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Government Response To ERO Report

The Government is to immediately adopt some of the key recommendations in the report on the Education Review Office and has agreed to a work programme to address all other recommendations.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard said Cabinet was extremely supportive of the thrust of the report and that was likely to result in long term significant changes to the office and the way schools and early childhood centres are reviewed.

"There were some recommendations that could be agreed to and adopted fairly quickly and Cabinet has approved these.

"They include:

- the Education Review Office remains as a stand alone department;

- the function of review is not contestable and the Office’s jurisdiction remain as it is at present;

- the focus of reviews is on educational improvement, but the Education Review Office should maintain compliance functions;

- there should be a delay of two weeks between the time final reports are returned to educational institutions and their release to the public.

"I see that delay as an issue of fairness - particularly at times when schools receive less than favourable reports. It will give them a breathing space so that by the time a report is made public they can explain to their parents what they plan to do to address the criticisms," Trevor Mallard said.

"Cabinet has also agreed that other recommendations require further work before they are addressed. This includes how ERO can adopt an 'assess and assist model' which in my view was one of the most important recommendations in the review report.

"In some cases the work will be carried out by ERO alone and in other cases the office will work with the Ministry of Education.

"This report has already resulted in some positive changes in the way in which the Ministry of Education and the Education Review Office work together. We will ensure that work continues by requiring the two departments to establish an annual work programme on matters of common interest," Trevor Mallard said.


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