Fraser High School TPU - 11/08/2017


Fraser High School’s He Puaawai TPU provides high-quality, inclusive and respectful education for young parents in a well-resourced adult learning environment. Effective systems and practices promote student learning, safety and wellbeing. All students have individual learning pathways that align to their needs and aspirations. 

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

1 Background

Fraser High School TPU is an attached unit of Fraser 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


Fraser High School TPU (He Puaawai) was established in 2004 and provides education and support for young parents. It operates under the guidance of its host school, Fraser High School (FHS). There is a current Memorandum of Understanding between the host school, He Puaawai and the Ministry of Education. The unit is located on the campus of the host school. Currently there are 24 parents enrolled from the wider Waikato area, 17 of whom are Māori. The attached early childhood centre provides education and care for many of the young parents’ children.

Governance is undertaken by the board of trustees of the host school. The unit is led by an experienced leader of curriculum (LoC) and is staffed by a number of new permanent part-time teachers, including specialist teachers in English, mathematics, computer studies and science.

Significant features of the school include very well organised systems and processes, a school culture of high expectations and the importance of academic and vocational education achievement.

Meaningful and constructive relationships are being re-established amongst the young parents and staff at the early childhood centre. The new governance body and centre manager, in collaboration with the LoC, have implemented a number of initiatives that has significantly reduced barriers for students in the unit.

Good progress has been made on the areas identified for development in the 2013 ERO report.

Student outcomes

Leaders and teachers gather comprehensive and meaningful information about outcomes for individual students. He Puaawai sets high expectations for student achievement and wellbeing. The unit’s achievement information shows that there has been positive improvement to the quantity and quality of student achievement and educational outcomes. Some gain academic qualifications and are working to complete the National Certificate in Education Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1, 2 and 3. At the time of this review there remains a need to increase the qualifications, the number of students who go onto further study and or employment. There is a deliberate approach to increase the number, range and quality of standards and credits gained by students. Teachers work closely with students to assist them to direct and manage their own learning. Together they develop achievement goals, track and monitor progress. The unit is making good use of the host schools careers and pastoral care department to support students in their vocational pathways development.

Leadership, management and organisation

He Puaawai continues to benefit from highly effective leadership, management and organisation. Clear documented expectations and routines has resulted in a settled, positive and well resourced work environment. These expectations and routines are upheld by the new teaching team which is providing consistency and continuity for students.

The unit’s vision and philosophy statements guide systems, teaching and learning approaches. School values and processes that reflect the school participation in the Positive Behaviour for Learning programme (PB4L.)

The LoC is effectively leading a planned and systematic approach to internal evaluation. These evaluations are resulting in ongoing development and improvements of the unit. She takes an inclusive approach to gathering and responding to the voices of all stakeholders. Since her appointment in 2015 she has worked closely with the host school principal to manage the budget, align financial management and resource the unit with experienced and effective teachers. In addition, she has implemented the school’s approach to performance management and integrated the work of her team with other leaders and departments in the school.


Students access a curriculum that responds to their learning needs and the expectations of the New Zealand Curriculum. It provides an appropriate range of specialist subjects. A structured, well-planned teaching timetable focuses on literacy, numeracy, sciences, digital learning, health, food technologies and wellbeing. Teachers and students work alongside each other to develop individual learning plans. These acknowledge student aspirations and key competencies, particularly managing self. Teachers are developing an integrated approach to their teaching 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 effective goal setting and the school-wide reward system of celebrating success. Teachers recognise to further enhance student agency they could more effectively document feedback and feed forward to students.

In 2017 the LoC has engaged a career councillor to support students in planning vocational and future learning pathways.

Student support, engagement and transitions

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

Students are well supported to care for their babies while continuing their study. They participate in karakia with staff and children at the unit each morning. Breast-feeding mothers are able to continue feeding their babies at the ECC which is adjacent to the TPU. Young parents demonstrate confidence in the positive relationships they have developed with staff at the ECC.

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.

Relationships with external partners

Leaders and teachers are continuing to establish useful and productive networks with the wider educational community that support transition of students to further education, training and employment. In addition, the unit has maintained contact with providers of social, health and financial services to meet the needs of the students. A particular relationship that has developed with Te Mauritau has supported students to strengthen their identity as Māori

The LoC has continued to develop and lead relationships within the TPU cluster to engage with the MoE guidelines and outcomes for best practice in TPU.

3 Recommendations

ERO, the LoC and the host school principal agree on the following next steps.

Leaders and teachers should:

  • seek ways to further integrate culturally responsive practices that value the language, culture and identity of Māori
  • continue to enrich and broaden the curriculum particularly in relation to the creative and expressive arts
  • further promote student agency through more effectively documenting feedback and feed forward in students work
  • continue to focus on --transition to further education, training, employment and qualifications of learners.

4 Conclusion

Fraser High School’s He Puaawai TPU provides high-quality, inclusive and respectful education for young parents in a well-resourced adult learning environment. Effective systems and practices promote student learning, safety and wellbeing. All students have individual learning pathways that align to their needs and aspirations.

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

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Waikato and Bay of Plenty

11 August 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit 



Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Female 24

Ethnic composition


Number of students



Review team on site

May 2017

Date of this report

11 August 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Report type

Report date

Education Review
Education Review
Supplementary Review

December 2015
August 2013
July 2011