Schools in this study

ERO visited the following CYF residential schools in Terms 3 and 4, 2009:

Kingslea School[5]

Christchurch and Dunedin

Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi


Epuni Severe Conduct Disorder Unit (SCDU)

Lower Hutt

Epuni Care and Protection Unit

Lower Hutt

Central Regional Health School: Lower North Youth Justice

Palmerston North

Korowai Manaaki Youth Justice North


Whakatakapokai Care and Protection Unit


Young people may have short or long stays at these CYF residences depending on their situation. Young people on remand from the court may be at Youth Justice residences for less than a month. Young people in care and protection services usually stay longer. Boys residing at Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi may stay up to two years or more.[6]

Compared to mainstream schools, the number of students at the CYF residential schools is small. At the time of the reviews, all but one school had between 10 and 42 students.[7] The majority of the students at the residences are Māori and male.

There is also a variety of contracting relationships for the education providers at these residential schools. Kingslea School, for example, is operated by the state, as are the units based at Epuni and the Lower North Youth Justice service in Palmerston North. The Auckland-based schools are operated under contract to the Creative Learning Service (CLS). Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi is operated under contract by Barnados which oversee the provision of education.

Approach to this study

The information for this national report was gathered through special reviews for all of the schools, except for Kingslea school.

The regular education review of Kingslea school in 2008 gave ERO most of the information required for this national report. Additional information, specific to the Terms of Reference for this national report, was gathered in Term 3, 2009.

The terms of reference for the special reviews of the CYF residential educational programmes focused on the following:

(i) the quality of the induction of new students to the CYF residences education programmes;

(ii) the quality of the exit transition for CYF residence students to their subsequent education and training programmes;

(iii) the quality of teaching, including:

a. pedagogy for at-risk students [8]

b. the quality of the learning programme (curriculum, planning and assessment)

c. student engagement and achievement; and

d. numeracy and literacy development.

(iv) the extent to which the teaching and learning programme supports the overall CYF plan for each student.

The terms of reference were developed in consultation with the Ministry of Education and CYF. Information from the previous ERO reviews of these residential schools, as well as the indicators of good practice from educational research, contributed to the indicators ERO used to evaluate these schools.

In collecting information from schools, ERO met with CYF and education staff, talked with students, observed lessons and analysed school documentation. ERO also met with some of the managers of these schools before finalising this report.