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Cluster review

Cluster reviews include self-initiated and externally-initiated reviews.

These reviews consider evidence of what has worked or not, whether outcomes have been met and any barriers. They also identify trends and future needs.

Self-initiated review

Cluster self-initiated reviews are part of an ongoing cycle of continual reflection and improvement.

The aim of the review is to reflect on governance, management, RTLB practice, and service provision. 

Areas to consider when undertaking a review include:

  • operating systems, cluster policies, protocols, processes, and procedures
  • strategic planning goals
  • outcomes for students.

Ensure a self-initiated review identifies areas for improvement and development; have a process that provides an external viewpoint and an impartial, rigorous review.

Peer review

A cluster initiates and funds a peer review.

Undertake a peer review at least once in each three to five year strategic planning cycle.

Peer reviewers - a principal and a cluster manager, preferably each from different clusters in other regions, help facilitate the peer review process.

The peer reviewers, in collaboration with the cluster, focus on:

  • evidence of what is working and of what has not worked
  • identifying constraints, outcomes achieved, trends and patterns, needs, and opportunities that exist
  • making recommendations for next steps. 

The strategic plan may need to be adjusted considering this review.

The following year’s action plan should be developed on the basis of the reflection and review outcomes. 

RTLB Governance and Management Manual V1.0 January 2015 - cluster review (PDF, 535 KB)

Diagram that summarises a suggested cluster self-initiated peer review process

Externally-initiated reviews

Education Review Office (ERO)

In February 2016, ERO introduced its new focus, which specifically addresses accelerating student achievement for Māori.

From term one 2016, all primary school reviews (full primary and contributing) will start with a line of questioning that investigates what the school knows about the names, numbers, strengths and needs of those Māori students for whom the school has specific strategies in place to accelerate their learning.

ERO’s scope will become broader over time, including what schools tell review teams about all students for whom acceleration is a priority.

As part of this focus, ERO may engage the Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB). ERO’s main interest will be the programmes that are put in place and the difference RTLB intervention is making. 

The majority of this information will come from reading documents and talking with staff and trustees in the school being reviewed, rather than directly from the RTLB.

ERO is contracted to audit the teacher registration and practising certificate process on behalf of the Education Council. 

When RTLB are employed by a school undergoing an ERO review, their teacher registration will be audited if their practising certificate has been either endorsed by the professional leader of that school or renewed in the twelve months prior to the ERO review.

From time to time, the Education Review Office will conduct a focussed review of RTLB clusters.

Ministry of Education

From time to time the Ministry may conduct a review of an RTLB cluster. 


Content last updated: March 2018