary Review

December 2008

Education Review

August 2006

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.