Preparing for your next ERO visit

Julia Davidson, principal of Wellington Girls' College, provides practical advice for principals who are preparing for a visit from the Education Review Office.

Julia spent five weeks in 2012 with review officers from the Wellington ERO office. They visited five schools: two full primary, an area school, a Year 7-13 and a school catering for special needs students.

She begins her report with the following quick overview.

Things you could do to make your life easier next time ERO visits:

  1. Go to the ERO website now, download the Board Assurance Statement, the evaluation indicators and the timing of return reviews criteria and start thinking about what you need to do before your next visit. Also get out your last review and check you've made progress on the recommendations.
  2. Document all self review work and keep it so you can bring it out to show them. It doesn't matter if some of it is a couple of years old, it's the process that is important and what you have done with the information.
  3. Have all the paper work available from day one.
  4. Keep your diary free and be at the synthesis meetings.
  5. Expect daily feedback from the coordinator so you know of any issues as they arise. Keep your BOT Chair informed - they don't like surprises either and they are almost as anxious as you are.
  6. Work with them. It's meant to be a collaborative process and the five reviews I was part of were just that. The best synthesis meetings I went to are those where the school just kept saying the comments ERO made simply affirmed their own ideas and the path they were already on.
  7. Be realistic. Every school is working on things. There is no such thing as a perfect school. Focus on strengths as much as areas for review and development.

Download the report here

Related information

Education Review Office website:

ERO's role and purpose

Getting the most out of external evaluation

Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua videos 

Tags: Systems and Policy

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