Henderson - Teen Parent Unit - He Wero o nga Wahine - 08/06/2017


He Wero, in partnership with its attached ECE, provides an inclusive and supportive environment for teen parents to re-engage in formal education. The location of the TPU on the grounds of Henderson High School is beneficial for students and staff. The manager and teachers have made very good progress in improving outcomes for learners and establishing systems for internal evaluation. 

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

1 Background

Henderson – Teen Parent Unit – He Wero o nga Wahine is an attached unit of Henderson 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


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

The Henderson TPU, He Wero, is located on the grounds of Henderson High School, next to an early childhood education (ECE) centre and a kohanga reo. Good relationships between the staff of the ECE and the TPU teachers support parents to engage effectively in the learning programmes.

He Wero has made good progress since ERO's 2013 review. A new manager, appointed in 2015, shares responsibilities with three new part-time teaching staff. A new administrator was appointed in 2017. Concerns raised in ERO's 2013 review about the TPU have been addressed, and, while some challenges remain, the performance of the TPU overall has significantly improved.

Communication with the host school has also improved, particularly in relation to the integration of staff and learning programmes between the host-school and the TPU. He Wero has benefited under the new leadership and management systems of the host school, including the improved tracking and monitoring of student outcomes.

Quality management, self-review, data analysis and reporting systems now align with those of the host school. The TPU manager continues with the good practices identified in 2013 ERO report, but has also extended the learning programmes, updated the vision and philosophy, raised learning expectations and reviewed the use of Individual Learning Plans (ILPs).

The host-school principal and curriculum leader meet regularly with the manager of He Wero. Regular reports from the TPU manager to the principal are presented to the Henderson High School board of trustees (BoT). While communication has improved, there are still some areas to clarify in relation to the use of funding and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The TPU is acknowledged by the host school BoT and managers as an important component of education in West Auckland. Its services are well known and well used by other local secondary schools.

Student outcomes

What does this TPU know about outcomes for individual students?

The TPU manager and teachers have a clear focus on academic success and wellbeing outcomes. Courses are thoughtfully put together to ensure that all students who stay for a reasonable time at the TPU achieve success in the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA).

Academic outcomes are tracked through the host school’s data base. Data shows that students in He Wero are now contributing positively to the host school's overall NCEA results. Most students achieve NCEA Level 1 and many attain Level 2 and 3. A goal of the TPU in 2017 is to support more students to gain University Entrance qualifications.

The school nurse carries out a health assessment for every new student and can refer students to a range of local health and social services, doctors, dentists, mental health providers and counsellors. The students are very appreciative of these personalised health services.

Student aspirations and destinations are documented and tracked where possible. While some have difficulties completing learning programmes, the majority transition successfully from the TPU. Leavers’ destination data shows positive trends, with most students achieving qualifications that enable them to transition to work, training or tertiary education.

Careers education has been strengthened and is now a key component of each student’s Individual Learning Programme (ILP). Students can access work experiences through the TPU, and discussions have started with new careers staff at the host school about the use of targeted funding for tertiary alignment and Gateway places. 

Leadership, management and organisation

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

He Wero is well managed. There is a positive and inclusive tone that allows staff to prioritise students’ needs. The manager consults teachers and meets regularly with host-school staff and support agencies to discuss each student’s progress. The new administrator is refining systems for documenting TPU procedures and for record keeping.

The TPU has a comprehensive annual plan with explicit links to the host school’s goals and strategic direction. Health and safety systems and teacher appraisal are aligned to school policies. The manager and teachers attend host-school staff meetings. They analyse and evaluate student learning outcomes, and report systematically to the BoT.

Teachers have very good opportunities for professional learning and development (PLD), through the host school, professional associations and attendance at the national TPU conferences. They feel well supported to assist learners at the TPU, and to contribute to decisions about operations and self-review.

The manager is collaborative and caring of staff and students. She appreciates the skills of each teacher and the interest shown by the manager of the ECE. PLD is budgeted for and tailored to meet the needs of each staff member.

The Ministry of Education's operational and reporting guidelines are now being used to review the learning programme and TPU operations. It would be useful to clarify with MoE advisers how information from the MoE could be shared directly with the TPU as well as with the host school.


What is the quality of the curriculum at this TPU?

Teachers have reviewed the overall learning programme since 2015 to ensure it reflects a balance of academic and life skills. Health and wellbeing components, together with transition and careers education, have been strengthened. Teachers are now developing a framework for the curriculum to show how these aspects fit together coherently.

Teachers ensure there are opportunities for individual learning and learning in groups. Students enjoy the opportunities they have to share ideas about parenting, health and wellbeing and support each other to complete learning tasks. There is a good level of trust between teachers and students, and those in their second and third year at the TPU provide support for new students.

Experienced English teachers ascertain the students’ reading and comprehension levels and update their formal record of learning. Literacy and numeracy NCEA credits are selected and delivered through classroom programmes or through Te Aho o te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura), the Correspondence School. Students’ careers interests and aspirations are considered in developing and reviewing learning programmes.

A variety of subject choices is accessible through the TPU, Te Kura and the host school.

Programmes and timetables are individualised, but all have components relating to academic, wellbeing and career goals. All students take part in a Māori Arts programme and most complete the Barista Cafe programme.

Some students prefer to do most of their learning in the TPU, but others are confident to leave the TPU classrooms and learn with others in the mainstream senior classes. Teachers have plans to support students to complete formal reflections of their weekly goals.

Student support, engagement and transitions

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

Staff encourage students to engage in their learning and succeed. Students are expected to complete a parenting course before enrolling. The TPU philosophy supports mothers and babies to bond before starting academic learning programmes and re-engaging in formal education.

Students are able to bring their babies to the classroom from six weeks of age. From there, babies are carefully transitioned to the ECE centre. Many students find these practices reassuring, and comment positively on how their programmes include their infant’s needs.

Targets and incentives for attendance are displayed and weekly totals for each student and for the whole group are collated. The TPU van is available to transport any students requiring it. Although barriers to attendance are identified, it remains a challenge for many students to achieve the TPU’s 80% attendance goal.

Many of the students are of Māori heritage. Cultural identity and language is recognised and acknowledged. Teachers share their own whakapapa and value the backgrounds of students. The new arts programme, based on Māori culture and design, enhances bicultural dimensions of the TPU.

The TPU values and expectations are very explicit. They are displayed in the classrooms and throughout He Wero. The teachers ensure that the TPU has a safe and settled environment so that all students can achieve. They model respectful interactions and incorporate tikānga and te reo Māori into programmes and practices.

Relationships with external partners

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

Teachers and the host-school’s health nurse organize programmes involving external agencies to provide advice about relationships and sexuality. Students feel their needs are well met and any questions they have are answered openly and respectfully.

Students can access doctors, counsellors and dentist visits through the school nurse. The manager also coordinates visits from a social worker and health providers who can assist with accommodation and financial advice.

Teachers are strengthening relationships with local employers to encourage work placements and off-site learning experiences. Educational partnerships have improved, enabling students to access career information and visits from tertiary providers.

The manager communicates with other TPU managers through an effective national network, and promotes the services of the TPU with other Auckland secondary schools. Students currently attending the TPU were referred by school counsellors, health and social services, and by friends and whānau.

3 Recommendations

What are the key next steps for this TPU?

He Wero managers and host-school leaders agree that the next steps in improving the performance of the Teen Parent Unit include:

  • documenting of the TPU’s overall curriculum, showing the coherence of the academic, wellbeing and careers components
  • implementing a hazard identification process to ensure the safety of student, staff and babies when babies are with their mothers in the TPU or host school classrooms
  • strengthening the relationship with host school careers staff to build greater awareness of vocational pathways and transition processes
  • continuing to strengthen relationships between the TPU and the host school.

4 Conclusion

He Wero, in partnership with its attached ECE, provides an inclusive and supportive environment for teen parents to re-engage in formal education. The location of the TPU on the grounds of Henderson High School is beneficial for students and staff. The manager and teachers have made very good progress in improving outcomes for learners and establishing systems for internal evaluation.

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

Steffan Brough

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

8 June 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit 


Henderson, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Girls 11 Boys 1

Ethnic composition







Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

8 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Special Review

Special Review

November 2013

June 2010