Sharing the mahi - ERO New Schools Operating Model Newsletter - March 2021 - Issue #1

Welcome from ERO

Kia ora koutou

Welcome to the first in a series of regular newsletters. You are receiving this as a school that is currently being introduced to our new approach.

You will have been assigned an ERO Evaluation Partner who will work with your school’s Board, Principal and Leadership Team to develop an ongoing relationship. Your Evaluation Partner is very much looking forward to working with you and your school community.

In partnership with each school, ERO is working to support improvement in the school and in the system as a whole. We want to ensure that the intent and main features of the new approach are widely understood and so ERO staff are working hard around the country to engage with the sector, to listen and to act on the feedback received. Your feedback is important as we develop and refine this new approach.

We have also commissioned an independent external evaluator to help guide the development of our new approach. Dr Delwyn Goodrick’s evaluation is designed to provide feedback at key phases of the development and implementation process.

ERO’s approach will continue to be iterative as all schools are gradually introduced to the new model throughout 2021 and 2022, allowing us to additionally gain wider and real-time feedback from all stakeholders. We’re keen to understand sticking points or concerns so they can be addressed early and efficiently. We’ve ensured that key sector stakeholder groups are working with us to provide feedback loops to ensure successful implementation.

The changes that you are helping ERO to put in place are ultimately about ensuring that we are effective partners in the sector and adding value in each school’s improvement journey.

We share an obligation to put the learner at the centre, to equity and excellence in outcomes for all learners, and an understanding that quality education is a right for every New Zealand child and young person. Ko te Tamaiti te Pūtake o te Kaupapa.

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.


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 hosted Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti on a recent visit to Hillcrest High School, where Principal Kelvin Whiting and his ERO Evaluation Partner Neil Harray shared their thoughts on the new approach to school evaluations.

Watch the video here: Partnership Profile | Education Review Office (


Model milestones

The new Operating Model began in Term 4 last year, with these 75 schools taking part: Operating Model Pilot Schools | Education Review Office (

We have been careful to include schools of varying sizes and types, to achieve a cross-section of the New Zealand school system.

In Term 1 this year, we welcomed 275 schools into the new approach to school evaluation. An ERO evaluation partner has been assigned to each of these schools. The feedback from your school and ERO evaluation partner will contribute to the development of the model.


For your newsletters

You have asked us for content that can be shared with your communities via your newsletters. Please feel free to use the following:

ERO is shifting to a more developmental approach to evaluation, supporting each school’s improvement over time.

An ERO evaluation partner will work alongside our school, building a professional relationship over time.

ERO’s evaluation role will connect with each school’s strategic planning and reporting cycle as part of an ongoing improvement journey. ERO is supporting schools to build and sustain high-quality evaluation as part of their planning for improvement focus.

Consideration of a school within its wider network and community is woven throughout the new Operating Model, which will also identify an opportunity to undertake evaluations at a community level.

More information is available on the ERO website: New Schools Operating Model | Education Review Office (


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