Presented to the House of Representatives pursuant to section 39 of the Public Finance Act 1989 E.39 SI(2020-2024)
This Strategic Intentions document provides a concise and balanced picture of ERO’s strategy and goals for the four-year period beginning July 2020. In doing so it:
- describes ERO’s operating context and outlines our organisational role, functions and mandate
- sets out what we were aiming to deliver in our work with early learning services and schools and in our national evaluations of education system-level issues
- details what are aiming to achieve by reference to our Strategic Framework, the elements of which include our long-term Ambition; our specific Strategic Intentions; our Values; and our Enabling Strategies, and
- reinforces our commitment to enhancing our staff diversity and wellbeing and our commitment to honouring our obligations of partnership, participation, and protection under the Treaty of Waitangi.
You may also like to read our previous strategic intentions documents:
He Kupu Whakataki nā te Minita Tuarua mō ngā Take Mātauranga
Katoa mai ngā tamariki me ngā ākonga taiohi i Aotearoa, me mātua whai wāhi atu ki te whanake i tō rātou pitomata kia ū katoa ai ki te pāpori, kia whaihua ai hoki ō rātou ao.
Kei te panoni tonu ngā haepapa kua tau ki runga i ā tātou rangatahi. Me urupare tātou mā te whakatū i tētahi pūnaha mātauranga e kaha ake nei te tautoko i a rātou kia manawaroa, kia auaha, kia urutau hoki i te mura o te ahi o tere o ngā panonitanga ki te hangarau, ki te taiao, ki te pāpori hoki.
E pīrangi ana te Kāwanatanga kia mōhio ngā ākonga, ngā mātua, ngā kaiwhakawhiwhi mahi hoki ā haere ake nei e whai wāhi ana ā tātou rangatahi ki te mātauranga kounga e whakarite ana i a rātou kia angitu mō ngā rā katoa o ō rātou ao.
Me mōhio tātou e whakatutuki ana tō tātou pūnaha i ngā pīrangi o ā tātou ākonga katoa, inarā ngā ākonga Māori, ngā ākonga Pasifika, ngā ākonga hauā hoki, ngā ākonga rānei e ahu mai ana i ngā āhuatanga mōrearea. E tutuki ai tēnei, me haere tonu tā mātou whakatutuki i ngā āhuatanga o te manarite-kore me te whakatū i tētahi pūnaha e kaha ake nei te tūhono me te mahi tahi, kia kaha ake ai te tautokona, te arahina hoki ki ngā wāhi e hiahiatia ana.
He mahi nui tā te Tari Arotake Mātauranga ki te whakapakari i ngā tukanga, hei wāhanga mō tana rātou whakahaere i te rangahau me te arotake. E whai ana hoki kia whakapakari tonu i tana arotake i ngā pūnaha, me tana tautoko i ngā whare kōhungahunga, i te kura tuatahi, i te kura tuarua anō hoki. Ko tētahi wāhanga matua o tēnei, ko te whakatairangahia o te whakamahinga o te aromatawai whaiaro, kia whakapakari tonu ai ngā kaituku i ā rātou pūnaha me ā rātou mahi, me te arotahi ki ngā hiahia o ngā tamariki katoa.
I ngā tau e whā kei mua i te aroaro, e hīkaka ana au ki te kite i ngā whakapakaritanga puta noa i te rāngai, hei hua mō ngā mahi e mahia ana e te Tari Arotake Mātauranga, e whakakaha nei i te pūnaha mātauranga e tautoko ana i ā tātou rangahau katoa kia eke ki tō rātou pitomata i roto i tētahi pāpori e haumaru ana, e angitu ana, e kauawhi ana hoki.
Ko tā te Minita tauākī haepapa
Mōku ake, e hāngai ana ngā pārongo me ngā rautaki kua tukua e te Tari Arotake Mātauranga ki ngā kaupapa here, me ngā kawenga mahi a te Kāwanatanga.
Te Hōnore Jo Luxton
Te Minita Tuarua o ngā Take Mātauranga
Foreword from the Associate Minister of Education
All children and young learners growing up in Aotearoa New Zealand must have the opportunity to develop to their potential so they can fully engage in society and lead rewarding lives.
The demands placed on our young people continue to evolve. We must respond by creating an education system that better supports them to be resilient, creative, and adaptable in the face of rapid technological, environmental and societal change.
The Government wants to ensure that learners, their parents, whānau, and future employers can be confident that our young people have access to a quality education that sets them up for lifelong success.
We want to ensure our system meets the needs of all our learners, particularly Māori, Pacific, those with disabilities and learning support needs, or from disadvantaged backgrounds. To achieve this, we will continue to address disparities, build a more connected and collaborative system, and provide improved support and guidance where it is needed.
The Education Review Office plays a key role in the improvement process, as the Government’s education research and evaluation agency. It plans to further strengthen its evaluation of national systems and support for education providers in early learning services, and primary and secondary education. Promoting use of self-assessment is a key part of this, so providers can build continuous improvement into their systems and practices, with a focus on the needs of every child.
Over the next four years, I look forward to seeing improvements across the sector as a result of the work the Education Review Office is doing. This will contribute to an education system that supports all our young people to fulfil their potential as part of a safe, prosperous and inclusive society.
Minister’s statement of responsibility
I am satisfied that the information on strategies provided by the Education Review Office is consistent with the policies and performance expectations of the Government.
Hon Jo Luxton
Associate Minister of Education
He Whakatakinga nā Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Arotake Mātauranga
E angitu ai a Aotearoa, me eke te rāngai mahi ki ngā taumata o te mātauranga me ngā pūkenga e auaha ana, e mōhio ana hoki ki te urutau ki te panonitanga e tere ana. Manohi anō, me tautoko tō tātou pūnaha mātauranga i te whai wahi ā-pāpori me te whakapuakanga ā-ahurea i te whanaketanga o ō tātou uara puta noa i te motu, i te māramatanga hoki o ngā kainoho o Aotearoa ki a rātou anō.
He mahi nui tā te Tari Arotake ki te whakairo i ngā āhuatanga ā haere ake nei, mā roto i te arotakenga puta noa i te pūnaha, me tā mātou aro ki te kōkiri i te whakapakaritanga puta noa i te pūnaha mātauranga.
I tēnei wā o te Tauākī o te Takune, e whakapae ana au ka kitea ngā panonitanga tāpua i te rāngai mātauranga. Me urutau te rāngai ki ngā wero, me whakatutuki hoki i aua wero kua puta mai, kua whakawhānuitia hoki e te mate urutā KOWHEORI-19. I te wāhanga e whai ake ana, ka nui ngā panonitanga i ngā kura ki ngā mahi whakaako, me te whakahoutanga o te NCEA, o te marautanga hoki. Ka herea ngā whare kōhungahunga ki te ruku hōhonu ki te pou tarāwaho o te marautanga o Te Whāriki kua whakawhānuitia ā te 1 o Māehe 2024.
Me mahi tahi ngā whakahaere me te rāngai ki te arotahi ki te hiki i ngā putanga o te ako a te ākonga. He haumi pūmau mātou i te tautoko i te whakahoutanga, ka mutu, e tau ana tā mātou noho ki te urupare ki ngā wero me ngā arawātea kei mua i te aroaro.
Hei āpiti ki ā mātou here ā-pūrongo ki ngā kura me ngā whare kōhungahunga, kua panoni hoki mātou i ā mātou tikanga i roto i ngā tau e toru kua hori e arotahi ai ki te te whakapiki i te kounga.
Kua whakawhiti i ā mātou whakahaere i ngā mahi ā-rohe ki ngā mahi ā-motu, e whāiti nei te arotahi ki ngā wāhanga e kaha ake nei te pīrangi ki te āwhina. E mahi ana hoki mātou ki te taha o ngā whakahaere whare kōhungahunga nui e whakahaere ana i ngā whare kōhungahunga maha.
E tautoko kē ana tā mātou hōtaka ā-motu o te pakirehua, o te arotake, o te rangahau hoki mā roto i Te Ihuwaka, tō mātou Education Evaluation Centre (The Centre), i te whakahoutanga me te panonitanga o te pūnaha. I whakatūria i te 2020, kua kohia e The Centre tētahi puna taunaki tāpua mō te pūnaha, kua tautohua hoki ētahi wāhanga kia arohia. E whai ana a The Centre ki te whakakaha i tana toro mā roto i ngā hononga puta i te ao. Mā reira e whai wāhi atu ai ki ngā rangahau me ngā ariā whaihua i te ao e kōkiritia ai te puna taunaki kei te wātea ki te hunga e whakatau ana, e mahi ana hoki.
Ko tō mātou tira Arotake me te Rangahau e whāiti ana ki ngā kaupapa Māori, a Te Pou Mataaho, e arotahi ana ki te pakirehua mā roto i te tirohanga Māori. E tautoko ana te puna taunaki i te mātauranga kura Māori e kounga ana, i te reo Māori, i te tūhura hoki i ngā mahi e whaihua ana ki te angitu o te ākonga Māori. E mahi tahi ana tō mātou tira arotake Māori, a Te Uepū ā-Motu, ki ngā mana whakahaere Māori e tautokona ai te whakapakaritanga kounga mā roto i te arotakenga o Ngā Kōhanga Reo, o Ngā Puna Reo, o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori, o ngā Kura ā Iwi hoki.
Ahakoa tā mātou noho hei whakahaere arotake tūtahi, kāore e takitahi ana tā mātou mahi. E mahi tahi ana te rāngai mātauranga ki te whakairo, ki te tautoko hoki i ngā putanga mō ngā ākonga katoa, ka mutu, he āwhina tēnā i a mātou kia kōkiritia te panonitanga. E mahi tahi ana mātou ki ētahi haumi whakahaere kia kaha ake ai te whakahāngaitanga i waenga i te rangahau me te arotake e kōkiritia nei e mātou, e te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, e te Rangahau Mātauranga o Aotearoa, e ngā whare wānanga anō hoki. Mā reira e kaha ake ai tā mātou whakamahi i ngā raraunga, tā mātou whakaheke hoki i te nui o ngā mahi kei ngā kura mō te taha ki te aroturuki me te arotake.
Kia whaiwhai ake i tā te Kōmihana a te Karauna mō te Abuse in Care i te Ākuhata 2022, kua whakaae te Tari Arotake Mātauranga me Matatū Aotearoa ki te tiri pārongo e tutuki ai ō mātou here i raro i te Education and Training Act 2022, e mōhiotia ai hoki e ora ana, e haumaru ana hoki ngā tamariki.
Nō te 1 o Mei 2023, e whakahīhī ana mātou i tā mātou tiaki i te Aroturuki Tamariki — the Independent Children’s Monitor, he tari tūtahi. Ko tā Aroturuki tamariki, he aroturuki i te pūnaha o Oranga Tamariki, me te tuku māramatanga e whakapakari tonu ai i te pūnaha, e kaha ai hoki ngā hua ki ngā tamariki.
E whakatinana ana mātou i Te Tiriti o Waitangi
E haere tonu ana tā mātou huri hei whakahaere ahurea rua, reo rua hoki, e arotahi nei ki te reo Māori me ngā tikanga Māori.
E ū ana mātou ki te whakakaha i te whakapono mai o te iwi e whakatairangahia ai te tautika me te angitu o ngā ākonga Māori. Ko tā mātou whāinga, he poipoi i te mātauranga e kauawhi ana, i ngā tikanga ako hoki e eke ai ngā ākonga Māori ki ngā taumata o tō rātou pitomata.
Te Titiro Whakamua
E whakahirahira ana kia whaihua, kia tautika hoki te pūnaha mātauranga mō te oranga ā-pāpori, ā-ahurea, ā-ōhanga hoki o ngā kainoho o Aotearoa. E whakahirahira ake ana ināianei, i a tātou e whakaora ana anō i a tātou i ngā pānga o te KOWHEORI-19. Hei whakahaere, ka urutau nui tonu, ka pīngore tonu hoki mātou, kia uruparetia ngā pīrangi o te rāngai e panoni haere ana. E arotahi ana mātou kia mōhiotia ko ngā āhuatanga ka heipū i ngā whare kōhungahunga me ngā kura, he tautoko i taua whakaora anō.
E ū tonu ana mātou kia noho tonu ngā tamariki me ngā rangatahi ki te pokapū o ā mātou mahi, me te tautoko i ngā kaiako e whaihua ake ai ki ngā ākonga katoa.
Ka haere tonu tā mātou mahi tahi ki ētahi atu i roto i te pūnaha o te mātauranga e tautika ai, e eke ai hoki ki ngā taumata ikeike o te mātauranga. E kore e eke ki ngā taumata ikeike ki te kore e tautika, ka mutu, me mātua tautika e kaha ai, e tōkeke ai hoki ngā āhuatanga o te motu mō ngā kainoho katoa o Aotearoa.
Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa. The child – the heart of the matter.
Ko tā te Tumu Whakarae mō te Arotake Mātauranga tauāki haepapa
I taku waitohu i tēnei tuhinga, e mārama ana au nōku te haepapa mō ngā pārongo mō ngā rautaki mō te Tari Arotake Mātauranga. Kua whakaritea ēnei pārongo nā runga i te Wāhanga e 38 me te Wāhanga e 40 o te Ture Pūtea Tūmatanui 1989.
Te Tumu Whakarae mō te Arotake Mātauranga
Introduction from the Chief Review Officer
For Aotearoa New Zealand to be successful it must have a highly educated and skilled workforce that’s innovative, creative, and able to adapt to rapid transformation. Equally, our education system needs to support social and cultural participation and expression, the development of our values as a nation, and an understanding of who we are as New Zealanders.
The Education Review Office has a key role in shaping this future, through our system-wide evaluation and review process, and our focus on driving improvement across the education system.
During this Statement of Intent period, I expect to see significant changes in the education sector. The sector will need to adapt to and address the challenges caused and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early learning services will require deeper engagement with the expanded curriculum framework of Te Whāriki from 1 March 2024. Schools and kura will go through substantial changes in teaching practices, as a consequence of the New Zealand Curriculum refresh and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as well as the National Certificate for Educational Achievement (NCEA) reform. Our evidence and assessments will provide the sense checks needed to ensure that these are delivering positive outcomes for New Zealand learners and are focused on lifting learner outcomes.
The Education Review Office is a key partner in driving positive change in the education system, and we are well-placed to navigate these challenges and support the education reform. We work with a wide range of services, groups and other government agencies to provide alignment between the research and evaluation we undertake, and that carried out by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Council for Education Research and universities. This enables us to make better use of data and reduce the workload on individual learning services in the context of monitoring and evaluation.
In addition to our reporting mandate on schools, kura and early learning services, we have also transformed our approach over the last three years, placing an emphasis on quality improvement. Underpinning this we have moved our operations from regional to national, with specific focus on areas requiring more help. We have also shifted to working directly with large organisations that manage multiple early childhood services, rather than working individually with each of their services.
Our national programme of inquiry, evaluation, and research through Te Ihuwaka, our Education Evaluation Centre, is already supporting system reform and transformation. Established in 2020, Te Ihuwaka has generated a significant body of evidence about the education system and identified areas requiring attention. Te Ihuwaka plans to increase its reach through international partnerships. This will allow access to world-leading research and ideas to further the evidence base available to decision-makers and practitioners.
Our specialist kaupapa Māori Evaluation and Research unit, Te Pou Mataaho, is focused on inquiry through a distinct te ao Māori lens. The body of evidence supports quality Māori-medium education, te reo Māori, and uncovering what works to ensure Māori learner success. Our Māori review team, Te Uepū ā-Motu work closely with Māori organising authorities to ensure support of quality improvement through the review of Ngā Kohanga Reo, Ngā Puna Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori, Ngā Kura a Iwi.
As of 1 May 2023, we are the proud host to Aroturuki Tamariki — the Independent Children’s Monitor. Aroturuki Tamariki is an independent departmental agency that monitors the Oranga Tamariki system, providing insights that will drive continuous system improvement, and improved outcomes for tamariki.
We give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Our organisation is on the path to becoming bicultural and bilingual, with a focus on te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. We are committed to building trusting relationships with iwi to promote equity and success for Māori learners. Our goal is to foster culturally inclusive education and learning practices that support the full potential of Māori learners.
An effective and equitable education system is vital for the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of New Zealanders. It’s even more important now, as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. As an organisation, we will continue to be highly adaptable and agile to respond to the changing needs of the sector. We are focused on ensuring that what happens in early learning services, schools and kura supports this recovery.
We remain committed to keeping our children and young people at the heart of what we do and supporting teachers to achieve better outcomes for all learners.
We will continue to work collaboratively with others in the education system to achieve equity and excellence in education. There can be no excellence without equity, and equity is essential if we are to build a stronger and fairer country for all New Zealanders.
Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa. The child — the heart of the matter.
Chief Executive Officer’s statement of responsibility
In signing this document, I acknowledge that I am responsible for the information on strategies for the Education Review Office. This information has been prepared in accordance with Section 38 and Section 40 of the Public Finance Act 1989.
Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer
1. Mō mātou | About us
Who we are
The Education Review Office was established on 1 October 1989 under the State Sector Act 1988. As the Government’s education evaluation agency, we inform and facilitate improvement in early learning services, schools and kura.
We promote a stronger, more equitable education system. We believe equity and excellence in outcomes is possible for all learners when the mahi centres on the child, the heart of the matter — Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa.
We translate our evaluation evidence into performance insights to improve learning outcomes for children and young adults across Aotearoa New Zealand.
We support a high-quality learning environment for all children through inquiry into areas that affect their learning experience. We achieve this in two distinct ways:
- At a provider level — We carry out impartial review and evaluation to inform and facilitate improvement in Māori, English and Pacific education settings. We identify issues and opportunities at the individual provider level to support them in improving their practice.
- At a system level — We carry out system-wide inquiry, evaluation and research to generate insights on areas that effect equitable participation, engagement and learner achievement. We translate our findings and add them to our evidence base, so they can be applied in learning settings by education practitioners, boards, and service managers.
Nature and scope of our functions
Our statutory functions are set out in the Education and Training Act 2020 (The Act), which requires us to evaluate and report on the education and care of learners in early learning services, schools and kura. New Zealand’s Chief Review Officer uses their powers to initiate reviews, evaluation and research, and reports findings to the Minister of Education.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s education policy settings provide learning services with a high level of autonomy. Our independence from learning services and agencies that set policy, funding and standards is critical to our effectiveness. It enables us to provide impartial assurance to the Minister, Government, parents, whānau and the broader community on the quality and integrity of our education system.
As of 1 May 2023, the Education Review Office also hosts Aroturuki Tamariki — the Independent Children’s Monitor. Aroturuki Tamariki is an independent departmental agency with full operational autonomy, ensuring their work and focus remains on the monitoring of tamariki in the Oranga Tamariki system.
How we work
Review and Improvement Services
We carry out evaluations of early learning services, schools and kura in English-medium to provide information on their performance and to support ongoing improvement for high quality education.
The Schools National Team
We focus on strengthening the evaluative capability of schools in identifying priority areas for improvement, including the effectiveness of engagement with whānau, iwi and the wider community. We carry out reviews in unique learning contexts:
- English-medium: All state and state integrated schools and kura
- Pacific-medium: All state and state integrated schools and kura
- Private and independent schools
- Schools and kura with international students
- School hostels
- Assessing readiness to open in new and merging schools
The Early Childhood Services National Team
We focus on accountability and improvement. We review and evaluate centre-based, home-based, and hospital-based services using a range of approaches relevant to each context.
Te Tāhū Whare — Evaluation and Review Māori
Supporting effective education and improved learning outcomes in kaupapa Māori education
We carry out research that influences learner outcomes across kaupapa Māori education and Māori-medium education, including kura kaupapa Māori, ngā kura a iwi, ngā kōhanga reo, ngā puna reo, and other Māori immersion early childhood services.
Our work focuses on both evaluation within education settings and system evaluation. We examine the conditions for success, and unique kaupapa Māori approaches that support effective practice and improvement for learners.
Insights from system evaluation also help build what the education system knows about the experiences of tamariki, whānau, hapū, iwi and educators in kaupapa Māori education.
Creating research and resources to support Māori learners system-wide
We’re focused on Māori enjoying and achieving learning success as Māori. We examine Māori learner experiences and success in both English-medium and kaupapa Māori education settings.
We develop tools and resources to support better education outcomes for Māori learners, based on our collective expertise in research, professional practice, and methodology.
Supporting a culturally located and responsive approach to working
In kaupapa Māori education settings, we use our enduring relationships with peak bodies and our kaupapa Māori evaluation approaches, partnerships, and innovation to respond in ways that respect the unique values, approaches and aspirations of each kaupapa Māori setting. Our Māori methodology and professional practice work supports this, ensuring we develop professionals who can lead high-quality evaluations to advance Māori wellbeing, and to refine evaluation methodologies for Māori immersion education. We also work with Māori organisations, agencies, learners, educators and whānau outside of kaupapa Māori education settings to improve education outcomes for Māori.
We support all business units in the organisation to build capability in te reo Māori, tikanga, and iwi understanding and relationships through our Māori strategy, He Taura Here Tangata — The Braided Threads that Bind Us.
Supporting te reo Māori revitalisation and normalisation
We support the revitalisation and normalisation of te reo Māori through an evaluation, monitoring and research work programme led by Te Tāhū Whare, and made possible through collective effort across our organisation, education agencies, peak bodies and the sector.
To enable this work we implemented Te Pou Reo, an expert te reo Māori team which works in English-medium settings. Te Pou Reo operates as part of Te Tāhū Whare.
Te Ihuwaka — Education Evaluation Centre
We draw on local and international research to build a stronger evidence base to better support decision-makers at all levels of our systems, from teachers to leaders. We evaluate the performance of the education system, the effectiveness of programmes and interventions, and shine a light on good practice. Our insights act as a catalyst for change and improved education outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Methodology and Professional Practice
We focus on developing our frameworks, methodologies and approaches for the review of English-medium schools and early childhood services. We oversee and support aspects of organisational capability-building, including specialist study, induction, coaching, and leadership development throughout the organisation. We specifically work in partnership with Review and Improvement Services to develop and facilitate national professional learning opportunities that build professional evaluation knowledge and practice for Review Officers and Evaluation Partners.
We provide essential statutory and corporate functions that enable the organisation to operate effectively and fulfil our statutory obligations. We ensure our staff have access to the tools and infrastructure needed to achieve our functions as a government agency.
Hosting Aroturuki Tamariki — the Independent Children’s Monitor
Aroturuki Tamariki is a departmental agency, hosted by the Education Review office since 1 May 2023. Our Corporate Services team provides administrative services for Aroturuki Tamariki, including human resources, finance, payroll, security and information services.
Our operating context
The Government’s long-term plan sets out key priorities and steps to build a modern and fairer society. When every New Zealander has access to world-class education, it will contribute to each of these priority areas:
- An economy that is growing and working for all of us.
- Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families.
- Making New Zealand proud.
The Government wants an education system that strives to bring out the very best in everyone. Its long-term objectives for education are:
- helping children and young people to attain their educational potential
- preparing young people for participation in civic and community life, and for work
- promoting resilience, determination, confidence, creative and critical thinking, good social skills and the ability to form good relationships
- helping children and young people to appreciate diversity, inclusion and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) outlines the Government’s priorities for education. Our work aligns with the five overarching objectives of the NELP:
- Learners at the centre — Learners with their whānau are at the centre of education.
- Barrier-free access — Great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner.
- Quality teaching and leadership — Quality teaching and leadership make the difference for learners and their whānau.
- Future of learning and work — Learning that is relevant to the lives of New Zealanders today and throughout their lives.
- World-class inclusive public education — New Zealand education is trusted and sustainable.
We contribute to these objectives through our impartial monitoring and evaluation. This critical function ensures New Zealanders can have confidence in the integrity of the education system, and in the quality and safety of their children’s learning environments.
Our evolving environment
We operate in a highly dynamic environment, which means we often need to quickly adapt to trends and issues that influence our strategic direction.
Before the pandemic, we had a well-established system in place for carrying out reviews and evaluations of all early learning services, schools and kura. This gave us a strong foundation to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 and get back to pre-pandemic levels.
2. Tā mātou pou tarāwaho: Ngā mea e pīrangi nei mātou ki te whakatutuki | Our strategic framework: What we want to achieve
Our work ensures that the Minister of Education and New Zealanders can have confidence in the provision of early learning services, schools and kura. We help lift performance in areas that need it most through institutional review and evaluation, and we provide system-wide evaluation insights into our education system.
Our strategic intentions
High quality education for all learners. We work to ensure that every early learning service, school and kura is a great place to learn, has excellent teaching, and contributes to the success and wellbeing of every learner.
We challenge and support early learning services, schools and kura to ensure:
- they provide high quality education for all learners
- learners are safe in their place of learning
- learning is underpinned by excellent teaching and conditions that support quality learning and wellbeing.
An improvement-oriented system. We’re committed to finding solutions to the most difficult challenges in education. We promote and contribute to continuous improvement, where evidence and evaluation are fundamental to decision-making at all levels.
We influence the sustainability of provider performance by promoting a continuous improvement culture throughout the education system. We identify what works, establish indicators for success, and identify and develop evidence to influence improvement in practice. We do this for individual practitioners, providers, and programmes, as well as for the system as a whole. We work to ensure our system is driven by evidence, and evaluation is seen as a fundamental contributor in decision-making at all levels of the system.
Māori success as Māori. We work for the revitalisation of te reo Māori, place a spotlight on outcomes for Māori learners, and ensure that our system recognises the aspirations of parents, whānau and iwi for their tamariki.
We drive improvements to our system to ensure it delivers equitable outcomes for Māori learners. We ensure these outcomes support the language, culture and identity of Māori learners, and recognise the aspirations of parents, whānau and iwi. We maintain a strong focus on the delivery of quality kaupapa Māori education and the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
A strong, effective and equitable system. We assess the effectiveness of existing programmes and policy settings. We contribute to the knowledge base about what works, and create insights which support innovation and improvement in teaching and learning.
We find solutions to the most difficult challenges in education. We support innovation and informed decision-making at all levels of the system. Our evaluative insights contribute to the knowledge base about what works, and place a spotlight on those areas in the system that need support to deliver improved outcomes for learners.
Our strategic priorities for 2023-2026
We have four strategic priorities that guide us in delivering our strategic objectives. More information about these is included in the next section (Our performance).
- Continue to build a comprehensive and trusted evidence base that informs decision-making and practice.
- Strengthen the quality and performance of early learning services.
- Drive improvement in school performance.
- Strengthen cultural responsiveness in kaupapa Māori education settings through partnerships and innovation.
3. Ā mātou mahi: Tā mātou whakatutuki i ā mātou rautaki mātāmua | Our performance: How we deliver our strategic priorities
Our strategic priorities
1. Continue to build a comprehensive and trusted evidence base that informs decision-making and practice
We’ll continue to build the education evidence base through our national research and evaluations to:
- increase understanding of the performance of the education system (how well it delivers and for whom)
- evaluate initiatives and develop evidence about what works (when and why).
- identify practical ways to improve education for learning services and policymakers.
We’ll translate our findings into practical advice and tools to support improvements in the quality of teaching practice and learning.
Over the next four years the programme will focus on the following priority areas:
- System performance and reform: Increase understanding of the education system’s performance and the effectiveness of implementation of key education initiatives and reforms.
- Leadership and workforce capability: Understand effective approaches to raising capability.
- Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment: Identify effective teaching, learning and assessment practices, and ways for these to be successfully adopted.
- Learner wellbeing: Grow understanding of the wellbeing needs of learners to enable them to thrive in education, and the effectiveness of programmes and practices that support learner wellbeing.
- Māori learner success as Māori: Support the development of kaupapa Māori methodology, and the evaluation of those programmes, services and interventions which aim to lift Māori achievement.
- Te reo Māori revitalisation: Get a deep understanding of what’s happening system-wide, and identify effective practices and strategies that ensure a high quality of te reo Māori teaching and learning in Aotearoa New Zealand schools and kura.
- Effectiveness of provision, programmes, and targeted interventions for at-risk and priority learners: Increase understanding of the needs of these learners and what works to ensure positive outcomes for them.
- Networks, collaboration and professional supports: Build understanding of the quality and contribution of networks, collaboration and professional support on both workforce capability and learner outcomes.
Understand what works, for whom, and in which contexts
We carry out system-level evaluations and investigations at the request of the Minister of Education or the Chief Review Officer. We also respond to calls from the sector for greater evidence to inform their practice. We draw on the most up-to-date international and New Zealand research, observations in classrooms and services, the perspectives and voices of learners and their whanau, the experiences of teachers and leaders, and the knowledge of experts.
What we will do
- Build the Aotearoa New Zealand education evidence base and inform policy and practice by eliciting new insights.
- Promote evidence-informed decision-making and support effective policymaking.
- Translate research findings to enable education services to improve their practices and the quality of learning.
- Help to grow capabilities in te ao Māori research and evaluation.
- Provide advice to the Minister on the performance of system-level education programmes, initiatives and reforms, supported by our evidence base.
How we measure progress over time
|Understanding of education system performance in Aotearoa New Zealand||Increasing|
|Use of quality evidence to inform practices in schools and early learning services||Increasing|
|Use of up-to-date insights to inform policy decision-making||Increasing|
2. Strengthen the quality and performance of early learning services
Our evaluations of early learning services will continue to assure service quality and inform improved performance. Over the next four years we’ll focus on the following priority areas:
- Strengthen the quality of early learning services.
- Implement new frameworks, indicators and reporting practices as necessary to be successful.
What we will do
- Evaluate all licensed services at least once every three years.
- Continue to improve regulatory compliance in early learning services with a focus on health, safety and wellbeing.
- Continue to drive improvement through the quality framework, with deliberate quality teaching for each child.
- Provide parents and stakeholders with information on quality in early learning services.
- Carry out regular reviews and evaluations of the quality assurance and improvement activities in standalone services and governing organisations with multiple services.
- Identify and ensure action for those services not providing high-quality learning.
How we measure progress over time
|Services’ use of our indicators/frameworks/reports to strengthen the quality of their service provision||Increasing|
|Regulatory compliance with a focus on health safety and wellbeing||Increasing|
3. Drive improvement in school performance
Our evaluations of schools, support services and networks provide assurance of quality and performance. We encourage and support schools to lift performance and enhance learner outcomes. Over the next four years we’ll focus on the following priority areas:
- Implement and embed Te Ara Huarau, our new review approach that supports schools to better evaluate and improve their performance.
- Increase alignment between our external evaluation and the school’s self-evaluation and strategic planning and improvement cycle.
What we will do
- Allocate our resources to place a priority on schools and providers with the greatest needs, through differentiation.
- Work with schools to support their continued improvement and influence the quality of teaching.
- Ensure next steps from evaluation findings are embedded in school planning and reporting cycles to drive improvement in school practice.
- Provide access to tools to help school boards manage their regulatory compliance, with a focus on health, safety and wellbeing.
- Share information with parents and whānau about the individual school’s quality, performance, and improvements since the previous evaluation report.
- Share our research and insights with service providers to ensure that their practices improve quality and equity outcomes for all learners.
How we measure progress over time
|Use of our evaluation findings as a basis for school planning/performance cycle||Increasing|
|Resources applied to schools with the most need||Increasing|
|Use of the Poutama Reo framework for increasing the quality of te reo Māori in English-medium settings||Increasing|
4. Strengthen cultural responsiveness in kaupapa Māori education settings through partnerships and innovation
Our specialist team adds value in kaupapa Māori education through partnerships and innovation. Our evaluations of kōhanga reo and kura provide assurance of quality. Over the next four years we’ll focus on the following priority areas:
- Work collaboratively with individual kaupapa Māori education providers to share insights and contribute to their ongoing improvement.
- Forge new ground in kaupapa Māori education to deliver on our Te Tiriti o Waitangi commitments.
- Consolidate and build on our commitment to the revitalisation of te reo Māori.
What we will do
- Deliver evaluations that demonstrate good practice where whānau and learner agency is acknowledged and respected from the onset.
- Schedule regular reviews and engage with schools and the sector to drive success for Māori.
- Use findings from our reviews to provide system insights and support continuous improvement.
- Maintain a shared governing body wraparound service with kaupapa Māori education settings that need focused development for improvement.
- Drive Māori success as Māori in English-medium settings.
- Enhance the quality of te reo Māori provision in English-medium settings.
- Ensure that school strategies and plans consider the aspirations of parents, whānau and iwi.
How we measure progress over time
|Use of our evaluation findings as a basis for kura planning/performance cycle||Increasing|
|Use of our evaluation findings in kaupapa Māori education to improve the quality of teaching and learning||Increasing|
Our enabling strategies
Our enabling strategies guide how we will deliver on our commitments and support our work.
Enhance our frameworks, methodologies and tools
This includes the development of tools, methodologies and techniques to support us in our work, and equally support the sector in its own evaluation, monitoring and assessment activities. A key focus is working with learning services so the information from our joint evaluation activities enhances their planning and reporting. We’ll make assurance statements available to boards and management of schools, kura and services in a way that enables them to more easily monitor their own performance.
Develop new skills and make the best use of our capabilities
We have a strong commitment to building the skills of our workforce through a regular programme of professional learning and development. The Methodology and Professional Practice team provides leadership and expertise to support enhanced professional practice and capability.
We employ highly trained specialists and educators. We’ll build on this by establishing a purpose-built learning management system which focuses on evaluation, and builds the knowledge and skills to support school and kura improvement, portfolio management and diverse ways of working. An organisation-wide expertise register will support the best use of our collective capability and provide a basis for identifying development needs. We’ll continue to offer intensive training in specialist evaluation techniques, and opportunities for staff to study nationally and internationally.
Build enduring partnerships and networks
The strength of our partnerships within the sector is critical to our future direction. We’ll strengthen our partnerships with the national and international research, policy and evaluation communities, and with government entities including the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Oranga Tamariki, Statistics New Zealand, the Social Investment Agency, Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association, NZCER, and leadership advisors.
We have both informal and formal relationships with rōpū across Aotearoa New Zealand who have an interest in education system improvement. This includes hapū and iwi, kaupapa Māori and Māori-medium peak bodies, organisations representing educators and education sector leaders, and groups who work with, or on behalf of the diverse ethnic communities, and learners with personal impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.
The Leadership Partners Programme implemented in 2020 continues to flourish. This programme identifies talented leaders in the sector and invests in building their understanding of evaluation. The Leadership Partners Programme is complemented by a secondment programme in kaupapa Māori and Māori-medium settings. This focus on working closely with educators enables us to have a strong dialogue and ‘real world’ test for our work.
Modernise our technology systems
Following the adoption of Microsoft Office cloud-based technologies, we continue to move to an all-cloud profile. Core tenets of cloud-first, secure, scalable, collaborative and cost-effective continue to underpin a technology roadmap that supports our innovative and highly distributed workforce. We’re developing a more collaborative and secure online approach to enable more flexible and effective working with early learning services, schools and kura. We’ll continue to ensure we have a technology approach that aligns with the Government’s technology directives and best practice.
Use our information for better insights
We continue to invest in tools and processes that allow us to better target our efforts and enhance our view of system-wide performance. During 2022/23 we established a data and intelligence unit to provide field staff with information that gives a more in-depth view of a school’s progress, and aids the discussions that review officers have with schools focused on improvement. We also use the new approach to provide schools with a system-view of the sector’s capability in the key domains that lead to improved outcomes for children.
In early childhood services, we’re starting to see a gradual improvement in compliance, which will enable us to focus our resources on quality improvement. The governing organisation reviews and evaluations are enabling us to have a lens on accountability and improvement at the organisation level, and the quality and impact of their systems, processes and practices at the individual service level.
Boost our confidence in te reo Māori
He Taura Here Tangata means the braided threads that bind us. We want this strategy to be just that — the threads that bind us to each other, to tangata whenua, and to our ambition of ensuring Māori learners everywhere enjoy and achieve education success as Māori.
To enact that vision, we’re committed to our own journey of becoming a bicultural and bilingual organisation, where te ao Māori is braided into the ethos of how we work. By growing our own capabilities in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori, and building trusting, meaningful partnerships with iwi, we hope to actively influence more culturally responsive teaching and learning, and to support education environments where Māori learners are nurtured to achieve their full potential as Māori. We continue to provide meaningful opportunities for staff to learn and practice te reo Māori, and deepen their understanding of Te Tiriti and te ao Māori concepts.
Grow leadership in our people
Our leadership strategy, Te Waka Hourua, is our vision for developing high quality leadership throughout the organisation. Key concepts that underpin our leadership strategy are:
- leadership of change for improvement
- leadership promotes collaboration
- leadership fosters wellbeing and ongoing learning
- leadership is interconnected and involves everyone
- leadership and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
We support our people to develop through courses such as those delivered by the Learning Development Centre, and by opportunities to step up into other positions or lead/participate in projects.
Our leadership forum for all our managers contributes to an alignment between groups, and allows wide input into the development of direction and strategies.
As part of our He Taura Here Tangata strategy, we provide a range of capability building opportunities that support a better understanding of cultural relationships for responsive pedagogy. This includes participation in Poutama Pounamu, a high-quality programme run by the University of Waikato, that optimises kanohi ki te kanohi and digital learning strategies. It’s based on over 15 years of research into what works best for Māori learners and how this can work more effectively for all.
Honour our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi
The Public Service Act 2020, Section 14 explicitly recognises the role of the public service to support the Crown in its relationships with Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi. We actively support the Crown in meeting its obligations to Te Tiriti.
We strive to give effect to the Crown’s obligations under the articles in Te Tiriti:
- Kawanatanga: Governance by the Crown.
- Tino Rangatiratanga: Rights of Māori to have undisturbed possession of their taonga.
- Ōritetanga: Full citizenship and rights of Māori.
We have implemented our strategy, He Taura Here Tangata, to become a bilingual, bicultural organisation with te ao Māori braided into the ethos of our work.
Enhance the diversity and wellbeing of our workforce
We’re committed to enhancing the diversity and wellbeing of our workforce. We’re actively working to address gender inequities, to ensure that all staff are treated fairly, and that they’re provided with opportunities to contribute and grow.
The lens for this work is the Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission’s Papa Pounamu work programme. The key elements of the programme are:
- Te Urupare i te Mariu | Addressing bias: Addressing bias is a critical factor in ensuring everyone in the Public Service has fair opportunity in recruitment, career progression and development opportunities.
- Te whakawhanaungatanga | Building relationships: Inclusion and belonging are dependent upon having a diverse range of supportive relationships in our workplaces. We intentionally draw upon those relationships to create positive change.
- Te āheinga ā-ahurea | Cultural competence: Reflecting the significance of Māori Crown relationships and building our cultural competence and confidence across a broad range of cultures is integral to ensuring inclusion.
- Ngā tūhononga e kōkiritia ana e ngā kaimahi | Employee-led networks: Having a space and mandate to connect with others with shared lived experiences supports people to bring their whole selves to work. Employee-led networks provide richness to workplaces and contribute valuable subject matter expertise.
- Hautūtanga Ngākau Tuwhera | Inclusive leadership: Diversity and inclusion capability across the Public Service depends on strong, inclusive leadership.
Through our workplace policies, flexible working arrangements, and recruitment and retention strategies, we aim to extend the range and background of our people. Through our sector partnership strategies we seek to have people from diverse cultural and language backgrounds working alongside us, while remaining in their communities, schools and early learning services. Involving young people more actively in our work as partners is also important to us. This will enable us to better reflect their views, values and priorities.
Our work is intensive. It requires our staff to work away from home for extended periods, often outside regular working hours, to engage with the communities we work in. We’re building on our policies and practices to mitigate the effects of these demands on our people and their families. This work will form the basis of our Health, Safety and Wellbeing action plan. This will include strengthened monitoring of staff fatigue and wellbeing, and a suite of initiatives and practices to further address these issues.
|Number of staff in the employee-led networks within our organisation||Increasing|
|Our people report feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion in the workplace||Increasing|
Reduce our environmental footprint
We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact wherever possible. The main contributor to our CO2 emissions is travel. The highly distributed nature of our schools and early learning services requires our people to travel large distances. For example, our small Māori-medium review team is required to travel the length of the country in their work.
Over the last five years we’ve converted our entire road fleet to hybrid vehicles, resulting in a significant reduction in our use of fossil fuels. We’ve changed the way we work with schools and centres, which has reduced the need for road travel. We’re currently piloting the use of electric vehicles and looking at options for increasing their number within the fleet. We’re also looking to reduce the number of vehicles we own.
Our new technology supports greater levels of online collaboration, which has reduced our need for travel. We’ll also look at having staff located in the most appropriate manner to reduce the distance needed to travel between sites.
We’ll continue to look at other emission sources, such as buildings and staff commuting, to find reductions where possible. We’ll ensure our efforts continue to be sustained and enhanced and make our efforts transparent to staff and stakeholders in our annual report.
4. Tō mātou angitu: Ngā ara ine i tō mātou angitu | Our success: How we measure our performance
Assessment of performance | 2023/24
Evaluations of the quality of education
Monitor and evaluate
Percentage of schools/kura that have been assessed for compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
Progress of bringing schools onto the new schooling review approach (see Note 1)
Review resources are applied in accordance with the priority framework (see Note 2)
Maintain and improve
Percentage of early learning service respondents that indicate their evaluation helped to identify or confirm opportunities for more effective practice and building capacity
Percentage of early learning services that indicate our evaluations are contributing to their decisions about how to improve learner outcomes
Percentage of schools that indicate our evaluations are contributing to their decisions about how to improve learner outcomes
Percentage of school respondents that indicate their evaluation helped to identify or confirm opportunities for more effective practice and building capacity
Key audiences report that our national evaluations are informative and useful for identifying or planning improvement within the system or its component parts (see Note 4)
Percentage of school respondents that indicate the Poutama Reo improvement framework has been used to inform their strategy for the planning, monitoring and delivering of te reo Māori (see Note 5)
Establishing the Independent Children's Monitor
|Manage the establishment of Aroturuki Tamariki — The Independent Children's Monitor within the Education Review Office within the agreed budget (see Note 6)||
Education Review Office — capital expenditure plan
Expenditure is in accordance with our capital expenditure plan
- This is a measure of progress, and the change from 2022/23 to 2023/24 reflects that ERO will have completed the onboarding of schools by the end of 2023/24.
- This was a new measure in 2022/23. The budget standard in 2023/24 reflects that ERO aims to maintain and improve on its performance.
- The Governing Organisation methodology is a new approach for early childhood education providers that have oversight of 15 or more services. A new indicator has been added to reflect the new approach in 2023/24.
- ERO is not primarily a provider of policy advice. From our regular presence in schools and early learning services ERO is, however, in a position to make a useful contribution to assist the policy agencies such as the Ministry of Education and the sector.
- The Poutama Reo improvement framework is a new tool for English-medium schools to review and improve their provision of te reo Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand. A new indicator has been added to reflect the new tool in 2023/24.
- This performance measure reflects ERO's support in the establishment of Aroturuki Tamariki — The Independent Children's Monitor occurring in late 2022/23. This indicator is time limited to 2022/23 and 2023/24.
Independent monitoring and assurance of the Oranga Tamariki system
From 1 May 2023 Vote Education Office included Aroturuki Tamariki — The Independent Children’s Monitor appropriation ‘Independent Monitoring and Assurance of the Oranga Tamariki System’. Information regarding Aroturuki Tamariki will be included within their Strategic Intentions.