Te Pou Reo: Evaluations In Māori-immersion In English-medium Schools

ERO understands that for English-Medium schools/kura to reach their te reo Māori goals for learners in rūmaki reo/bilingual learning they need meaningful insights, clarity and guidance that reflects the needs of Māori-immersion learning environments in English-medium schools such as rūmaki reo and Māori bilingual learning.

Currently Māori-immersion learning in English-medium schools are reviewed through Te Ara Huarau. Starting in Term 4 2023 ERO will trial a kaupapa Māori evaluation approach for these spaces with a small number of schools before introducing this evaluation approach further in 2024.

This page explains the benefit of this enriched evaluation approach, and the specialist te reo Māori team that will undertake this mahi. 

"I want to learn to teach te reo Māori so I can teach the future generations and keep the reo alive” 

Learner voice, captured in Nihinihi Whenua 2020 

Specialist evaluation, insights and clarity to drive improvement: introducing Te Pou Reo  

In our research Nihinihi Whenua – Valuing te reo Māori: Student and whānau aspirations (2020) Students and their whānau felt an increased sense of belonging in their school communities through the everyday use and teaching of te reo Māori. 

In this same research ERO found when schools prioritised te reo Māori me ona tikanga (Māori language and culture), the number of fluent speakers of te reo Māori increased. The teachers were more competent. Whānau, iwi, and hapū also engaged with the school more frequently and effectively – A key factor in achieving equitable outcomes for Māori is having equity in language, culture and identity.  

Te Pou Reo are a specialist, fluent te reo Māori team with a dual focus on:

  • evaluation for improvement in rūmaki reo/billingual immersion settings in English-medium Schools/kura.
  • research across the wider English-medium education space to highlight the conditions for system success. 

For these learners, their families and the educators that support them; tools like Poutama Reo, and research and evaluation for improvement provided through Te Pou Reo will support them to get the most out of their education. 

ERO are trialing the draft Te Pou Reo approach to evaluations in rūmaki reo/bilingual learning in English-medium schools/kura with up to 11 schools in Term 4 2023. 


Te Pou Reo Evalution Trial – Term 4 2023  

The work of Te Pou Reo in English-medium rūmaki/bilingual units is designed to ensure that ERO reviews meet the needs of learners, kaiako, leaders and whānau with: 

  • culturally responsive review processes 

  • fluent specialist te reo Māori evaluators, and  

  • specialist tools and frameworks that give meaningful insights and clarity to support the improvement planning within the rūmaki/bilingual unit and wider school.  

Te Pou Reo review processes are designed to dove-tail into your existing Te Ara Huarau work; with the Te Pou Reo Toki ao Mārama working with your existing ERO Evaluation Partner. This collaborative approach is designed to ensure that you as leaders of schools with rūmaki reo/bilingual units can maximise the benefit of your ERO evaluations. 

Your Evaluation Partner will continue to be your key contact with ERO, and they will continue to work with you to support the wider improvement journey for your school/kura. 


What will the trial evaluations look like, and how will they help schools?  


The evaluation will look at: 

  • the quality of teaching and learning through Te Reo Māori  

  • the provision of Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga, including mātauranga Māori  

  • curriculum, local curriculum  

  • assessment  

  • resources  

  • well-being of students  

  • partnerships with whānau, hapū and iwi  

  • and relevant aspects of Board Assurance Statement. 

Supporting your schools' vision by: 

  • Using a culturally centered evaluation approach, that responds to Māori medium settings in English-medium schools. 

  • The ability to undertake evaluation in te reo Māori with a specialist ERO evaluator fluent in te reo Māori.

  • Providing clear and specific Insights to inform your planning and improvement approach that respond to the goals and vision of the rūmaki/bilingual unit. 

Supporting more rūmaki reo and te reo Māori Bilingual units from 2024  

We will use the insights and feedback from the trial to inform the creation of our finalised Te Pou Reo Evaluation approach.  

English-medium schools/kura with rūmaki reo or Māori bilingual immersion learning will: 

  • receive updates about the trial and next steps  

  • receive an overview of the finalised Te Pou Reo evaluation approach

  • be scheduled for Te Pou Reo evaluations starting in 2024.  

We know that many school leaders and kaiako in English-medium Māori-immersion learning have ambitious plans for their Māori-immersion education programmes. As a result, many of you will be excited about our Te Pou Reo review process and accessing the insights of our Te Pou Reo Reviewer/Advisors - Toki ao Mārama, as soon as possible.  We will have more clarity around scheduling for Te Pou Reo reviews after the conclusion of our trial.

Please keep an eye out for future updates from ERO in the near future. 

Contact Tepoureo@ero.govt.nz to receive updates on Te Pou Reo or to ask questions about the approach and next steps.  

Tools and research to support te reo Māori provision in English-medium education: