Te Whare Whai Hua Teenage Parent Centre - 15/09/2010

1. Background

Introduction

This review of the Te Whare Whai Hua 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, Lytton High School, in relation to the terms of reference for this review.

The overall approach was to determine the extent to which the board of trustees 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

Te Whare Whai Hua (TWWH) is situated on the grounds of Lytton High School, the host school. Since the 2006 ERO review, the premises have been substantially remodelled to provide more teaching and learning space for the students who attend. Communication between the teacher in charge at the unit and the host school is primarily managed through a host school senior manager who reports directly to the principal.

At the time of the previous review the TWWH manager was employed by the school’s community partner, Te Aka Ora trust. She is now employed by the Lytton High School Board of Trustees. Alongside a social worker, her role is to oversee the unit’s operation and to provide a link between the attached early childhood facility and classroom and whānau support.

The composition of the roll at the (TPU) 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 stages of learning, achievement and levels of the curriculum. Students access a wide variety of programmes. Many courses lead to the attainment of credits toward National Qualification Framework (NQF) certificates.

A key priority at TWWH is that the young women develop parenting skills. Staff provide a nurturing and culturally inclusive environment, and relationships between adults and with students are warm and respectful. Individual strengths and interests are recognised. Routines are student centred and provide opportunities for the young women to celebrate as learners and as parents together. Students spoken with indicate they feel well supported by their teachers.

Although most students who attend regularly make progress towards their goals, the low levels of attendance, achievement and retention for many is of concern. It is timely for the board, managers and staff to review the balance of priorities within the unit. The host school’s strategic plan clearly prioritises and targets raising student achievement. Reviewing the TPU philosophy statement and aligning the strategic direction of the TPU more clearly to the host school’s vision and targets are important next steps.

The board, host school senior manager and teacher-in-charge have identified the need to improve the analysis and use of student achievement information, and report this information to Lytton High School’s board of trustees.

Future Action

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

3. Findings

Educational outcomes for students

Areas of strength

Overall, many students enter with low numeracy and literacy achievement and no qualifications. Most students whoregularly attend are engaged, achieve some credits towards National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and make progress towards the goals that they set themselves. A small number each year achieve a national qualification. Some students continue their education with tertiary or community providers after leaving the TPU. Their transition from TWWH is well planned.

Barriers to success and learning are identified early. Staff recognise and respond to individual needs and closely liaise with many external agencies to support students and their children.

Area for development and review

Despite the interventions used, there are students who do not remain at the unit and are disengaged from education. ERO analysis shows that many students have low levels of attendance and achievement. Managers articulate that a key focus is on students gaining parenting skills. It is timely for the board, managers and staff to review the balance of priorities within the unit. The host school’s strategic plan clearly prioritises and targets raising student achievement. Reviewing the TPU philosophy statement and aligning the strategic direction of the TPU more clearly to the host school’s vision and targets is a useful next step.

Teaching and learning

Areas of strength

Students spoken with are focused, independent learners, who appreciate the opportunities provided in TWWH. They participate in individualised programmes closely based on their prior achievements and personal aspirations for the future. Individual education plans include core academic components complemented by health, parenting and life skills. Specialist teachers support students in English, mathematics, physical education and art. Other courses are provided through Te Kura Correspondence. Teachers successfully facilitate distance education and encourage students to monitor their own progress. Students can study programmes within the host school’s classrooms although very few students do. A suitable range of teaching and learning practices and resources supports the programmes.

The teacher-in-charge participates in helpful professional learning and development to improve her knowledge and understanding. The school improvement project conducted by Massey University is strengthening practices in collection and analysis of data, evaluation capability and leadership.

Areas for development and review

Some teen parents are at continued risk of not achieving qualifications. There are opportunities for the host school managers and staff to collaborate further with TWWH teaching staff and students in the following areas:

  • support for course planning and more frequent sign-posting for students about their progress towards qualifications; and
  • initial diagnostic testing in literacy and numeracy and the development of programmes of support for students with recognised need.

 

The teacher-in-charge set a goal in 2010 to redevelop the individual education plans, conference with students and review these more regularly. ERO agrees that review and conferencing are key priorities towards improving the tracking and monitoring of student achievement and progress.

Governance and management

Areas of strength

The TPU operates as a department of the school and is governed by the board of trustees. An operations manual provides a clear framework to guide the unit’s operations.

Communication between TWWH and Lytton High School is regular. Teachers in the unit, early childhood centre and the administrative staff meet regularly to reflect on and discuss programmes, students’ wellbeing and operational matters. The host school senior manager attends these meetings. Student survey information contributes to termly staff evaluations of unit operation.

Areas for development and review

The board, host school senior manager and teacher-in-charge have identified the need to improve the analysis and use of student achievement information, and report this information to Lytton High School’s board of trustees. The teacher-in-charge is developing her capabilities in this area and in leading and managing learning in the unit more independently of the host school senior manager.

Current self-review processes are limited in their capacity to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the unit’s performance.

Staff in the unit were not appraised in 2009. During the last 18 months the host school has reviewed its procedures in this area. An improved system for managing teacher performance has begun. ERO supports the board and principal’s decision to appraise staff working within the TPU using this more robust model in 2010.

Student support

Areas of strength

TWWH is a nurturing and culturally inclusive environment for teen parents. Relationships between staff and with students are warm and respectful. Individual strengths and interests are recognised. Strong links with the early childhood centre and local community are maintained. Routines are student centred and provide opportunities for young women to celebrate together as learners and as parents. Students spoken with indicate they feel well supported by their teachers.

A wide range of outside agencies provide pastoral care and support. Students complete individual development plans with the social worker to reflect personal goals and to address social needs and barriers to learning.

The teacher-in-charge shares analysed attendance information with students to encourage their full participation in the programme.

Health and safety

Areas of strength

Student health and safety procedures are effectively managed. Staff use appropriate systems for monitoring and following up attendance, punctuality and personal issues.

Appropriate expectations for attendance and behaviour are shared with students. The recently remodelled premises are spacious and provide suitable spaces for small group teaching. Emphasis is placed on supporting the emotional and physical well being of students.

Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review the board of trustees and principal of Lytton High School 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.

4. Future Action

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Unit

Base School

Lytton High School

Gender composition

Female 26

Ethnic composition

Māori 26

Number of teachers

4

Unit roll at time of review

26

Review team on site

June 2010

Date of this report

15 September 2010

Previous ERO reports

Special Review

August 2006

To the Parents and Community of Te Whare Whai Hua

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 Lytton High School 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 of trustees and management of Lytton High School, in relation to the terms of reference for this review. The overall approach was to determine the extent to which the board of trustees 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; and
  • physical and emotional safety of staff and students.

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Te Whare Whai Hua.

Te Whare Whai Hua (TWWH) is situated on the grounds of Lytton High School, the host school. Since the 2006 ERO review, the premises have been substantially remodelled to provide more teaching and learning space for the students who attend. Communication between the teacher in charge at the unit and the host school is primarily managed through a host school senior manager who reports directly to the principal.

At the time of the previous review the TWWH manager was employed by the school’s community partner, Te Aka Ora trust. She is now employed by the Lytton High School Board of Trustees. Alongside a social worker, her role is to oversee the unit’s operation and to provide a link between the attached early childhood facility and classroom and whānau support.

The composition of the roll at the (TPU) 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 stages of learning, achievement and levels of the curriculum. Students access a wide variety of programmes. Many courses lead to the attainment of credits toward National Qualification Framework (NQF) certificates.

A key priority at TWWH is that the young women develop parenting skills. Staff provide a nurturing and culturally inclusive environment, and relationships between adults and with students are warm and respectful. Individual strengths and interests are recognised. Routines are student centred and provide opportunities for the young women to celebrate as learners and as parents together. Students spoken with indicate they feel well supported by their teachers.

Although most students who attend regularly make progress towards their goals, the low levels of attendance, achievement and retention for many is of concern. It is timely for the board, managers and staff to review the balance of priorities within the unit. The host school’s strategic plan clearly prioritises and targets raising student achievement. Reviewing the TPU philosophy statement and aligning the strategic direction of the TPU more clearly to the host school’s vision and targets are important next steps.

The board, host school senior manager and teacher-in-charge have identified the need to improve the analysis and use of student achievement information, and report this information to Lytton High School’s board of trustees.

Future Action

ERO is likely to carry out the next review within two 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