Murihiku Young Parents Learning Centre - 29/06/2017


Murihiku Young Parents’ Learning Centre very effectively supports positive outcomes for students.  Students are well supported to construct personal learning pathways and achieve valued qualifications. Centre practices and processes are highly responsive to the interests, strengths, needs and aspirations of students. Students and their children benefit from well-considered parenting, life skills and wellbeing education.

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

1 Background

Murihiku Young Parents’ Learning Centre (MYPLC) is an attached unit of James Hargest College. There are currently 24 Ministry of Education funded Teen Parent Units (TPU) operating across New Zealand. The units 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 individual education plans (IEP) 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


MYPLC is located off-site from the host school James Hargest College. It is adjacent to Surrey Park Early Learning Centre where young parents' children attend. At the time of this review 27 young parents were enrolled in the centre.

The centre is supported by an associated MYPLC Trust which applies for funding on behalf of the centre. The trust board is made up of representatives from the host school, centre and associated early learning service.

When necessary, the director can convene a management group made up of the principal of the host school, the principal of another local secondary school and the head teacher of the early learning service.

The centre has made good progress in most areas identified for development in the last education review (2013). A key development since the last review has been the appointment of a student mentor to better respond to the wellbeing needs of students and their children and to support their access to a range of social and health services.

Student outcomes

Individual student academic progress is very well tracked. Students who attend for more than 12 months make good, to very good, progress toward NCEA qualifications. All graduates in 2016 left with NCEA Level 3. A number of students achieve university entrance. Some begin tertiary level study while attending the centre. A high proportion of these students make successful transitions to fulltime tertiary study. Many students achieve other valued qualifications (driver’s licence, first aid, tourism and hospitality skills).

Students spoken to by ERO identified positive outcomes in terms of their learning, personal development, life skills, emotional wellbeing, health and housing. The director has identified a need to develop better systems for knowing about the progress students make in these areas during their time at the centre.

The centre has good information about students intended destinations on leaving the centre and undertakes some informal tracking of where students end up. This helps the centre to evaluate the effectiveness of their programmes and support in preparing students for their next steps.

Student conferences are well used to collect information on what is working and not working for students, and what changes are needed in programmes to better meet student needs and aspirations.

Useful outcomes information is reported to the board of trustees annually. ERO discussed the value of strengthening some of this reporting to show how the outcomes reported compare with intended or expected outcomes.

Leadership, management and organisation

Effective governance, leadership and management processes contribute to positive conditions for teaching and learning.

The principal and board of trustees for the host school are strongly supportive of the vision and operations of the centre. There is regular communication between the principal and two trustees with responsibility for the centre and the centre director. The principal provides valued management support to the centre director. Most host school processes and policies for ensuring the quality of educational provision are effectively enacted in the centre.

The centre director has well established systems and processes that support a positive work and learning environment. These include:

  • ongoing consultation and collaboration with staff and students to ensure ownership of centre plans, processes and practices
  • high and clear expectations for staff and students
  • regular self review of most aspects of centre operations that leads to improvement
  • astute use of staffing allocation to ensure responsiveness to students’ interests and needs.

Effective communication and collaboration between the centre and the adjacent early learning service ensure that key procedures are well aligned and that students and their children are well supported to achieve positive outcomes in their learning. ERO discussed the value of documenting the key principles and values underpinning this important relationship to ensure its sustainability in the future.


The curriculum at the centre very effectively responds to the strengths, needs, interests and aspirations of students.

Students’ needs, interests and aspirations are the basis of their individual learning programmes. Teachers effectively scaffold learning programmes to enable students to achieve their goals. This often involves flexible combinations of achievement and unit standards based courses.

STAR funding is well used to provide other valued courses not taught by the centre’s teachers. This includes some tertiary level learning for students. The centre works with other local secondary schools, the local polytechnic and Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, the Correspondence School (Te Kura), to source programmes that are matched to student need. Care is taken to ensure programmes are well matched to students’ post-school pathways.

Bicultural and Māori perspectives are well-integrated in centre practices and programmes. Many aspects have been initiated and led by students. Teachers are intentionally building their culturally responsive capabilities.

Parenting, wellbeing and life skills programmes are very well considered and planned for. This includes opportunities to become involved in community and service activities.

Teachers know students very well as learners and individuals. They closely monitor their progress and wellbeing and share ideas about how best to respond to support their success. There are good quality processes in place for teacher appraisal and teachers’ inquiries into the effectiveness of their teaching.

Student support, engagement and transitions

Processes and practices in this centre very effectively support and promote student engagement and success.

Teachers have high expectations for students and positive belief in their ability to succeed. Positive, reciprocal relationships are evident between teachers and students. Students have regular opportunities to share their ideas about what is important to them in terms of centre processes and their learning. They have meaningful leadership roles which include the coordination of centre events and activities, supporting new students’ transition, supporting other students’ learning, and liaising with the early learning centre.

Clear processes ensure that new students to the centre are well supported to learn about expectations, set goals, develop learning plans and get to know teachers and other students.

Students are well supported by tutor teachers to regularly monitor and reflect on their progress and achievement. They are also encouraged to reflect on areas of personal development such as self- management, relationships with others and the quality of their participation and contribution in and beyond the centre. There are a number of valued practices for recognising and celebrating student success and achievement.

Student attendance is closely monitored and centre staff actively follow up on absences and work to remove barriers to attendance.

Students value the support they receive from the student mentor to access relevant resourcing, information and services.

Purposeful structures and timetables contribute to an orderly and productive learning environment. Centre expectations and procedures are effectively and consistently enacted. This has resulted in a safe and constructive learning environment for all students.

There is a planned approach to supporting the transition to further training or work. This includes:

  • development of career management skills, for example, making plans, developing job search materials and job search skills
  • support for students undertaking preparation for tertiary study courses
  • work experience
  • visits to tertiary training providers.

Relationships with external partners

This centre works very effectively within the local educational and community context to promote positive student outcomes.

The centre has developed a number of long-term, strategic relationships within the education and community context to benefit students. This is aimed at promoting trusting relationships between students and centre partners and better quality learning outcomes.

The centre works effectively with a range of social and health agencies to provide wrap-around support for students in the context of the centre.

A strengthened relationship with the local marae has enabled the centre to more effectively implement te reo and tikanga Māori learning within its programme.

Positive relationships with local secondary schools supports some students’ transition into the centre and enables the centre to access teaching resources and learning opportunities.

Well considered use is made of a range of external specialists, organisations and training providers to enhance learning opportunities for students.

3 Recommendations

Leaders and teachers should:

  • continue to refine the reporting and analysis of student achievement information to show how well students have been supported to achieve their goals
  • develop processes to assure the board of trustees that key health and safety policies and procedures are being followed as expected
  • find ways to know about the outcomes students are achieving in addition to educational outcomes (other qualifications, life skills and wellbeing goals) and what is effective in facilitating these
  • continue to develop the depth and coherence of internal evaluation.

4 Conclusion

Murihiku Young Parents’ Learning Centre very effectively supports positive outcomes for students. Students are well supported to construct personal learning pathways and achieve valued qualifications. Centre practices and processes are highly responsive to the interests, strengths, needs and aspirations of students. Students and their children benefit from well-considered parenting, life skills and wellbeing education.

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

Dr Lesley Patterson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Southern (Te Waipounamu)

29 June 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit



Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Girls: 27

Ethnic composition


Number of students



Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

29 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Report type

Report date

Education Review

November 2013