Clendon Teen Parent Unit - 21/07/2017

Findings

Students experience opportunities to take responsibility as leaders of their learning. Young parents are able to experience positive educational and wellbeing outcomes. There is an urgent need for the board of trustees and principal to establish sound systems and practices for the effective governance of the TPU that reflects the Ministry of Education operational guidelines and expectations

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

1 Background

Clendon Teen Parent Unit is an attached unit of James Cook High School. There are currently 24 Ministry of Education funded TPUs operating across New Zealand. TPUs provide a flexible and supportive environment for teenagers who are parents or are about to become parents. Attendance at a TPU gives students an opportunity to continue their education and develop the best possible pathway for their future and the future of their children.

ERO reviews all of the TPUs every three years. Each unit receives an individual report outlining areas of good performance and areas for further development. The terms of reference for these reviews are set out below. The findings across each of the TPUs contribute to a national report by ERO which presents findings about the overall quality of all TPUs.

Terms of Reference

The evaluation focus for ERO’s review of Teen Parent Units is:

How effective are the TPUs in promoting and supporting positive outcomes for students?

In the context of this review, student outcomes include their educational, social, health and wellbeing outcomes. It also includes student destination outcomes, and the success students have in transitioning from the TPU to further education, training or employment.

The terms of reference for the evaluation of TPUs are the:

  1. quality of individual support for each student (including IEPs and educational, pastoral and careers processes)
  2. educational and social outcomes for each student (including the quality of the teaching and the TPU’s self review)
  3. relationship with the base school (including the governance and management of the TPU)
  4. transitions of students into and out of the TPU.

2 Findings

Context

What are the important features of this TPU that have an impact on student outcomes?

Clendon Teen Parent unit is located in Clendon, South Auckland. It provides education for young parents for the wider Manurewa and Manukau areas. The Taonga Education trust continues to provide early childhood education and care for children while parents attend classes.

Since the 2013 ERO report there have been several changes in principals at the host school. The manager for the TPU continues in her leadership role with supportive staff and teachers.

As identified in the 2013 ERO report, there continues to be a need to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between the host school, the TPU and the Taonga ECC. There have been ongoing changes and challenges for the role and responsibility of the social worker in the TPU.

There is an urgent need for the board of trustees and principal to establish sound systems and practices for the effective governance of the TPU that reflects the Ministry of Education operational guidelines and expectations.

Student outcomes

Students achieve credits at Levels 1, 2 and 3 National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) and University Entrance. Some continue on to tertiary and higher qualifications and some enter training courses. Teachers work with the host school to moderate and validate student achievement. There is comprehensive destination data that shows nearly half of the students in 2016 left the TPU for maternity and personal reasons. Students who remain for longer periods of time achieve at higher levels.

Students’ health and wellbeing benefit from regular visits from a range of appropriate external health professionals.

It is important for the host school and TPU to have a clearly aligned and joint strategic approach to implementing Ministry of Education guidelines and expectations for TPUs. This is likely to enhance student outcomes for the young parents.

Leadership, management and organisation

The teacher in charge (TiC) continues to provide effective management for day-to-day operations. The TiC has established a positive and professional relationship with the principal at the host school. She has overseen the appointment of well qualified teachers to provide a suitable range of subjects to support the learning programme. There continues to be a useful partnership between the TPU and the adjacent early childhood centre where many children of young parents attend. The TiC maintains productive networks and relationships in the wider school community.

An important next step is to continue to build internal evaluation systems and practices with a priority on developing and improving positive learning outcomes and increased wellbeing for young parents. This process should include:

  • consultation about, and review of the philosophy to provide a shared and understood direction for positive outcomes for young parents
  • developing clear strategic and annual plans
  • identifying culturally responsive practices that further value the language, culture and identity of Māori and all students
  • implementing a rigorous performance management system aligned with professional learning and development to build professional capability.

Learning

Students access a curriculum that provides an appropriate range of specialist subject teachers and distance education through Te Aho o te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura), The Correspondence School. Teachers and students work alongside each other to develop individual learning plans. These acknowledge student aspirations and key competencies, particularly managing self. A structured, well-planned teaching timetable focuses on literacy, numeracy, sciences and physical education. Students access learning programmes that build their understanding of health, life skills, digital technologies, parenting and baby care.

Teachers have recently implemented an integrated teaching initiative to further engage students in meaningful learning. They are flexible and skilled at multi-level teaching. There are good systems for tracking and monitoring students’ progress and achievement. ERO observed high levels of student agency and students well engaged in their work. Teachers set high expectations and promote the pursuit of excellence through class group competitions. They are committed to providing individual support when needed.

All students participate in regular tikanga Māori with a knowledgeable whānau member. This has given students the confidence to lead whakatau and waiata. Daily karakia is built into the timetable to open and close each learning day.

The TiC acknowledges attendance for 2016 has been a challenge. In response to this, a buddy and mentor system is in place to support students to attend more regularly. Several students can show improved attendance through a motivating visual display. The TiC has recently developed a documented approach to showing how career management and key competencies are supported through TPU activities and programmes. It would now be useful to give students feedback about their progress towards meeting these competencies.

Student support, engagement and transitions

Students experience a well-planned induction into the TPU. They are supported to identify a learning programme that responds to their prior learning and aspirations. Students are actively represented in the life of the TPU. This is evident in:

  • a student representative on the management committee
  • a student council
  • a student fundraising committee
  • student house groups
  • the positive role model of the head girl
  • student voice through regular surveys
  • a tuakana/teina initiative.

Students are well supported to care for their babies while continuing their study. They participate in karakia with staff and children at the early childhood centre each morning. Breast-feeding mothers are able to continue feeding their babies at the centre which is adjacent to the TPU. Young parents demonstrate confidence in the positive relationships they have developed with staff at the centre. Students expressed appreciation for the significant support given by the teacher aide/administrator.

Leaders and teachers make good use of external agencies to promote student health and wellbeing. There are regular visits to the TPU by health, social and welfare personnel, and external arrangements can be made for students to access specialist support. The TPU provides transport to and from the unit for parents and their children. Students identified a barrier for them had been the many changes of social worker in the past year.

Relationships with external partners

The TPU maintains positive relationships in the local and wider community that promote employment opportunities and ongoing education for young parents. These include:

  • Manukau Institute of technology
  • GATEWAY placements
  • retail training through the Red Shirts initiative
  • Kiwi host
  • a trust that supports and delivers a programme to build students wellbeing and success as Māori.

3 Recommendation

ERO, the teacher-in-charge of the TPU and the host school principal acknowledge that governance of the TPU by the host school needs to be improved.

ERO recommends that the Ministry of Education supports the TPU in its work to address the governance issues identified in the 2017 ERO report for James Cook High School.

4 Conclusion

Students experience opportunities to take responsibility as leaders of their learning. Young parents are able to experience positive educational and wellbeing outcomes. There is an urgent need for the board of trustees and principal to establish sound systems and practices for the effective governance of the TPU that reflects the Ministry of Education operational guidelines and expectations

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato and Bay of Plenty

21 July 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit

Location

Clendon, South Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

2762

Teen Parent Unit roll

25

Gender composition

Female 25

Ethnic composition

Ethnicity

Number of students

Māori
Cook Island Māori
Samoan
Nuie
Tongan

18
3
2
1
1

Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

21 July 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Report type

Report date

Special Review

Special Review

November 2013

June 2010