National report summary

You know, I'm really good at something after all.

Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (STPs or Trades Academies) provide an alternative pathway for young people to gain qualifications and skills. STPs are a partnership between schools, tertiary providers, local communities and employers to help young people achieve better education and employment opportunities.

ERO’s report examined 15 of the 24 STPs in New Zealand, to see how they are meeting the needs of students who are at risk of not staying or succeeding in education. While there is room for improvement, the findings were clear:

Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (STPs) made a very positive difference for students. 

ERO found that Secondary-Tertiary Programmes keep students engaged in learning and achieving. More than 80% of students who completed their programme in 2013:

  • had at least 80% attendance
  • gained a minimum of NCEA Level 2
  • made successful transitions from secondary school.

One school principal noted the value in STPs:

Just what they need to get over the hurdle of Level 2 for many of them.

Comments from education leaders in both secondary and tertiary settings were also positive.

They experience the outside world but maintain the security of school. 

This is the first positive for some of them in their learning.

Overall I think the Trades Academy is wonderful – seen too many successes for me not to be happy. It’s about the kids.

Young people value the experiences that STPs offer, they like being treated like adults and learning outside of school.

They treat us like adults – they trust us

They were positive about their experiences and gained:

  • confidence in themselves as learners
  • a purpose to their learning
  • an appreciation of the value of having qualifications. 

As well as the benefits for students, STPs also provide opportunities for local business and industry, and provide local communities with a skilled workforce.

STPs have improved progressively since the first were established in 2011. The report makes suggestions for how they can continue to develop.

The last word goes to a student:

Just came here for a day off school...realise its opening doors now and it’s worth it