The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that evaluates and reports on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services. The Chief Review Officer formally designates individual review officers to carry out reviews in schools in accordance with the Education Act 1989. This Act gives the Chief Review Officer the power to initiate reviews, investigate, report and to publish findings on the provision of education to all young New Zealanders. The ERO generally carries out reviews every three years. However, at the past three reviews of Sacred Heart College (2009, 2014 and 2018), it advised that it would not be returning for four to five years. This is a high endorsement of the College's performance.
The purpose of ERO’s external evaluations is to give parents, whānau and the wider school community assurance about the quality of education children and young people receive. ERO reports on the equity and excellence of learning outcomes for all students and for specific groups including Māori students, Pacific students and students with additional learning needs. This includes a focus on accelerating learning for students. ERO also reports on the quality and effectiveness of the school’s processes and practices for continuing and sustaining improvement. The report gives evaluation findings that answer four key questions about the school’s performance.
ERO Confirmed Report - Excerpts 2018
Below are some excerpts from the 2018 report, for the full report can be viewed here.
The four key questions:
1 Equity and Excellence
1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and and excellent outcomes for all its students?
"Leaders, trustees and staff successfully promote equitable and excellent student outcomes through a relentless focus on holistic wellbeing and support for learning success. Achievement data show that students make very good progress over their time at the school. Achievement information shows very high pass rates in the National Educational Certificate of Achievement (NCEA) for most students over time, including Māori and Pacific."
1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Maori and other students who needs this?
"Leaders and teachers have the capacity to accelerate learning for students. The school responds effectively to Māori, Pacific and other young people whose learning and achievement needs acceleration. Concerns about parity for some groups of learners are successfully addressed over time. Staff work purposefully to achieve parity for Māori and Pacific students, and for those with additional learning needs.
The school has very good systems for identifying students whose learning needs acceleration. Student achievement is carefully tracked and monitored by teachers and leaders. Achievement data show that most students make very good or accelerated progress over their seven year period at the school and go on to achieve NCEA qualifications at Level 2 or above."
2 School conditions for equity and excellence - process and practices
2.1 What school processes and practices are effecting in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?
"Sacred Heart College (Auckland) continues to be an effective educational community for boys in Years 7 to 13. There is a strong focus on achieving equity and excellence for students. High achievement levels have been sustained over time. School conditions that enable learners to achieve equity and excellence include a caring and collaborative school culture, effective leadership at all levels of the school and a responsive curriculum."
2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?
"To sustain and enhance existing very good practices that promote equity and excellence, and support accelerated learning, school leaders and trustees should continue to deepen internal evaluation, particularly in relation to stewardship and curriculum. This development would be supported by the explicit use of evaluative focus questions and indicators of effective practice. More in-depth evaluation could usefully focus on gauging the consistency of schoolwide practice and would also include the parent community’s contributions and perspectives to a greater extent."
3. Board assurance on legal requirements
"Before the review, the board and principal of the school 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
- management of health, safety and welfare
- personnel management
- asset management
Provision for students in the Hostel
"The Sacred Heart College (Auckland) hostel accommodates 174 students. It is owned by the New Zealand Marist Brothers Trust Board. The Hostel Company has attested that all the requirements of the Hostel Regulations are met. The school principal is the chief executive officer of the hostel company."
Provision for International Students
"The school is a signatory to theEducation (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016(the Code) established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. The school has attested that it complies with all aspects of the Code. At the time of this review there were 83 International Students attending the school. Robust monitoring systems and internal evaluation processes ensure that the school continues to meet its obligations under the Code."
4. Going Forward - key strengths of the school
"For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:"
- an inclusive and collaborative school culture that promotes a sense of belonging, service and learning success
- school leadership that is responsive, and actively supports equity and excellence
- a responsive curriculum that engages students in learning
- the board’s strategic commitment and resourcing to increase in-school equity and excellence.
"ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in four-to-five years."