ERO Special Review: Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi (Barnardos)

This ERO summary report focuses on how education provision at Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi supports positive ākonga outcomes



Ākonga [1] in Oranga Tamariki residential care settings are highly vulnerable, have complex needs, and require pedagogical expertise and extra support.

Young people who are in the custody of the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki [2] can be placed in residential care, in protected living environments. Ākonga in residential care are under 19 years of age and are placed there by court order or at the discretion of Oranga Tamariki.

Oranga Tamariki can place young people who have offended in a Youth Justice residence or a remand home. Specifically, Oranga Tamariki can place young people if they are:

  • detained in the custody of the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki after appearing in the Youth Court (‘on remand’)
  • given a Supervision with Residence order by the Youth Court
  • sentenced or remanded by the district court and they are under the age of 19.

Most of the young people in Youth Justice residences are on remand, with an average stay of around 40 days.

Oranga Tamariki can place children and young people in Care and Protection residences when they are deemed to be at significant risk of harm in the community. Placement in a specialist residential therapeutic programme can also occur for young people with harmful sexual behaviours, following a recommendation by a community-based treatment provider from the Harmful Sexual Behaviour sector.

The children and young people in residential care are mostly male. Eighty percent are Māori, some with limited connections to their whānau or cultural backgrounds. Addressing the rights of these ākonga to experience success as Māori is critical in planning the education programme within residences.

Specialised expertise is required in understanding and responding to the particular educational barriers that young people in residence often face. Challenges more likely to affect the learning of these students include: neurodevelopmental disorders, past trauma or attachment issues, concerns for their own safety, low self-esteem and challenges in self-regulation, along with behavioural, physical, mental health and learning difficulties.

Previous engagement with education has often been unsuccessful in bringing out their potential and promoting their achievement.  These young people may have a negative view of school, teachers or themselves as learners, and patterns of infrequent attendance. Education staff working in Oranga Tamariki residences need pedagogical expertise and an understanding of the complexities of fostering educational success for these ākonga. Training in trauma-informed and culturally competent practices is necessary to maximise their potential.   


This report is part of a suite of evaluation reports looking at educational provision in Oranga Tamariki residences

This summary report is part of a system evaluation looking at the educational provision for ākonga in Oranga Tamariki Care and Protection and Youth Justice residences.

The overall evaluation question was: How effective, coherent and aligned is the education provision in supporting positive outcomes for ākonga? 

Findings from the system evaluation are presented in a companion report: Learning in residential care: ‘They knew I wanted to learn’.

In preparing this report, ERO gathered evidence to evaluate educational provision at each of the residential sites and at the organisational level. The review explored provision in relation to the following aspects (levers):

  1. collaboration for effective transitions and pathways
  2. support for students’ needs 
  3. appropriate pedagogy and meaningful curriculum
  4. positive, nurturing relationships and environments
  5. educationally focused engagement of whānau and caregivers
  6. effective leadership and ongoing improvement.

Provision for ākonga Māori, including cultural practices and a curriculum that responds to their culture, language and identity, was a strong focus for the evaluation team and deliberately woven throughout each lever.

The levers are informed by research about effective pedagogy and curriculum, and developed in consultation with a group of experts who have significant experience and knowledge of this group of tamariki/rangatahi. These are aligned with ERO School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success (2016) for promoting equity and excellence in student outcomes.

Judgements were made on a rubric for each indicator [see Appendix 1], then combined to form overall judgments for the levers. Following the field work, the team met several times to moderate and promote consistency of judgments across the sites. The moderation process included a strong focus on provision in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and culturally responsive practice.

Recent changes to legislation and the Oranga Tamariki operating model are important contexts for this review.

Government has made a number of changes to legislation and practice that affect the ākonga in these residences. These include:

  • amendments to the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Act 2017 (Article 7aa) to strengthen a practical commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • introduction of the National Care Standard Regulations that place additional education expectations on schools working with children in residences
  • increasing the age of Youth Justice to include young people aged 17, leading to an increase in the ages of rangatahi in the Youth Justice facilities to 18 years
  • encouraging alternative placements in community care and remand homes.

ERO visited the residential sites in October and November 2020, following national and regional lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most were operating with fewer young people than usual and some with considerably less than maximum capacity.


Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi (Te Poutama) is a residence for boys at risk for harmful sexual behaviours

This residence is in a rural setting on the outskirts of Christchurch city. It is a managed by the Barnardos organisation, on behalf of Oranga Tamariki. As a secure facility, the boys’ safety and wellbeing are closely monitored and regulated. The Barnardos organisation oversees the work of the residential manager and education leader. It also acts as the governing body for the educational provision.

Ākonga entering the facility are aged from 12 to 17 years and provided with education and therapeutic support. They typically arrive with multiple and complex needs, including recent trauma. A good number have learning delays, undiagnosed learning impairments and/or have experienced long absences from schooling. Many will be in a secure residence for long periods of time. At the time of this review there were eight ākonga, mostly Māori, aged between 14 and 17 years.

Te Poutama aims to provide a safe and caring environment that supports all ākonga to maximise their potential as life-long learners. Since the 2016 ERO report, there have been many changes to leadership. Recently a new education leader was appointed. He is establishing working relationships with the small teaching team, newly appointed residence manager and staff, the Barnardos cultural advisor, and the clinical team located on site.



Ākonga Success as Māori

Culturally responsive practice is critical in a school where 80 percent of ākonga are Māori. ERO built into the assessment of each of the levers effectiveness for ākonga Māori, and for each lever we start with highlighting site-based practice for these tamariki. Although we found examples of good provision for Māori, improving culturally responsive practice should be a strategic priority, including:

  • continuing to strengthen key partnerships. Te Poutama has yet to formalise a relationship with mana whenua (local iwi) to guide curriculum, policy and practice
  • more purposefully linking education outside the classroom experiences to ākonga cultural identity
  • ensuring culturally responsive teaching practice is aligned to Māori success as Māori principles, and te ao Māori knowledge and concepts.


Lever 1: Collaboration for effective transitions and pathways

  • Transitions in: Developed
  • Transitions out: Developed


Collaboration for transitions into residence and learning pathways is well considered and managed, however there is a challenge in accessing previous education data for some ākonga

Transitions into the residence and school are well considered to support ākonga wellbeing and learning. As part of the process of whakawhānaungatanga, the kaihautu (Barnardos cultural advisor) has recently introduced mihi whakatau to help make all newcomers feel welcome, respected, and connected as members of the Te Poutama whānau. A strength of transition in is the way ākonga are visited in their home communities to talk about what it will be like coming to Te Poutama and how whānau are included in mihi whakatau on the first day.

Staff are mindful that students are often dealing with trauma and a range of wellbeing issues. Their priority for ākonga is to make them feel safe and to help them settle into the new routines that support their care and education. 

For some ākonga, information from previous schools is difficult to obtain. On arrival, useful diagnostic assessments of ākonga identify their strengths and interests, prior experience and learning, and their health, culture, and wellbeing needs. The assessment information is appropriately used to develop individualised care plans for their time in residence. These plans are shared with all teams on site, contributing to more concerted and coordinated support.

The holistic health and wellbeing needs of each ākonga are appropriately identified and responded to. The individual care plans for each ākonga are informed by their voice and that of their whānau. Established protocols are followed so ākonga and whānau have opportunity to be involved in decision-making. Social workers ensure whānau are kept well informed about learning.


Support for ākonga transitions out of residence is happening, however there are challenges

Transition out of residence presents challenges for ākonga as they re-locate or return to their home or other regions. For some, this means they are likely to experience a sense of displacement as they leave the surety and security of the residence, along with the relationships built.

There is good support to transition ākonga into their new place of living. Some good communication and collaboration for transition out occurs internally and externally. Maintaining close support for ākonga who move to distant communities is difficult, as is finding suitable vocational or learning pathways for older ākonga.

Information about the success of transitions is not readily available. Success and effectiveness of support for transition planning to school, work, or further education needs to be reviewed and strengthened to provide information about practices which are effective and those requiring improvement.


Lever 2: Support for student needs

  • Coordinated support: Developed


Coordinated support for ākonga needs is occurring, however individual care plans could be used more to support education outcomes

The location of clinical staff and social workers on site helps information about each ākonga and strategies for supporting them to be shared between school, care, and residence teams. Staff should ensure the learning goals of ākonga are included in individual care plans so that learning may be supported more widely outside the classroom. Individual care plans should also include a stronger focus on developing and responding to cultural goals and aspirations for ākonga Māori. 

Te Poutama needs to further develop its relationship with the Ministry of Education to increase its access to specialist services for learning support. 

The new leaders of the education team, residence staff, and the facility manager are working cooperatively to address agreed priorities for improvement. They support communication and collaboration between the clinical, care, and education teams on site. Daily handover meetings between the residence and education team enable all staff to know what is happening for ākonga and to share strategies.


Lever 3: Appropriate pedagogy and meaningful curriculum

  • Pedagogy and curriculum: Action required


Significant development in curriculum and pedagogy is required

The school provides some meaningful opportunities to learn about te reo me ngā tikanga Māori, such as when participating in mihi whakatau to welcome visitors. In addition, the kaihautu is teaching te reo Māori to ākonga and staff in both the school setting and in residence. This also provides opportunities for ākonga to act as tuakana in learning, when and where appropriate.

The current curriculum focuses on literacy and numeracy and provides learning in life skills and aspects of health, agriculture, and individual interests, such as building and mechanics. Ākonga participate in learning programmes that lead to New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) unit standards-based attainment. The wider curriculum includes sports, art and music.

The school curriculum requires further development to increase the breadth, depth, authenticity and relevance of learning and qualification pathways for ākonga.  

Further opportunities for ākonga involvement and engagement in learning is required through:

  • ensuring culturally responsive teaching practice aligns to Māori success as Māori principles and te ao Māori knowledge and concepts
  • providing more interactive learning activities and opportunities for collaborative learning
  • increasing access to resources to support literacy and numeracy learning, including the use of digital technologies, particularly for learning support
  • developing shared understandings of best teaching practices that suit the Te Poutama context and its revised localised curriculum
  • making more extensive use of external providers to extend the curriculum and increase vocation related experiences
  • more purposefully linking education outside the classroom experiences to ākonga cultural identity, vocational planning, and intentional teaching and learning.

The new teaching team should increase focus on improving the teaching and learning programme so that all ākonga have meaningful opportunities to participate in programmes that respond to their strengths, needs and interests. This includes better use of assessment to inform planning for learning and for reporting regularly to whānau and involving them in goal setting. Developments should include:

  • showing learning goals linked to ākonga aspirations, needs, strengths and interests
  • identifying specific learning objectives to inform individual learning plans      
  • identifying strategies for supporting those with complex learning needs through increased use of external expertise and relevant agencies
  • informing ākonga about their progress and success in learning as well as their next steps for learning.


Lever 4: Positive, nurturing relationships and environments

  • Physical environment: Action required
  • Emotional environment: Developed


There are positive learning relationships and staff collaboration to support ākonga

Building and sustaining whānau-like relationships that support ākonga Māori is a constant priority for all staff. Teaching staff relate positively to ākonga, using restorative practice to help manage behaviour and forming trusting, stable relationships. Ākonga generally feel that they belong and appreciate the care and support they receive. They report that their teachers care about them as learners and individuals. Ākonga value the time in their day when their progress and success in achieving their care goals are recognised and celebrated.

Staff from the clinical, school, and residence teams work collaboratively and positively. The many changes in residential staffing impacts on the consistency of support provided to ākonga as new staff develop familiarity with the procedures for working with them. Teaching staff are skilled in managing behaviours positively. They attend meetings with the clinical team to unpack strategies of intervention.


Classrooms need to better support ākonga belonging and learning

Learning spaces are beginning to show value for the cultures of ākonga and provide support for tikanga Māori. However, the physical environments for classroom learning are not inviting, comfortable or supportive of ākonga agency in learning. Limited accessible sensory equipment is available, and ākonga lack suitable spaces to withdraw or self-regulate. Ākonga have limited access to a range of engaging practical learning resources. They have little choice about what and where they might learn and there are few examples or celebrations of their work, or displays of best practice exemplars for learning.


Lever 5: Educationally focused engagement of whānau and caregivers

  • Educationally focused whānau engagement: Developed


Staff build relationships with whānau to support ākonga

Prior to ākonga arriving, they are visited in their home communities to talk about what it will be like coming to Te Poutama and how whānau are included in mihi whakatau on the first day. Teachers and social workers advocate for ākonga over their time at Te Poutama, identifying and revisiting their education and vocational pathways and aspirations. This usually includes the involvement of ākonga and their whānau. Education staff should consider how to further build their learning relationships with whānau.


Lever 6: Effective leadership and ongoing improvement

  • Leadership: Action required
  • Ongoing Improvement: Action required


School management, support for educational leadership, and internal evaluation needs significant development

New education and Oranga Tamariki leaders are establishing good cooperative, collaborative working relationships, focused on improved planning of conditions, approaches, and experiences for ākonga within their schooling. They show some understanding of their obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, but this has yet to be effectively enacted. The new education leader is developing closer working relationships with the school’s education community to support planning and development. He has an established professional network to build on within the wider school communities.

However, there are areas for substantive development:

  • There is little evidence showing that teachers use research and internal evaluation (feedback loops) to improve their practice and currently no organisational processes or systems support this. The education leader is introducing programme evaluations and teacher inquiry, but these have yet to be implemented.
  • There is little evidence to show ākonga voices or outcome data is being used to inform strategic planning or in internal evaluation. Education staff recognise the need to develop practices and systems to better enable reporting on ākonga learning, key competencies, communication, and transition outcomes.
  • A school management system has yet to be established to better manage information about ākonga learning, progress and achievement. Although individual learning plans record ākonga goals, reporting and analysis of outcomes is limited. More detailed analysis is needed to show individual progress in learning and engagement over time and the impact of initiatives and programmes on engagement and learning, particularly for different age groups and for Māori and Pacific learners.
  • There is insufficient support for the education leader to build teacher and leadership capability. Professional learning programmes for staff have not been well planned or specific to school need.
  • Strategic and curriculum planning and development of best teaching practice are in the early stages.
  • There is a lack of clarity regarding some aspects of governance responsibilities. A recent review of the budget for school development has yet to be implemented.

A strategic plan that outlines what and how areas for improvement will occur has yet to be developed. Implementation of the strategic plan will require substantive ongoing support to assist implementation and monitoring.

Since this review ERO has received a range of documents from Te Poutama that indicate these matters are beginning to be addressed.


Summary of findings about the education provision

The following table outlines how Te Poutama rated on a descriptive scale against the six identified components (levers) [3] of effective educational provision. [4] Each lever is made up of indicators of good practice [see Appendix 1]. Practice was judged from ‘Action required’ to ‘Well established’ from detailed descriptions for each of the four ratings. [5]

The table should be interpreted in the context of the insights about the educational provision characterised in the accompanying text above. These insights provide key information about what is working well, and areas for development. 

ERO’s overall judgements for Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi for each component of effective education provision (Levers)

Lever 1: Transitions in

Lever 1: Transitions out

Lever 2: Coordinated support

Lever 3: Pedagogy and curriculum

Lever 4: Physical environment

Lever 4: Emotional environment

Lever 5: Whānau/ carer engagement

Lever 6: Leadership

Lever 6: Ongoing Improvement




Action required

Action required



Action required

Action required

Priorities for action

Te Poutama has recently undergone significant change in staffing that has disrupted sustainability of practice in some areas. The new educational leader and facility manager are working collaboratively with staff and trustees to promote improvement.

Since the onsite phase, ERO has had ongoing contact and received additional information from the Barnardos board and leadership to clarify aspects of health and safety provision. They have also shared their progress on strategic priorities in an action plan. A number of key matters have begun to be addressed:

  • An external provider has been engaged to help identify areas for improving qualification accreditation and structure. This should assist in clarifying their NZQA registration and accreditation status to deliver and assess National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) unit standards.
  • There has been approval for Te Poutama as a setting for the renewal of teachers’ practising certificates, received from the Teaching Council of Aotearoa.
  • There has been the appointment of an external mentor/appraiser for the education team leader.
  • A system for sharing learning information with whānau has been introduced.
  • Professional learning and development for teachers is scheduled.

 Development priorities for Te Poutama are to:  

  • support teacher development aligned to identified needs to increase the quality of teaching practices and ensuring culturally responsive teaching practice aligned to Māori success as Māori principles and te ao Māori knowledge and concepts
  • develop a clear strategic direction for improvement and curriculum development with an adequate budget to support change
  • develop a localised, personalised curriculum that provides wider opportunity for ākonga learning. This should include more extensive use of external providers and more purposefully linking education outside the classroom experiences to ākonga cultural identity, vocational planning, and intentional teaching and learning
  • adapt and use assessment practices to clearly identify specific learning needs of ākonga and ways to meet these
  • improve the learning environment and resources to improve ākonga engagement and agency in learning.



  • ERO recommends that Barnardos New Zealand takes immediate steps to address the quality issues identified and ensure improvements are sustainable. This should include improving the support for continuous professional growth and development for teachers and leaders.
  • Barnardos provides an Action Plan to ERO and the Ministry of Education to address the identified areas for improvement at Te Poutama, with regular reports on progress. ERO will review Te Poutama in 12 to 18 months’ time.
  • Te Poutama should seek clarification from the Ministry of Education in relation to the legislation and regulatory requirements that apply to them as an education provider.


Board assurance on legal requirements

As part of the review, the board and facility manager completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance.

There is a lack of clarity about which legislative requirements align with the Outcomes Agreement this education provider operates within.

To improve current practices, it was identified that Te Poutama needs to:

  • clarify the overall roles and responsibilities for meeting the legislative and regulatory requirements and for ensuring the physical, cultural, and emotional safety of students.
Jane Lee's signature

Jane Lee

Deputy Chief Executive Review and Improvement

June 2021


About the education provider

  • Location: Christchurch
  • Ministry of Education profile number: 4930
  • Service type: Specialist residential therapeutic programme
  • Roll: 8
  • Ethnic composition: Māori 3, NZ European/Pākehā 5
  • Review team on site: October/November 2020
  • Date of this report: March 2021
  • Most recent ERO report(s): Education Review August 2016, Education Review June 2013


Appendix 1 - Identified components of effective educational provision for these ākonga

Components of effective provision: Lever 1 Collaboration for effective transitions and pathways

Quality indicators

Part a) Transitions in

  • Effective processes and practices for sharing and using ākonga information
  • Assessments appropriately identify the health, physical, emotional, cultural, and learning needs of each ākonga
  • Ākonga are effectively supported to transition successfully into residence

Part b) Transitions out

  • Ākonga are effectively supported to transition successfully out of residential care and on to meaningful pathways


Practice is ‘Well established’ when…
  • communication between ākonga, school, whānau, social service agencies and specialist services occurs for each ākonga all of the time
  • established protocols for sharing of relevant ākonga information are always used to inform decision-making for all ākonga
  • the needs of each ākonga are comprehensively identified on entry through well-considered diagnostic assessments and processes
  • staff have clear guidelines that are followed consistently and promote effective transition
  • appropriate, mana enhancing induction processes are enacted consistently for all ākonga and likely to support effective transition
  • cultural protocols and te ao Māori are always incorporated into transitions
  • ākonga and whānau aspirations and valued cultural outcomes are consistently sought, respected, and appropriately responded to
  • well-established connections and effective communication and collaboration between relevant groups support transitions for all ākonga
  • clear and comprehensive information about future options for education, training, or work is tailored to each ākonga and they and their whānau are actively involved in decision-making.


Components of effective provision: Lever 2 Support for student needs

Quality indicators
  • Individualised planning effectively responds to ākonga needs and aspirations and promotes their success
  • Ākonga are knowledgeable about themselves as learners
  • Staff and specialists demonstrate a coordinated, collaborative, and culturally appropriate approach to addressing the holistic needs of each child


Practice is ‘Well established’ when…
  • assessment information and planning documents, are consistently accessed and effectively built on in planning for all ākonga 
  • relevant and achievable goals are consistently set in consultation with all ākonga, whānau and relevant parties
  • planning always occurs in a timely manner
  • strategies to achieve goals are well considered and consistently developed in collaboration with all ākonga, whānau, care staff, and relevant specialists or agencies 
  • review of individual learning plans shows how all ākonga are experiencing success and progress
  • planning consistently uses needs and aspirations identified through assessment to build on learning for ākonga
  • integrated care plans are consistently developed collaboratively
  • all ākonga have access to appropriate health, wellbeing, and learning support.


Components of effective provision: Lever 3 Appropriate pedagogy and meaningful curriculum

Quality indicators
  • Ākonga have rich, meaningful learning opportunities
  • Teachers demonstrate effective teaching practice
  • Development of responsive local curriculum  
  • The curriculum effectively promotes Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, te āo Māori perspectives and aspirations for Māori learners
  • Teachers’ development of effective practice


Practice is ‘Well established’ when…
  • authentic learning opportunities happen consistently
  • ākonga are engaged and motivated by the work
  • ākonga prior learning is consistently built on and provides continuity of learning and progression
  • teaching strategies and learning opportunities are consistently linked to individual learning plans
  • ākonga agency, Key Competencies and pro-social capabilities are consistently fostered
  • ākonga voice is regularly sought and acted on to inform teaching and learning
  • there are frequent opportunities, and resources are prioritised for ākonga to learn in a variety of settings and ways
  • teachers regularly express high expectations for the educational success of ākonga and consistently confront deficit theorising
  • teaching strategies are consistently well-matched to complex needs of ākonga
  • positive approaches to behaviour and learning management are embedded and highly evident
  • teachers have a strong understanding of the significance of identity, belonging and connection and this is embedded in culturally responsive practice
  • all teachers consistently use evidence to improve their practices and well-established organisational processes and systems to support this
  • there is consistent focus on places, stories, and people of cultural significance to ākonga
  • teachers always seek out knowledge of identities, language and culture, and use this to plan learning programmes for ākonga
  • teachers have shared, deep understandings of key Māori values, practices and beliefs
  • teachers consistently find opportunities to support akongā Māori connection to their culture, language and identity through their learning
  • teachers regularly engage in professional learning
  • research-informed practice is highly evident and well established and supports innovative school wide approaches
  • teachers have strong, shared beliefs and common practices that are intentionally aligned with effective models of professional practice
  • ākonga demonstrate a deep sense of ownership for their progress in learning and are clear about their next steps.


Components of effective provision: Lever 4 Positive, nurturing relationships and environments

Quality indicators

Part a) Physical environment

  • The physical environment effectively supports learning for all ākonga

Part b) Emotional environment

  • The emotional environment effectively supports wellbeing and learning for all ākonga 
  • Good relationships are prioritised and supported
  • Practices are well implemented to support ākonga wellbeing and emotional safety
  • Ākonga rights are effectively protected and promoted


Practice is ‘Well established’ when…
  • the physical environment is highly effective (high quality) in supporting ākonga to self-regulate and engage in learning
  • there are excellent resources and equipment for learning
  • learning spaces ensure the cultures of ākonga and support for tikanga Māori practices are effectively reflected and supported
  • boundaries are clearly known and understood by ākonga and guide behaviour
  • teachers consistently demonstrate and promote a positive, strength-based view of ākonga
  • building and sustaining whānau-like relationships is a constant priority for all staff
  • individual needs are always thoroughly considered when developing and implementing strategies to minimise incidents and physical intervention
  • ākonga consistently report having a sense of belonging
  • all ākonga have clear understanding of expectations for their positive participation in learning
  • staff consistently work together to promote an environment that effectively fosters a sense of security, safety and belonging
  • responsive flexible routines are evident throughout
  • restorative practices are consistently and effectively enacted
  • ākonga are always treated with dignity and respect
  • staff advocate effectively for ākonga
  • support is consistently sensitive and responsive to ākonga identity.


Components of effective provision: Lever 5 Educationally focused engagement of whānau and caregivers

Quality indicators
  • Teachers learn about significant adults in the lives of ākonga
  • Learning Relationships between teachers and whānau, significant adults, including case workers and care staff, are effectively promoted and evident


Practice is ‘Well established’ when…
  • staff have deep knowledge about significant adults of ākonga
  • teachers consistently work collaboratively with whānau and significant adults to determine, implement, and monitor strategies to for supporting success in learning
  • whānau and caregivers are very well informed about learning progress, challenges, next steps, and success for ākonga.


Components of effective provision: Lever 6 Effective leadership and ongoing improvement

Quality indicators

Part a) Leadership

  • Leaders are well supported to build their capability and effectiveness
  • Leaders promote effective practice for ākonga with complex needs and/or trauma experience

Part b) Ongoing improvement

  • Inquiry and evaluation are effectively used to promote innovation and improvement


Practice is ‘Well established’ when…
  • support is consistently provided for leaders to reflect, develop and improve their practice, including the provision of professional supervision
  • there are highly consistent, shared understandings and clear articulation about what constitutes good practice for learning and teaching for ākonga
  • leadership provides highly effective support for teachers’ ongoing development and effectiveness
  • teachers have received well sustained, strategic and effective support to develop cultural competency
  • improving outcomes for ākonga is central to planning for change at all levels
  • there is compelling evidence of continuous and sustained improvement over time
  • leaders and staff have a good understanding of their obligations in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and consistently enact these in their context
  • effective and meaningful working relationships with mana whenua as kaitiaki are well established and productive
  • tikanga and kawa consistently reflects the mana and dignity of tamariki Māori and is consistently applied as guided by mana whenua
  • knowledge of local sites of significance, key experiences, needs, expectations, and aspirations are continually sought and highly valued
  • there are highly effective processes for monitoring and supporting the health and wellbeing of staff
  • staff voice is routinely sought and responded to
  • procedures and practices are well aligned to legislative requirements and regulatory requirements
  • data is used very effectively to support decisions about sustaining or changing practices or interventions
  • there is very good understanding and effective use of internal evaluation for improvement
  • changes to transition practices and processes are well-informed by relevant data, and impact of changes are evaluated
  • change is well monitored for impact and effectiveness
  • strategic planning is well aligned to identified areas for improvement and monitors a range of relevant outcomes for ākonga
  • there are robust well sustained systems for monitoring compliance and quality of provision.


End notes

[1] In this report we refer to the young people as ākonga to reflect our focus on learning. In ERO’s reports we use students, learners and children and young people. Oranga Tamariki refers to them also as tamariki, rangatahi and mokopuna Māori.

[2] Oranga Tamariki | Ministry for Children was established to build a child-centred approach to care, dedicated to supporting any child or young person in New Zealand whose wellbeing is at significant risk of harm as well as working with young people who may have offended.

[3] Levers 1, 4 and 6 have been divided into two sections as there were clear differences within the levers.

[4] Rubrics, developed under the indicators, were designed specifically for this project to align with the levers identified for effective education provision for this group of learners. The indicators were informed by international and national literature and tested and adjusted with the expert group, the providers, the review team and other stakeholders.

[5] The ratings for each lever were made based on the distribution of evidence across the indicators using numerical and qualitative assessments, and moderation and quality assurance processes by ERO and the Te Ihuwaka evaluation team. Moderation occurred at each stage of the process to promote consistency and robustness of judgements.