He Huarahi Tamariki - 06/11/2013

1 Background

He Huarahi Tamariki is hosted by Wellington East Girls’ College. There are currently 21 Ministry of Education funded Teen Parent Units (TPUs) operating across New Zealand. TPUs provide a flexible and supportive environment for teenagers who are pregnant or who have given birth. 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. The review 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 individual education plans (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


He Huarahi Tamariki is based in Linden, a suburb of Wellington and enrols students from the wider Wellington area. The unit occupies a large, purpose-built facility with an early childhood centre (ECC) attached. It owns two vans to transport students and their children.

The governing school is Wellington East Girls’ College (WEGC). The TPU and the host school are separated by a considerable distance. However, working relationships are effective and have strengthened in recent years. The teacher-in-charge (TIC) reports regularly to the board through the principal. Staff are mostly long-serving and are committed to the philosophy of the unit. The TIC was on sabbatical at the time of this review.

A social worker and a careers educator are available on site. A donation has allowed a graduate support coordinator to be employed to work with leavers. Students are provided with meals on site.

Student outcomes

Achievement is high for those students who complete a whole year of study. With interrupted learning it may take a student 18 months to complete a National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Successes are celebrated in multiple ways. Annual publications of student writing attest to the high quality attained.

Restoring an education pathway is a priority. This is in the context of meeting social, health and wellbeing needs for parent and child. Staff work hard to address any barriers to learning and achieving. Students benefit from access to a large number of services provided on site.

The philosophy, values and purpose are enacted by staff and are visible in the positive interactions and level of engagement evident in the large, open classroom.

Leadership, management and organisation

A Memorandum of Understanding for 2013 has been ratified between the WEGC board and the TPU. The board supports the unit’s operation. WEGC and TPU strategic and annual planning, professional development, teaching support, resource provision and moderation processes are well aligned. A community trust manages the ECC and also supports the work of the TPU.

The TIC provides effective leadership and has been in the role for nine years. Staff are well placed to sustain the good performance during her period of leave. Good induction and mentoring processes support teachers to work toward full registration. Records show regular meetings and observations with constructive comments.

Self review identifies priorities for improvement and informs decision making. Self-reported next steps include consulting the TPU community for input into strategic planning and continuing the expansion of e-learning. Another next step is to evaluate the effectiveness of the unit’s carefully considered indicators, especially for Māori success.

Students have a voice in aspects of unit operation through a student committee.

Teaching and Learning

A calm tone pervades the classrooms. Students are engaged in purposeful work. They benefit from the support of staff and volunteers with diverse skills and knowledge. Roles and responsibilities are clear. Teachers care about and know the students well. They support their individual study and also teach small groups for core subjects. High expectations are set for students to achieve well and develop self management skills and resilience. There is good balance between the academic and pastoral needs of students.

The programme is flexible and responsive to students’ aspirations and changing circumstances. Students have a wide range of subject choices. The focus is on core subjects needed for basic qualifications, provided primarily by correspondence from Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura). Most assessment is carried out by the providers. Student achievement and attendance are continuously tracked by students themselves and regularly monitored by teachers. Termly progress reports are full and constructive.

Careers education is integral to developing each IEP. Two staff are involved in monitoring and providing ongoing career advice. Proposed learning pathways are documented and work experience placements respond to students’ interests and requests.

Shared meals contribute to social interactions among students, TPU and ECC staff and build positive collegial relationships beyond study. Providing meals is part of healthy eating education.

Much thought and professional development have been given to Māori succeeding as Māori. Cultural values are embedded in daily operations. Teachers model best practice for building relationships and give individual attention to each student. A local kaumatua provides advice and support. Students wishing to take part in kapa haka are able to do so through a local school. Further opportunities are being explored with the host school. A te reo Māori class is a new addition to the curriculum this year. Students see that their cultures are valued and recognised in the environment.

Student transitions and engagement

Student transition is well managed. An induction pack provides information about the purpose and operation of the unit. The TPU gathers comprehensive entry information about the student and their aspirations.

Individual student learning pathways are planned in response to this information and whānau interests and aspirations. Programmes and timetables are adapted to suit learning needs. Students meet in tutor groups daily to set goals. They are encouraged to maintain their folios to track progress. A position has been created to keep in touch with graduate students.

Regular attendance is an ongoing barrier to learning. The TPU has good systems in place for monitoring and analysing attendance. The social worker on site is available to assist students.

Relationships with external partners

Established and trusted relationships with education providers and relevant agencies serve students well. Te Kura mathematics, English and Pathways tutors make occasional visits to the students at the unit.

3 Key Next Steps

While the appraisal process of the host school has the potential to be useful and is inquiry based, implementation of the cycle needs to be monitored more closely.

  • Managers and teachers need to conscientiously complete all aspects of the process for performance appraisal. This can then be a meaningful tool for feedback and individual professional development.

4 Future Action

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

Joyce Gebbie

National Manager Review Services Central Region (Acting)

6 November 2013

About the Teen Parent Unit



Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Female 41

Ethnic composition


NZ European/Pākehā


Other ethnic groups





Review team on site

August 2013

Date of this report

6 November 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Special Review

Special Review

August 2010

August 2006