Our Pacific strategy outlines our role in supporting the improvement of educational outcomes for Pacific learners in Aotearoa. This strategy also describes how we can support the strengthening of our Pacific regional neighbours’ education systems.
We aim to provide catalysts for change so that every child achieves success as a lifelong learner.
By 2021, people with Pacific heritage will make up 9% of the population and 17% of Aotearoa’s children. However, in 2018, one-third of early learning services with a large population of Pacific learners faced challenges providing high-quality education.
Our Pacific Strategy aims to help Pacific learners succeed
Our Pacific Strategy contains five goals to deliver success for Pacific learners.
- Pacific children and young people are lifelong learners and succeeding as culturally-located learners.
- Pacific learners are confident in their languages, cultures and identities.
- Pacific early learning services provide high quality education. This education will reflect the priorities and aspirations of Pacific learners, their parents and communities.
- ERO is a key partner in Pacific-focused education and social sector evaluations across Aotearoa and the Pacific region.
- As an organisation, ERO has the ability to deliver on each of the goals above.
We’ll achieve these goals with targeted work
We will ensure that ERO’s evaluations deliberately focus on accelerating outcomes for priority learners. Early learning services and schools will need to clearly explain how they’ll ensure Pacific learners receive high-quality education.
We will publish studies of effective strategies that foster high-quality educational outcomes for Pacific learners, as culturally-located peoples.
We will work closely with early learning services that have large populations of Pacific learners and continuously face challenges providing high-quality education. We will use targeted approaches such as Longitudinal reviews.
We will establish national and regional partnerships to contribute to the Government’s long-term educational goals. These partnerships will support the improvement of educational and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific learners.
We will utilise adaptative and responsive evaluation methods. Then we will be better prepared for Pacific-focused evaluations in Aotearoa and the Pacific region.
Our whakatauki: The Child – the Heart of the Matter
Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa
O le Tamaitiiti o le Fatu o le Fa’amoemoe
Ko te Tamaiti ko te Kautu o te Matakupu
Ko e Tefito ‘o e Ngaue’, ko e Fanau’
Ko te Tamariki te Pua’apinga
Bon Marewen te Iango te Ataei
O le Tamaliki o le Fatu o le Fakamoemoe
Na Uto Ni vei ka na Gone
Ko te Tama ko e Alito
Driving success for Pacific learners
Our evaluation insights are a catalyst for change so that every child achieves success as a lifelong learner.
Figure 1: School Evaluation Indicators Framework
This diagram represents the evaluation indicators framework with the indicator domains as a series of circles within a larger circle. At the centre are learners. Closest to learners are the two key conditions for learning: Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn; and, Educationally powerful connections and relationships. Moving outward, the next circle shows the Māori concepts for culturally responsive schooling: manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, ako and mahi tahi. The next circle shows the school organisational conditions: Stewardship, Leadership for equity and excellence and Professional capability and collective capacity. The final, outer circle encompasses the rest and shows the domain of Evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation. The diagram suggests interaction and connection between and across the domains to support learners.
Why this strategy is important
As an island nation in the South Pacific, Aotearoa has long had strong cultural, economic and political links with the Pacific region. Many Pacific peoples first migrated to New Zealand in the 1950s with the aspiration of a better life for themselves and their children.
While Pacific population growth was previously driven by migration, the majority of Pacific people living in Aotearoa now are born here, and many are now third generation New Zealanders. Auckland is the world’s largest Pacific city, home for nearly two thirds of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, and more than half live in South Auckland. There are also increasing numbers of Pacific peoples in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, and in the South Island.
Children and young people with Pacific cultural heritage make up an increasing proportion of young New Zealanders. Forecasters predict that by 2021 people with Pacific heritage will make up 9% of the population and, most significantly, will comprise 17% of children in Aotearoa (ERO Strategic Intentions 2016-2020).
Pacific peoples are active in business, sports, the arts and government, achieving success at the highest levels and contributing to a vibrant Aotearoa. However, there remain many challenges in health, housing and employment outcomes.
Disparities in educational outcomes persist and have flow on effects to other social outcomes. It is therefore imperative that the education system improves how it serves Pacific learners. The Education Review Office (ERO) has a critical role in ensuring that Pacific learners reach their potential and are able to fully contribute to a strong and linguistically diverse multicultural society. The success of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa contributes to the country’s economic, political and social wellbeing.
ERO’s Pacific strategy outlines how we will support improvement to the education system in Aotearoa. It also describes the contribution ERO can make to strengthen the education systems of our Pacific regional neighbours.
Obligations and responsibilities
The New Zealand Government has a vested interest in the success of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa and in the region. New Zealand’s domestic policies directly impact on Pacific countries. In addition, New Zealand has a specific constitutional relationship with Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands which are within the realm of New Zealand.
We know that:
- within a decade one in ten New Zealanders will identify as being of Pacific heritage
- improved social and economic wellbeing for Pacific peoples reduces risk and delivers opportunities for New Zealand and New Zealanders (New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, 2018)
- given the interdependency between Pacific Island countries and Aotearoa, strengthening the quality of education in the Pacific region can contribute to New Zealand’s future
- ERO’s approach to improving educational outcomes for Pacific learners is a collective one. The success of Pacific learners is a shared responsibility and is heightened by urgency to respond to:
- the rapid and dynamic growth of Pacific early childhood services
- increased demand from early childhood services and schools for information about effective practices that support Pacific learners
- increased demand for national reports that outline high quality and effective teaching and learning strategies that lead to successful outcomes for Pacific learners
- the need for more effective and efficient governance and management of schools and early learning services
- the impact of new and revised education policies focused on Pacific learners
- government expectations and decision making about Pacific learners
- Pacific community responses to ERO reports
- increased demand from Pacific parents and communities for their children to succeed.
ERO’s role in improving educational outcomes for Pacific learners
It is crucial that ERO ensures a deliberate focus, and builds the systems and capabilities required to effectively support improved outcomes for Pacific learners. We equally need to work collaboratively with others in the system to strengthen and improve education provision for Pacific learners, and to achieve equity and excellence in education.
Currently one third of early learning services with a large population of Pacific learners face challenges providing a high quality education.
ERO continues to grow a profession of highly skilled evaluators, fully equipped for the challenges of the role in the 21st Century. We want our people to have the right mix of knowledge and skills, work in a highly supportive environment and have access to modern tools and resources (ERO Strategic Intentions 2016-2020 pg.14).
ERO’s internal capacity is supported by a robust capabilities framework, ERO’s Capabilities for High Quality Education Evaluation, and a set of Principles of Practice which guides our evaluation approach. Integrating Pacific methodologies into ERO’s professional development, and ongoing support for all staff will enhance evaluators’ professional practice in ERO’s wider evaluation work, in particular, Pacific-focused evaluations.
ERO’s focus on improving internal evaluation, use of data, and assessment for learning, and a system-wide focus on collaboration and collective decision-making will contribute to the improvement of learner outcomes across the system. ERO also aims to reduce variations in schools and services, and disparities in learning outcomes to achieve equity and excellence.
Five goals to deliver success for Pacific learners
This strategy has five goals:
- Pacific children and young people are lifelong learners and succeeding as culturally-located learners (the term ‘culturally located learners’ is used in recognition that Pacific learners are not a homogeneous group – they have different cultures, languages and experiences)
- Pacific learners are confident in their languages, cultures and identities
- Pacific early learning services provide high quality education that reflects the priorities and aspirations of Pacific learners, their parents and communities
- ERO is a key partner in Pacific-focused education and social sector evaluations across Aotearoa and the Pacific region
- As an organisation, ERO is competent to deliver on each of the above goals.
This will be achieved by:
- ensuring that ERO’s evaluations have a deliberate focus on accelerating outcomes for priority learners. Early learning services and schools will be required to be explicit about the strategies they are adopting to address internal variation of outcomes to ensure Pacific learners are receiving a high quality education
- publishing a series of case studies to illustrate the effectiveness of strategies and practices that promote and foster high quality outcomes for Pacific learners, while remaining strong in their own distinctive cultural identities
- working closely, through targeted approaches such as Turnaround and Longitudinal reviews, with those providers with large Pacific learner populations who continuously face challenges providing a high quality education
- strategically contributing to the Government’s long-term goals by establishing national and regional partnerships to improve educational and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific learners
- anchoring our cross-cutting evaluative capability and capacity, so ERO is better prepared for Pacific-focused evaluations in Aotearoa and the Pacific region.
Yellow box at the top of the page reads “our evaluation insights are a catalyst for change so that every child achieves success as a lifelong learner.”
Underneath this is a flowchart that begins with a single box on the right that reads “Improving educational outcomes for Pacific learners”. This then flows onto 5 boxes for the goals stacked vertically flowing onto another column of vertically stacked boxes.
The first reads,
Pacific children and young people are lifelong learners and succeeding as culturally-located learners.
This flows into “Embed expectation for providers to be explicit about strategies they adopt to address variations of learning outcomes, and to ensure that Pacific learners receive a high quality education”.
It also flows into,
“Regularly monitor review reports of providers with large Pacific learner populations to ensure they are prioritizing outcomes for these learners.
The next of the five goals reads
Pacific learners are confident in their cultures, languages and identities.
This flows into:
“Develop a Quality Education Framework and dashboard to evaluate education provision in Pacific medium education units”, it also flows into:
“Produce a series of case studies illustrating the effectiveness of strategies and practices that promote and foster quality outcomes for Pacific learners.
The next goal box reads:
Early learning services provide Pacific learners with high quality education.
This flows into:
“Develop and utilize targeted approaches when working with services with large Pacific learner populations who continuously face challenges providing a high quality education”
The next goal box reads:
ERO is a key partner in Pacific-focused educational and social sector evaluations in Aotearoa and the Pacific region.
This flows into:
“Actively strive to be a partner of choice for educational and social sector evaluations in Aotearoa and the Pacific region”. It also flows into, “Expand Pacific regional partnerships”.
The final goal box reads:
ERO is capable and has the capacity to deliver on each of the above goals.
This flows into:
“Foster an environment that embraces and supports personal and team professional learning, with the goal of building organizational capacity”, it also flows into:
“Retain, attract and develop staff with Pacific heritage to assist ERO to deliver high quality evaluations”
Publication Information and Copyright
ERO’S Pacific Strategy: Driving success for Pacific learners 2019-2022
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