He Huarahi Tamariki - 29/05/2017


He Huarahi Tamariki teen parent unit is well governed and managed to effectively promote and support positive outcomes for learners. Most students achieve well. They learn through
well-developed individual plans that are responsive to their needs and career aspirations. Strengthening internal evaluation should support ongoing improvement and sustainability. 

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

1 Background

He Huarahi Tamariki is an attached unit of Wellington East Girls’ College. 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


He Huarahi Tamariki is based in Linden, a suburb of Wellington. It enrols students from the wider Wellington area. The unit occupies a large, purpose-built facility with an early childhood centre (ECC) attached. It provides transport or assistance for students to travel to and from the unity daily.

The governing school is Wellington East Girls’ College (WEGC). The TPU and the governing school are located on separate sites. A strong working relationship continues to support and promote successful outcomes for all learners. The teacher-in-charge (TIC) reports regularly to the board through the principal. All staff are long-serving and committed to the philosophy of the unit.

The TPU has responded positively to the areas for development identified in the November 2013 ERO report. The implementation of the appraisal process has been strengthened. Areas of good practice identified have been sustained.

Student outcomes

Staff aim to provide an inclusive and supportive learning environment that encourages students to develop into independent, motivated and resilient adults. Staff have high expectations for all students to achieve academic success. Achievement is celebrated.

During their enrolment in the unit most students achieve National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications in Levels 1, 2 and 3 and other valued qualifications.

Students are motivated to improve their qualifications, so they can support themselves and their children better.

The leavers’ data for the end of 2016 shows many students went on to further education or employment. Overall data shows that students achieve more, the longer they stay. Rates of progress vary according to time spent in the unit and personal circumstances.

Students spoken to by ERO value the support and the range of learning experiences offered to them and the high expectations teachers have for them to achieve academic success.

Leadership, management and organisation

Governance, management and leadership are effective in ensuring there is a supportive environment that is conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing. There is clear alignment between the WEGC and TPU strategic and annual plans. Through regular reporting, trustees are well informed about the day-to-day operations of the unit and students’ progress and achievement.

Leaders and teachers have clear roles and responsibilities, are highly reflective and work collaboratively to prioritise and respond to the learning and wellbeing of individual students. They have a wide range of skills and subject knowledge among the staff that helps them to provide effective curriculum and pastoral support for the young parents.

The TPU annual plan, and systems and processes, provide clear direction and are focused on raising student achievement and attendance. A wide range of information is gathered, including student voice. This is used to identify priorities for improvement and inform decision making. The next step in improving internal evaluation is to move from reflecting on what is being done to the overall effectiveness of the programme and teaching practices on outcomes for students. Sharpening the focus on outcomes should support ongoing improvement and sustainability for the unit.

A collaborative working relationship between the TPU and the ECC supports the learning and wellbeing of students and their children.


Teachers care about and know the students and their children well. Respectful, positive and affirming relationships among staff and students contribute to a strong sense of belonging.

Students are well engaged in purposeful learning. Teachers provide relevant learning opportunities with authentic contexts responsive to the needs of individual students. There is a good balance between academic and pastoral needs. Self-management skills and student ownership of learning is promoted.

Individual learning plans (ILP) developed in response to student’s interests, needs and aspirations guide learning. These include academic and wellbeing goals. Daily tutor time provides an opportunity for students to track and monitor their own progress. ILPs are regularly reviewed and adapted to meet the changing needs and aspirations of students. Additional support is given to students when they are at risk of not achieving their goals.

Career education is integral to the development of ILPs. There is a well-planned approach to supporting students through ongoing career advice and guidance.

Student attendance is an ongoing priority. Teachers analyse data to identify trends and patterns. An incentive programme has been implemented to increase attendance rates. The curriculum has also been improved so that it is now more responsive to students’ culture, language and identity. Leaders and teachers have identified the need to further develop curriculum provision to support Pacific learners’ progress and engagement.

Student support, engagement and transitions

Students are well supported in their role as a learner and as a parent. A positive learning environment supports student engagement, progress and achievement.

The transition process is well planned and responsive to an individual student’s strengths, interests, needs and aspirations. Information gather through this process enables teachers to get to know the student and informs the development of ILPs. Progress is regularly monitored to ensure students stay on track to achieve their goals.

Student wellbeing is a priority. A structured timetable provides clear expectations and purpose to the day. Settling children into day-care before formally starting the daily learning programme is a priority. Students spoken to by ERO affirmed this.

There are many opportunities for students to contribute to the programme and operations of the unit. Their views are regularly sought. Through daily briefing sessions students are empowered to share ideas and make decisions. A student committee provides leadership opportunities.

A new position has been created to enable the unit to keep in touch with graduate students and to provide further support if needed. Many past students return to the TPU as role models.

Relationships with external partners

The TPU has well established connections with education, health and social providers to support students’ engagement in learning and wellbeing. Staff provide targeted support in response to students’ needs, to reduce barriers that are most likely to impact on engagement in learning. 

3 Recommendations

ERO, the teacher in charge and the host school principal agree on the following next step.

Leaders and teachers will:

continue to strengthen internal evaluation to identify the effectiveness of programmes, teaching practices and operations on outcomes for students, to support ongoing improvement and sustainability.

4 Conclusion

He Huarahi Tamariki teen parent unit is well governed and managed to effectively promote and support positive outcomes for learners. Most students achieve well. They learn through well-developed individual plans that are responsive to their needs and career aspirations. Strengthening internal evaluation should support ongoing improvement and sustainability.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

29 May 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit



Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Female 37, Male 2

Ethnic composition




Other ethnic groups





Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

29 May 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Special Review

Special Review

Special Review

November 2013

August 2010

August 2006