Our history

Evaluation Associates | Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga is an independent education consultancy company

We have provided high quality professional learning and development and assessment advice to schools and the wider education community since 1999. Our professional development focus is always on improving educational practice in ways that have a demonstrable impact on student achievement.

In 1999 Michael Absolum and Maggie Jakob-Hoff established Evaluation Associates Ltd, offering a range of evaluation and assessment related services. Maggie left in 2009 and Michael continued to direct the company, offering services to the education community. Michael is recognised for his long term contribution to the assessment community in New Zealand and to the literature on quality teaching and learning. In 2015 Michael was joined in directorship by Mary Chamberlain, who is highly respected nationwide for her deep knowledge of the education system and a profound understanding of teaching, learning and assessment.

In 2015, the company appointed a new Chief Executive. Anna Sullivan is an experienced education leader and professional learning and development specialist who has had a broad range of roles in education nationally and internationally.

Michael and Evaluation Associates have been consulting to schools since 1995, with Ministry of Education contracts since 1996.  The company has worked in partnership with the Ministry of Education for all of that time, initially with the Assessment for Better Learning (ABeL) programme and then, from 2002 – 2010 with the Assess To Learn (AToL) programme. In 2011 the company joined with the University of Auckland and Learning Media Limited as the Consortium for Professional Learning, offering the Ministry of Education Leadership an Assessment PLD programme. This work enabled us to expand our offices to Wellington and Christchurch and become a truly national-wide company with a wide reach into many schools. To date, we have provided support to over 50% of New Zealand schools and kura through either our leadership advisory practice, workshops and courses, or our range of in-depth professional development services.

Our experience and expertise in all areas of assessment has also led to involvement in e-asTTle PLD, MoE workshops on National Standards and OTJs, aromatawai support for Māori-medium kura and assessment consultancy for TKI Assessment Online.

Evaluation Associates has a history of innovation and of leading professional development practice. We were the first New Zealand organisation to introduce professional development in Assessment for Learning (2002); the first New Zealand provider to routinely use video evidence of teaching practice to support the collaborative analysis of that practice (2002); the first New Zealand provider to build inquiry and accelerated student achievement into their school support methodology (2003); and the first New Zealand provider to routinely use effect size analysis of student achievement to evaluate the efficacy of our professional development support (2004).

Our consultants are educational professionals, well respected across the sector for their knowledge and skills, and for the results they help schools achieve. We have offices in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, as well as a team of consultants and Leadership Advisors working from Whangarei to Invercargill.

In 2021, we were gifted with an ingoa Māori - Te Huinga Kākākura Mātauranga. This taonga reflects the work we do as educational leaders and how we support growth in the education sector. We are honoured to carry this name with us in the future as we strive to raise ākonga achievement and reduce disparity.