Sharing the mahi - ERO New Schools Operating Model Newsletter - April 2021 - Issue #2

Kia ora koutou

In these newsletters, I will be introducing some of the key ERO folk supporting you and your schools.

At ERO, we have a relentless focus on supporting Pacific learners. We are proud and humbled to have the privilege of Taule’ale’ausumai Violet Tu’uga Stevenson, Pule Pasifika Director Evaluation and Review Pacific based in Auckland, leading our Pacific Strategy, which is ERO’s commitment in ensuring that Pacific learners reach their potential.

The Strategy was informed by ERO’s previous Pacific strategies and evidence gathered about Pacific learners through our evaluations. It was further refined by ERO’s Pasifika Fono through talanoa with ERO staff, parents and families of Pacific learners, Pacific communities and with the education sector.

ERO’s new evaluation approach offers the opportunity for a deeper insight and meaningful talanoa about and with our Pacific learners, their parents, families and communities. Its tailored approach will understand each school’s individual context, culture, strengths and priorities; its targeted approach will allow ERO to direct more resource into working with the schools that will benefit most.

Fa’afetai lava Violet.

In this newsletter, you will also find a video link to a chat between Violet and Filivaifale Jason Swann, who is a pillar in the Pacific community and Principal of Otahuhu Primary School. Jason and his school have joined the new evaluations approach and he shares his thoughts on this new way of working with ERO.

Jason also talks about his experience of ERO’s Leadership Partners programme. We are investing in growing leadership across the schooling sector through this programme, which is a joint initiative between ERO and the sector supported by key sector groups.

Over time, we hope to develop a large pool of Leadership Partners who will contribute to effective school evaluation within our new evaluation approach, and who will be able to share their increased knowledge and understanding about evaluation across their school networks and communities.

I hope that you find these regular newsletters useful. More information is available on our website: New Schools Operating Model | Education Review Office (

Ngā mihi

Jane Lee, Deputy Chief Executive Review and Improvement

Photo of Jane Lee.



Pule Pasifika Violet Tu'aga Stevenson, centre in the purple, and ERO's Fono Pasifika team recently hosted guest speakers Filivaifale Jason Swann and Helen Varney.

Image of the Pule Pasifika team.


The new schools Operating Model

ERO maintains a regular review programme to evaluate and report on the education and care of young people in schools.

Under our new Operating Model, ERO will shift from event-based external reviews to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.

This more differentiated approach will use a developmental evaluation that reflects an individual school’s context, culture and needs. It aims to strengthen the capability of all schools through embedding a continuous improvement approach, strengthening schools’ own engagement with and accountability to whānau.

ERO will become an evaluation partner alongside each school, to support every school to be a great school and every child a success.

What doesn’t change is our commitment to putting the child at the heart of everything we do.

For more information on the new schools Operating Model go to


Partnership profile

We were honoured to speak to Otahuhu Primary School Principal and ERO Leadership Partner Filivaifale Jason Swann recently. He shared his thoughts on the new evaluation approach, and the opportunity it offers for ERO and schools to learn alongside each other and build relationships of trust. Watch the video here.

Photo of Jason Swan standing next to a sign that reads Welcome to Otahuhu Primary School, Te Kura Tuatahi o Otahuhu.


Growing leadership

Our Leadership Partners programme is a joint initiative with key sector groups in which school leaders join ERO in the external evaluation process. The initiative aims to build strong enduring partnerships and networks along with school leaders’ understanding of

evaluation for improvement, and to enhance the review process for schools and ERO.

Leadership Partners are working alongside our ERO Evaluation Partners in our new evaluation approach. External partners play a valuable role during ERO evaluations, bringing diverse expertise to the process and allowing ERO to benefit from the valuable insights and knowledge of current practitioners.

Our Leadership Partners have benefited from the chance to develop deeper insights into their own schools through contributing to the review of others. One says that the ERO induction process “was some of the best professional learning I have ever had”. If you are interested in joining the programme, please email Shelley Booysen, ERO’s Professional Practice Leader.


ERO publications

These are available on our website:

You’ll find our evaluation indicators and frameworks, national evaluations, effective practice reports, resources and guides, corporate publications, and guides for parents.

Our most recent publications are a result of our research into how early childhood centres and schools have responded to the challenges of Covid-19. This suite of reports outlines the impacts of Covid-19 on the education sector in 2020 and sets out practical actions for how the sector can continue to support children, whānau, principals and teachers with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19: Learning in a Covid-19 World.


Your feedback matters

ERO’s approach will continue to be iterative as all schools are introduced to the new approach.

The feedback from your school and ERO evaluation partner will contribute to the development of the model. Please share your feedback directly with your Evaluation Partner.



For more information on the new schools Operating Model go to