Te Whare Whai Hua - 06/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Te Whare Whai Hua

How well placed is Te Whare Whai Hua to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

Currently, the early childhood service has no permanent leaders employed. To strengthen the service provision, leaders and teachers should continue to develop areas of governance and leadership, curriculum delivery and implementation. Monitoring the effectiveness of practice is an important next step.

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


Te Whare Whai Hua early childhood service operates as part of the Teen Parent Unit on the grounds of Lytton High School, Gisborne. The centre is governed and managed by Te Aka Ora Charitable Trust. Many children enrolled in the service are primarily of teenage parents who have returned to school to continue their education. Places are also available for children from the wider community.

The centre is licenced for 50 children, including 20 up to two years of age. Two specifically designed teaching spaces which cater for the needs of infants, toddlers and young children. A shared outdoor space is used by all children. Head teachers have responsibility for the overall programme provided for children. The interim centre manager, with the support of the board appointed change manager, provides the overall direction for the centre

The centre has a variable reporting history with ERO. The March 2014 ERO review found that significant development was required in relation to: providing a programme that was responsive to the needs of infants and toddlers; supervision; implementation and monitoring of agreed policies; reviewing position descriptions; appraisal; strategic planning; the quality of teaching; assessment, planning and evaluation; and leadership. In addition, non-compliance with licensing requirements included supporting social competence; promoting health and safety for children; and developing suitable human resource practices.

After the March 2014 ERO report, the teaching team received targeted support through a Ministry of Education funded programme, Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO). Some progress has been made in improving the quality of teaching and learning and the curriculum provided for children in mixed-aged settings. Substantial progress has been made in governance in 2016.

The Review Findings

Te Aka Ora Charitable Trust has been responsive to the concerns identified in the March 2014 ERO review. They have appointed several fixed-term change managers to support and guide centre development. As an outcome substantial progress is evident in governance. This initiative has also had a positive effect on strengthening the working relationship between centre leaders and the board. In order to continue this momentum, it is essential that strong leadership continues to drive these positive changes. The board is currently reviewing the leadership structure within the centre.

A next step is to develop a longer term strategic plan to identify priorities and guide future developments. Short term strategic planning has been developed for the specific requirements of Te Whare Whai Hua. This comprehensive plan is strategically guiding change and developments in the centre.

Leaders have identified that a next step is to review the centre philosophy and establish clear indicators of high quality practice. This should support a shared understanding of practice and clearly identify leaders' expectations of teachers. The indicators should also be useful in guiding teacher appraisal and internal evaluation.

The policy framework has recently been updated to align with the Ministry of Education licensing requirements. Leaders should establish a process which monitors the effective implementation of these policies in practice.

Position descriptions have been reviewed and regular appraisal is now occurring. Appraisal should be strengthened further through:

  • developing clear, specific and measurable goals

  • providing targeted professional learning opportunities that support the progression of these goals

  • undertaking formal observations of teachers' practice

  • teachers evaluating the progress they have made against the agreed goals

  • clearly documenting the outcomes of all meetings.

Positive changes have been made to the infant and toddler learning environment. There are increased opportunities for children to explore and further develop their physical skills. Teachers are warm and responsive in their interactions with children. Emerging interests are noticed and responded to by teachers who support children in their play.

Teachers have participated in professional development with a focus on supporting children's developing social and emotional competence. As a result, encouraging changes are evident in teachers' practice and these are reflected in the settled tone of the centre. Visitors and excursions into the local community extend the programme provided for children.

Children's culture, language and identity is strongly evident in the centre. The promotion of educational success for Māori is well supported through the curriculum provided.

Assessment practices have developed since the 2014 ERO review. Regular entries in portfolios highlight, for parents, the activities their child is engaging in. Whānau feedback is actively sought. Ongoing development is required in this area.

Teachers should:

  • carry out more in-depth analysis of the learning evident for each child

  • show how they add depth and complexity to children's learning and use this to clearly highlight progression in learning over time.

There should also be a stronger connection between group planning and the assessment-for-learning cycle.

Teachers and leaders are building their knowledge of internal evaluation and review. Documentation provided shows teachers regularly reflect on their practice. A next step, to strengthen this approach, is to establish a clear framework to guide the effective implementation of evidence based internal evaluation.

Key Next Steps

Leaders and ERO agree next steps for ongoing improvement should include:

  • reviewing the leadership structure and making a permanent appointment(s)

  • updating and implementing a longer-term strategic plan

  • reviewing the philosophy and developing clear indicators of high quality practice

  • establishing a process that monitors the effective implementation of policies in practice

  • implementing a robust appraisal process

  • improving teachers’ understanding of assessment, planning and evaluation

  • developing a robust framework for internal evaluation.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Te Whare Whai Hua 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.

Development Plan Recommendation

ERO recommends that the service consult with the Ministry of Education and 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 Whare Whai Hua will be within two years.

Joyce Gebbie

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central

6 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



Ministry of Education profile number


Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

50 children, including up to 20 aged under 2

Service roll


Gender composition

Girls 22, Boys 16

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

August 2016

Date of this report

6 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Supplementary Review

March 2014

Education Review

February 2013

Education Review

March 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.