He Mataariki School for Teen Parents - 02/06/2017


He Mataariki School for Teen Parents provides high quality education that prepares students well for future study and career pathways. Students experience personalised learning programmes that are thoughtfully implemented to meet their needs, aspirations and abilities. Highly effective leadership and teaching supports a well-balanced curriculum that focuses on academic achievement and student wellbeing. 

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

1 Background

He Mataariki School for Teen Parents is an attached unit of Mangakahia Area 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


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

He Mataariki School for Teen Parents is located in Raumanga, Whangarei, 25 kilometres from the host school, Mangakahia Area School. It provides education for teenage parents from the wider Whangarei region, until they are 19 years of age. At the time of the ERO evaluation, the school roll was 21, comprising 15 Māori learners, five Pākehā and one student with Pacific heritage. The well maintained and resourced school is ideally positioned next to health and education services including He Kakano Early Childhood Centre.

The board and teen parent school manager have responded very well to the findings from ERO’s 2013 report. The strategic plan and direction setting proposal show a clear alignment between the host school and He Mataariki School for Teen Parents.

The school has sustained high quality practices since the 2013 ERO review through capable leadership and positive working relationships with the host school. Significant features include a culture of high expectations for students and staff and programmes and achievement pathways that are designed specifically for the Teen Parents of He Mataariki School.

Student outcomes

What does this TPU know about outcomes for individual students?

Personalised learning programmes are thoughtfully implemented to meet the needs, aspirations and abilities of students. There is a focus on students experiencing success and building a sense of self- worth. High levels of student achievement in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Levels 1, 2, 3 are evident.

Students are highly involved in their learning. They progress and achieve well through effective teaching practices that promote high levels of engagement. This is supported by the active use of visual displays throughout the school which clarify what students are doing, reinforce student progress and promote their sense of belonging.

There are robust systems for managing data. Reliable evidence of all data including academic, attendance, destination and social is collated and analysed for individuals and groups of students.

Leadership, management and organisation

How effective is the leadership, management and organisation of this TPU?

Students benefit from high quality leadership, management and organisation systems and processes that support inclusive and improvement focused practices.

The school’s vision for confident, connected, actively involved lifelong learners embracing the whakatauki ‘oranga hou, timatanga hou – new life, new beginnings’, underpins the school culture. It aligns with the mission statement, values and school logo. These stated guidelines are a cornerstone in supporting effective practice and promoting positive student outcomes.

There is an emphasis on building professional capability. Personalised teacher professional development and research opportunities are promoted for all staff. Teachers also have opportunities for leadership within the school as well as leading external learning development.

Highly effective professional relationships and connections exist between community and education agencies, health services and early learning services. The board and He Mataariki continue to operate under the agreement established in its Memorandum of Understanding. There is a respectful and professional relationship between the host school principal and the manager of the teen parent school. 

Internal evaluation processes guide the future direction of He Mataariki. Very good teaching inquiry methods are in place through teacher reflection and appraisal. The school adopts a reflective and responsive approach to improving practice.

Examples of these include:

  • very good use of implementing the Ministry of Education(MoE) Outcome Framework and Guidelines
  • deliberate steps to balance academic learning programmes with the Wellbeing Outcomes
  • robust data analysis that informs in-depth ongoing self review
  • an emphasis on staff wellbeing in order to deliver effective learning programmes.


What is the quality of the curriculum at this TPU?

He Mataariki School for Teen Parents focuses on learning pathways that are personalised and developed around student goals and transitions. The careers and transition, and wellbeing programmes are noteworthy features of the curriculum.

High quality learning programmes support the holistic development of the student with an emphasis on academic, careers and transitions, parenting, sexuality education and student wellbeing. Resilience and self-management are key aspects of these programmes.

Teachers are highly reflective and skilful practitioners. They value the language, culture and identity of Māori students and students of other ethnicities and embrace this in the curriculum. A strong culturally responsive learning environment is evident.

An orderly and attractive learning environment is a feature of the school. Teachers and students have ensured that it is purposeful and meaningful to meet their needs. High quality displays honour and respect student learning.

Ongoing internal evaluation informs programme planning and delivery. As a result of staff inquiry, self review and analysis of achievement data, teachers refined the Navigator-Urunga wellbeing programme in 2016 to better support students.

Robust assessment and moderation processes are in place. Teachers work closely with the host school to monitor this effectively.

Student support, engagement and transitions

How well does this TPU support and promote student engagement and success?

Students and whānau are warmly welcomed on enrolment. The school manager and staff transition students into the school respectfully and are responsive to students’ individual learning needs and personal circumstances.

The school is ‘success focused’. High expectations for students inspire student engagement and success. Students’ achievements in a range of areas are valued and displayed throughout the school. 

Very good systems and processes enable staff to identify and respond effectively to students’ strengths, needs, interests and aspirations. There is a well-balanced curriculum that supports the holistic learning of students. Teachers work respectfully alongside students to support their learning pathways.

Specific strategies are in place to support student attendance and retention. School expectations around attendance goals and weekly student attendance rates are tracked and displayed. A collective responsibility for the school achieving 80 percent attendance is clearly visible and encouraged by staff and students.

A high performing careers department equips students with skills and capabilities to transition successfully into employment or further training. A comprehensive career and transition programme focused on the New Zealand Curriculum key competencies addresses individual student short and long term goals.

Relationships with external partners

How well does this TPU work within their educational and community context to promote student outcomes?

The school has established strong relationships with external education and community groups. They are well associated with training agencies, health providers and local Māori. A positive working relationship is evident with the neighbouring early learning service and Open Polytechnic.

The host school principal and teen parent school manager uphold a focus on building sustainable practices. There is a willingness to share best practice with other teen parent units, schools and educational institutions.

3 Recommendations

What are the key next steps for this TPU?

ERO, the director and the host school principal and trustees agree on the following next steps. Leaders and teachers should continue to develop and strengthen:

  • the use of digital technologies in order to implement strategies to support the ongoing learning and engagement of teen parents
  • innovation so that they can be proactive around developments in the educational landscape.

4 Conclusion

He Mataariki School for Teen Parents provides high quality education that prepares students well for future study and career pathways. Students experience personalised learning programmes that are thoughtfully implemented to meet their needs, aspirations and abilities. Highly effective leadership and teaching supports a well-balanced curriculum that focuses on academic achievement and student wellbeing. 

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

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

2 June 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit 


Raumanga, Whangarei

Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Girls 21

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

2 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Special Review

Special Review

Special Review

October 2013

August 2010

August 2006