Karanga Mai Young Parents College - 28/07/2017

Findings

Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College is effective in supporting positive outcomes for students. Students are well supported to achieve success academically and to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and their children. Leadership and management are effective and contribute to a positive environment for learning. The curriculum and other practices are increasingly responsive to students’ interests, strengths, needs and aspirations. Students’ capability to direct and take responsibility for their own learning is consistently promoted. Relationships with community organisations and external specialists are well-used to enhance learning and development opportunities for students.

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

1 Background

Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College (KMYPC) is an attached unit of Kaiapoi 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

Context

Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College is located on the grounds of Kaiapoi High School and adjacent to the Karanga Mai Early Learning Service which provides care for the infants and children of students. The college is a participant, along with the host school, in the Kātote Kāhui Ako Community of Learning.

At the time of this review 32 young parents were enrolled in the college. Students come from a wide geographic area including greater Christchurch and North Canterbury. Transport for students and their children is provided by the college.

The college director is new since the last education review in 2013 and is part of the senior leadership team at Kaiapoi High School. Teacher staffing has been stable and includes specialist teachers in mathematics, literacy and science. The college also employs a social worker to support student wellbeing and to assist students to access a range of government and community services.

Since the last education review further work has been done to strengthen communication and partnership with the host school. Effective appraisal for the college director remains an area for development.

Student outcomes

Students’ academic achievement and progress are closely monitored. College information shows that students who attend for more than one year make moderate to good progress toward NCEA qualifications – particularly at Levels 2 and 3. A number of those students who stay more than two years make very good progress. The director has identified that a proportion of students are not successfully achieving core literacy and numeracy requirements and this has become a priority focus for teachers. The director has also identified the need to put in place more intensive support for those students who have yet to achieve NCEA Level 1.

Some students are supported to achieve other valued qualifications (driver’s licence, first aid, early childhood education, and barista skills).

College information shows that in 2016 a high proportion of those students who had attended for more than two years made positive transitions to further tertiary training, foundation training or work. Destination outcomes for those students who attend for one year or less are more variable.

Students who spoke to ERO identified a range of positive outcomes as a result of their attendance at the college. These included in their learning, emotional wellbeing, health, housing and parenting. Students said they are well supported by the college social worker to identify and action personal and wellbeing goals. While trustees and the director are aware students are receiving support there are currently no established systems or reports to show the impact or quality of this support.

Leadership, management and organisation

Effective leadership and management is contributing to positive conditions for learning at KMYPC.

There is a positive and constructive relationship between the college and the host school, underpinned by effective communication. The college director is a member of the school senior leadership team and a school trustee has delegated responsibility for liaising with the college. In addition a governance group with representation from the school, the college, the early learning service and its governing body, meets regularly to review aspects of college operations, resourcing and performance and discuss needed developments.

The new director has continued to build on well-established working relationships with the host school, attached early learning service, staff and students. Strategic and annual plans are well developed and are based on thorough analysis of a range of student learning information and internal evaluation. Progress against goals and targets is clearly and regularly reported on.

There is a clear focus on students achieving NCEA qualifications and developing the key competencies for life, learning and work. There has been a sustained focus in strategic planning and internal evaluation on building effective practices for empowering students to take more responsibility for their learning and development including enabling learning at home.

Internal evaluation is very well used to improve practices. The director is reviewing many aspects of college operations including curriculum, policies and procedures and working together with staff and students to ensure these are meaningful and enhance outcomes for students. There is a well-established practice of working closely with the early learning service to investigate effective practices for enhancing participation, engagement and achievement for students and their children.

Learning

The curriculum at KMYPC is increasingly responsive to the strengths, needs, interests and aspirations of each student. The curriculum has a strong focus on the core subjects of English, mathematics and Science. The director has identified a need to broaden the curriculum and is working with the host school to develop a wider range of subject options. As a result a number of current students are participating in classes in the host school. The director is developing partnerships with a range of community organisations to be able to offer authentic opportunities for students to participate in learning in the community. There has been some use of STAR funding to support learning in other settings and subjects.

The director and staff are in the early stages of strengthening the focus in the curriculum on the vision and key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum, by looking at the habits of learning and promoting the values of: give it a go, give of yourself, give to yourself and give to others.

In line with the college’s strategic priorities, staff have been building their professional capabilities to: 

  • respond appropriately to students’ culture, language and identity
  • use digital learning to enhance students’ engagement, participation and achievement
  • develop personalised approaches to lifting individual students’ achievement 

Students benefit from parenting education that is well planned to respond to their and their children’s needs. Programmes are jointly planned with the leader and teachers from the early learning service and supported by the strong relationships built between students and their children’s `key teacher’ in the early learning service.

Very good use is made of external specialists and organisations to deliver a wide range of wellbeing programmes that ensure students are well supported to make and enact informed decisions about their and their children’s health and wellbeing.

Student support, engagement and transitions

Many processes and practices effectively support and promote student engagement and success. A number of these have been recently reviewed and are in the process of becoming embedded.

There are clear processes for students’ transitioning into the unit that support them to learn about routines and expectations and build relationships with staff and other students. These processes take into account students’ involvement in transitioning their children into the early learning service. 

Students are quickly connected with a whānau teacher who works with them individually to identify relevant learning goals. Together teachers and students make personalised learning plans. Students regularly reflect on their progress and achievement against these. Success in achieving goals is well recognised and celebrated. The college is developing a range of leadership and citizenship opportunities and associated ways to acknowledge students’ achievements in these areas.

Students are well supported by teachers and the college social worker to identify and address barriers to their engagement and success in learning. College staff have been investigating ways of reducing interruptions to learning when students are not able to attend. This has involved trialling innovative approaches such as students leading learning in their own homes, increased use of digital technologies, and staff visiting students in their own homes. Students on maternity leave remain connected with the college through their attendance at a mothers and babies group which is jointly facilitated by the early learning service and college.

Students have regular opportunities to share their ideas about what is important to them, be involved in setting expectations and make decisions about key events and activities.

Students have some opportunities to explore and experience post-school pathways through tertiary visits and work experience. The director has identified improved pathway planning and improved access to work and tertiary learning experiences as an area for development.

Relationships with external partners

The leadership and management of KMYPC work effectively within the local educational and community context to promote positive outcomes for students.

The principal of the host school and director actively promote the activities and achievements of the college in the wider education community, including within the Kātote Community of Learning.

The success and effectiveness of the college’s collaboration with the attached early learning service has been recognised by a Prime Minister’s Award for Education.

Sustainable and constructive relationships with a wide range of external organisations and specialists support programmes and services delivered in the college. An example is a partnership with the Canterbury District Health Board’s health-promoting schools initiative focused on identifying the key wellbeing needs of students and development of a related curriculum plan.

There are growing relationships with community groups to provide authentic contexts for learning.

There is an explicit focus on building sustainable support networks around students. Currently these networks are largely dependent on college staff. To be sustainable they need to include support people from students’ lives outside the college – for example: youth, coaches, mentors and wider whanau.

3 Recommendations

ERO the director and the host school principal discussed the following next steps: 

  • strengthen transition planning, programmes and support
  • consider ways to involve students whānau and/or support networks people more in students’ journey and transitions beyond the TPU
  • ensure curriculum development, for example citizenship programmes, responds to student interests, strengths and needs
  • continue to develop effective systems for knowing about students’ personal and wellbeing goals and how well college programmes and practices are supporting these to be achieved
  • establish relevant development goals and plans for the new college director. 

4 Conclusion

Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College is effective in supporting positive outcomes for students. Students are well supported to achieve success academically and to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and their children. Leadership and management are effective and contribute to a positive environment for learning. The curriculum and other practices are increasingly responsive to students’ interests, strengths, needs and aspirations. Students’ capability to direct and take responsibility for their own learning is consistently promoted. Relationships with community organisations and external specialists are well-used to enhance learning and development opportunities for students.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

28 July 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit 

Location

Kaiapoi

Ministry of Education profile number

2748

Teen Parent Unit roll

32

Gender composition

Girls: 32

Ethnic composition

Ethnicity

Number of students

Māori
Pākehā
Other

15
15
2

Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

28 July 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Report type

Report date

Education Review
Education Review
Special Review

October 2013
August 2010
August 2006