Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE - 27/02/2015

1 Evaluation of Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE

How well placed is Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Requires further development

Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE requires further support to improve its capacity to promote positive learning outcomes for children. Current support to improve assessment, planning and evaluation processes has contributed to recent improvements and should continue. Other areas to develop and that require external support include:

  • strategic and annual planning
  • performance management and appraisal
  • teaching practice
  • evidence-based self review.

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


Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE is supported and managed by the Ngati Ruanui Trust Limited, which is a subsidiary of Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Iwi. It strongly reflects the priorities of the Ngati Ruanui Education Plan and demonstrates a commitment to a whānau-based approach to children’s care and learning.

In September 2014, the centre received its full license from the Ministry of Education after a period of being provisionally licensed. To address the areas for improvement identified in the relicensing process, leaders and staff have been involved in professional development.

Some progress has been made by the centre in:

  • acknowledging and including parents' aspirations
  • planning, assessment and evaluation of children’s learning.

However, this ERO report finds that there is limited progress evident in developing:

  • self review for improvement
  • performance management and appraisal
  • annual planning.

The centre is licensed for 45 children including 15 up to two years. At the time of this review there were 35 children on the roll.

This is the first education review of the centre since it opened in 2009. The head teacher was appointed in 2013.

The Review Findings

The centre is welcoming to all children and their parents and whānau. Strong and respectful relationships are formed with each family, supporting children’s sense of belonging. Teachers demonstrate positive, sensitive and responsive relationships with children and whānau.

Leaders and teachers acknowledge whakapapa as integral to the development of a sense of self, belonging and connectedness. Centre teachers successfully promote a kaupapa Māori learning environment. Developing partnerships that support children’s learning with parents and whānau is a centre priority. This helps with children’s smooth transitions to the centre and on to school.

The importance of play as a vehicle for learning is valued. Teachers join in child and adult-initiated activities where children’s talk is encouraged, accepted and respected. Children make sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds. They have a range of opportunities for creative and imaginative play and the outdoor area provides physical challenge.

Teachers seek ways to maintain children’s connections to their cultural identity. Teachers learn about local hapū and iwi, their history, sites of significance and kawa. They incorporate this into the programme in a meaningful and respectful manner. Te reo me ngā tikanga Māori are totally integrated in children’s daily learning experiences.

Teachers’ observations of children in everyday activities builds a picture of what children know, understand, feel, are interested in and can do. Teachers value and seek the contribution of children, parents and whānau. Staff communicate well orally with parents to share information about children’s learning. Teachers view each family and its knowledge of their child as an integral part of the service’s learning community.

There is a clear focus on the development of social skills. Teachers model and reinforce appropriate positive behaviours and children are ably assisted to self-manage.

Children with additional needs are well catered for and supported. Teachers use suitable strategies to promote learning and participation. The centre has good relationships with external agencies that are involved as needed.

Learning stories are a good record of children’s individual and group experiences. They link home experiences and show children’s involvement in centre activities and learning.

The centre philosophy and vision clearly articulate its values and sets a framework for centre operation. Leaders show a strong commitment to the philosophy, vision and goals of the service. The next step is to have all practice in the centre reflective of the philosophy and values.

Leaders are beginning to develop a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They are strengthening their capability to fulfil their roles. Strategic planning priorities and areas for development have been identified.

Significant external professional development contributes to improved assessment, so that teachers respond to children’s learning needs. Staff need to extend children's thinking and add complexity to tasks, and they require further knowledge as teachers to do so. Strengthening planning and assessment needs to be ongoing.

Staff performance management and appraisal have not occurred since 2011. The recently introduced process requires further development to bring about the necessary improvement to teaching. Professional learning should be clearly linked to strategic priorities and each teacher's individual development needs.

Self review is in its very early stages of development and lacks the necessary rigour to support ongoing improvements. External facilitators contribute to some recent development of review practice development. Ensuring review practices are sustainable is a next step. Policies and procedures have yet to be ratified or reviewed. All staff are police vetted, but procedures for ongoing police vetting or for new staff are not in place.

Key Next Steps

ERO identifies, and centre leaders agree, that to improve the curriculum the next steps are:

  • to continue to develop effective assessment, planning and evaluation practices
  • further review the curriculum to ensure the programme is responsive to all children’s individual strengths and learning needs
  • to establish a shared understanding of robust evidence-based self review
  • to develop a framework that leaders and teachers can use to inquire into and evaluate the effectiveness of their centre practices, policies and decision making.

The centre's strategic and annual planning should include:

  • clear goals linked to measurable outcomes for children's learning
  • a process that allows leaders to determine progress towards achieving the goals
  • evaluation of the success of decisions and strategies.

To support teachers to improve their practice, leaders need to implement a rigorous and robust appraisal process that includes:

  • goal setting linked to outcomes for children
  • opportunities for teachers to reflect on the effectiveness of their practice
  • observations of practice
  • quality feedback and feed forward
  • identifying the professional learning needs of individual teachers.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE 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.

Actions for compliance

ERO identified areas of non-compliance relating to:

  • performance management of personnel
  • self review
  • policies and procedures, including for police vetting.

To meet requirements the service needs to improve its performance in the following areas:

  • establish an evidence-based process for self review
  • implement and maintain a regular review cycle for policies and procedures
  • ensure a rigorous process of appraisal is implemented annually for all teachers and leaders that promotes improvement in teaching and learning.

(Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education and Care Centres 2008: GMA6; GMA7)

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, develop a plan to address the key next steps and actions outlined in this report.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Te Puawaitanga o Ngati Ruanui ECE will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

27 February 2015

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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education and Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

45 children, including up to 15 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Boys 21, Girls 14

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


Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

December 2014

Date of this report

27 February 2015

Most recent ERO report(s)

No previous ERO reports


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.