ERO reviews school hostels as part of Education Reviews of schools.
Sections 470 to 473 of the Education and Training Act 2020 set out the functions of ERO and the powers of review officers to review hostels.
Licensing Provisions for School Hostels
The Education (Hostels) Regulations 2005 make it mandatory for school hostels to be licensed by the Ministry of Education (the Hostel Licensing Authority) and comply with the minimum standards specified in the regulations.
ERO Reviews of School Hostels
The school board of trustees has responsibility for providing a safe emotional and physical environment for students who are accommodated in a school hostel.
Through the school board ERO provides the hostel owner with a copy of ERO’s Hostel Assurance Statement (HAS). The hostel owner and the hostel manager use this document and the attached self-audit checklists to attest that they are meeting the hostel regulations.
As part of the Education Review ERO evaluates and reports on the extent to which the hostel provides students with a safe emotional and physical environment that supports students’ learning.
ERO may seek evidence for this through discussions with the hostel manager and staff, through observation and by gathering evidence as set out below.
All hostel reviews include an assessment of the extent to which the official hostel regulations are being met.
ERO’s evidence gathering during the hostel review
Review officers may seek evidence for the review through discussions with you, your staff and the students, observation and by reading your paper work. For example they may need to see and discuss:
- records of your ongoing monitoring of student well being
- accident and illness records
- reports you provide to the board of trustees, proprietors and parents
- your complaints file
- records of staff safety checks including Police vets
- records of your signing in and out systems
- staff schedules showing who is responsible day to day and at night.
They will be checking for compliance with the regulations based on your response to the self- audit checklist and information provided.
For further information on running a hostel please refer to Running a hostel