He Huarahi Tamariki - 27/08/2010

1. Background

Introduction

This review of the He Huarahi Tamariki was conducted as part of a national evaluation of Teen Parent Units. Such reviews are scheduled nationally based on a consistent set of terms of reference.

A national overview evaluation will be written later in 2010.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the Board of Trustees and management of the base school, Wellington East Girls’ College, in relation to the terms of reference for this review.

The overall approach was to determine the extent to which the board is using the Teen Parent Unit funding to bring about student engagement, progress and achievement and to identify what further support the unit needs to provide high quality education.

This evaluation has focused on the quality of:

  • educational outcomes for students;
  • teaching and learning;
  • governance and management;
  • student support; and
  • physical and emotional safety of staff and students.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

He Huarahi Tamariki Teen Parent Unit is attached to Wellington East Girls’ College and is located in Linden, Wellington. Communication between the unit and the host school is primarily managed through the teacher in charge who reports directly to the principal.

The composition of the roll at He Huarahi Tamariki Teen Parent Unit is diverse. Students’ ages range from 14 to 20 years and the amount of time since their most recent secondary school education varies considerably. Consequently, students are at different levels of the curriculum and stages of learning and achievement. They access a wide variety of programmes. Many courses lead to the attainment of credits towards National Qualification Framework (NQF) certificates. In 2009, nearly all students achieved credits towards the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs). A number of students complete NCEAs at Levels 1, 2 or 3 during the year while some achieve other national certificates. Achievement improves the longer the students remain enrolled. Some transition to tertiary studies and achieve well.

Education is valued as a means of nurturing young women to aim high and actively model the school motto of ‘Of course you can do it’. Students are well supported as successful learners and young mothers.

Teachers are enthusiastic and committed to maximising learning time. Students’ learning is clearly sequenced to build on prior knowledge. Effective teaching strategies engage students. Regular individual access to teachers is appreciated by the students. Specialist teachers work alongside students to create a learning community and encourage success. Many skilled volunteers are retired teachers who provide specific subject knowledge and pastoral care support.

The Board of Trustees clearly understands its roles and responsibilities. High expectations are articulated for student learning and achievement. A close collaboration is evident between the principal of the base school and the teacher in charge of the unit. They meet regularly to discuss operations and have a clear vision of improving outcomes for students.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three years.

3. Findings

Educational Outcomes for Students

Areas of strength

Education is valued as a means of nurturing young women to aim high and actively model the school motto of ‘Of course you can do it’. Students are well supported as successful learners and young mothers.

Students work in a purposeful learning environment and are provided with a wide range of programmes taught at the unit, including actively teaching and facilitating Te Kura Correspondence subjects. Many courses lead to the attainment of credits toward NQF certificates.

In 2009, nearly all students achieved credits towards NCEAs. Achievement improves the longer the students remain enrolled and some students transition to tertiary studies and achieve well. A number of students complete NCEAs at Levels 1, 2 or 3 during the year. Some achieve other national certificates. They are highly engaged and know how well they achieve.

Curriculum priorities are based on students’ academic needs and backgrounds. Considerable work has been done on redesigning and refining individual education plans (IEPs) that have recently been made electronic to increase student access and ownership. Progress and programme suitability are carefully monitored.

Student leadership is fostered. They are provided with many opportunities to be ambassadors for the unit and represent their peers on the unit’s student committee.

Area for development and review

The unit’s strategic self review has identified there is a need to continue to strengthen the use of data analysis of student achievement and attendance, including Māori and Pacific, to improve outcomes for students. ERO’s evaluation supports this.

Teaching and Learning

Areas of strength

Teachers are enthusiastic and committed to maximising learning time. Students’ learning is clearly sequenced to build on prior knowledge. Effective teaching strategies are used to engage students. Regular individual access to teachers is appreciated by the students.

On enrolment, diagnostic testing identifies student strengths and needs and course placement. Baseline information from previous schools is utilised to tailor programmes, offer new courses and set individual career goals.

Curriculum provision encompasses parenting classes provided by the unit and external providers. An holistic approach is evident in the breadth of programmes provided.

Specialist teachers work alongside students to create a learning community and encourage success. Many skilled volunteers are retired teachers who provide specific subject knowledge and pastoral care support.

An effective induction book and qualification manual provide students with detailed information about achievement expectations and pathways. There are high quality resources including a well-stocked library for students.

Teachers participate in helpful professional learning and development to improve their knowledge and understanding of the importance of data analysis.

Area for development and review

As part of the ongoing review of IEPs, the principal and teacher in charge have identified that it is timely to re-evaluate the monitoring role of the tutor teacher. The findings of ERO’s external evaluation concur with this review area.

Governance and Management

Areas of strength

The board clearly understands its roles and responsibilities. High expectations are articulated for student learning and achievement. The strategic statements for the unit have been aligned with the host school. The management

committee has been restructured to improve the partnership between the two schools. The board appropriately allocates funding and resources to support ongoing improvement. Teachers are provided with professional development opportunities at the base school.

A close collaboration is evident between the principal of the base school and the teacher in charge of the unit. They meet regularly and have a clear vision of improving outcomes for students. A revised governance manual provides direction and useful guidelines. The teacher in charge is an experienced and reflective practitioner who appreciates the support from the base school principal.

Effective links are maintained with the adjacent early childhood centre. Many opportunities are available for staff to have ongoing discussions to promote improvement for students and their children. Many informal parenting discussions take place.

Student Support

Areas of strength

There is a strong and balanced approach to pastoral care provision with appropriate use of a wide range of external providers. Students participate in a variety of appropriate programmes that support them holistically as learners and as parents. Good use of time management is evident with agencies coming to the unit rather than students going off site.

There is a positive tone and teachers are affirming in their relationships with students. Leadership is fostered and students are provided with many opportunities to be ambassadors for the unit and represent their peers on the unit’s student committee.

Students spoken with indicate they feel well supported by their teachers. Success is celebrated in a variety of ways. Links with the local community are effectively fostered.

Health and Safety

Areas of strength

There is a welcoming and friendly atmosphere where students interact positively with their peers and teachers. Students sign a contract on enrolment that explicitly outlines health and safety expectations. Routines are well understood and suitably student centred.

The facilities are purpose built and spacious with effective use of separate rooms for dedicated teaching.

Policies and procedures provide clear guidelines for supporting the emotional and physical well-being of students. Healthy practices are strongly encouraged.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review the board of trustees and principal of Wellington East Girls’ College completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist for the unit. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked policies, procedures and practices about compliance in the following areas (because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement):

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three years.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Unit

Base School

Wellington East Girls’ College

Gender composition

Female 48

Ethnic Composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 23, Māori 17, Pacific 8

Number of teachers

7

Unit roll at time of review

48

Review team on site

June 2010

Date of this report

27 August 2010

Previous ERO reports

Special Review Report

August 2006

To the Parents and Community of He Huarahi Tamariki

There are currently nineteen Teen Parent Units in New Zealand. This review was conducted along with the others during term 2, 2010. The Board of Trustees of Wellington East Girls’ College receives government funding and is responsible for the governance and management of the unit.

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the board and management of Wellington East Girls’ College, in relation to the terms of reference for this review. The overall approach was to determine the extent to which the board is using the Teen Parent Unit funding to bring about the desired outcomes for students and to identify what further support the unit needs to provide high quality education.

This evaluation has focused on the quality of the:

  • educational outcomes for students;
  • teaching and learning;
  • governance and management;
  • student support;
  • physical and emotional safety of staff and students.

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on He Huarahi Tamariki.

He Huarahi Tamariki Teen Parent Unit is attached to Wellington East Girls’ College and is located in Linden, Wellington. Communication between the unit and the host school is primarily managed through the teacher in charge who reports directly to the principal.

The composition of the roll at He Huarahi Tamariki Teen Parent Unit is diverse. Students’ ages range from 14 to 20 years and the amount of time since their most recent secondary school education varies considerably. Consequently, students are at different levels of the curriculum and stages of learning and achievement. They access a wide variety of programmes. Many courses lead to the attainment of credits towards National Qualification Framework (NQF) certificates. In 2009, nearly all students achieved credits towards the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEAs). A number of students complete NCEAs at Levels 1, 2 or 3 during the year while some achieve other national certificates. Achievement improves the longer the students remain enrolled. Some transition to tertiary studies and achieve well.

Education is valued as a means of nurturing young women to aim high and actively model the school motto of ‘Of course you can do it’. Students are well supported as successful learners and young mothers.

Teachers are enthusiastic and committed to maximising learning time. Students’ learning is clearly sequenced to build on prior knowledge. Effective teaching strategies engage students. Regular individual access to teachers is appreciated by the students. Specialist teachers work alongside students to create a learning community and encourage success. Many skilled volunteers are retired teachers who provide specific subject knowledge and pastoral care support.

The Board of Trustees clearly understands its roles and responsibilities. High expectations are articulated for student learning and achievement. A close collaboration is evident between the principal of the base school and the teacher in charge of the unit. They meet regularly to discuss operations and have a clear vision of improving outcomes for students.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within three years.

We encourage boards to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to take as a result of their education review. You should talk to the board the principal or the Teen Parent Unit head teacher if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region