Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke - 19/06/2017


Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke is well governed and managed to promote positive outcomes for learners. Raising student achievement is a strategic priority.  This is supported by providing learning opportunities based on students’ wellbeing and individual interests, needs and career aspirations. Continuing to strengthen transition, teaching and learning processes and practices are next steps.

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


Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke is an attached unit of Flaxmere 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


Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke is located within the Flaxmere College campus, in a purpose-built facility with an early learning service (ELS) attached. The TPU attracts students from the wider Hastings area and offers transport to and from school each day. There is a strong partnership with the host school, where the TPU is valued as an integral part of Flaxmere College.

The Head of Learning (HoL) is responsible for the day to day running of the TPU and teachers from the host school support programme delivery. A support worker is employed full-time. Core values to support a positive learning environment are underpinned by whanaungatanga.

This is the first review for Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke and reports findings after two years of operation.

Student outcomes

There are high expectations for students to achieve. This is supported by a strategic focus to improve student engagement, learning and achievement. Reported achievement information indicates students are successful in gaining credits towards National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The HoL acknowledges low achievement in 2016 and has plans in place to improve results.

Students spoken to by ERO displayed a sense of belonging and connectedness to their learning community and peers. They expressed gratitude for the support they receive and the value placed on their roles as both a parent and student.

Leadership, management and organisation

The philosophy of Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke is to provide another pathway for students to be successful.

Governance by the host school’s principal and board is effective in supporting the leadership, management and organisation of the TPU. Systems and processes, including strategic priorities and valued outcomes, are well aligned to promote cohesion and consistency of teaching and learning practices. Useful processes are in place to report on student outcomes, through annual reports to the trustees and regular contact with the host school principal.

Students have ready access to expertise and resources at the host school to support their health, social and emotional wellbeing.

Teachers share knowledge and participate in professional learning and development (PLD) with the host school. They are currently participating in Kia Eke Panuku PLD, to support the development of culturally responsive teaching practices.

There is a strong working relationship between the TPU and ELS. Staff regularly meet and share knowledge to support the ongoing engagement of students and their children. The ELS staff have worked with students to build their knowledge and understanding of early childhood policies and procedures and the implications these have for them and their children.

The Head of Learning effectively uses student achievement data and information from a range of sources to reflect and inquire into the effectiveness of processes and practices. Internal evaluation is used very well to inform change and improvement.


Guidelines to support effective and responsive teaching have been developed. Students are purposefully engaged in learning that is responsive to their interests and needs. They benefit from a positive, welcoming learning environment. Students’ culture, language and identity are highly valued.

Students have access to a wide range of learning opportunities and pathways to support the achievement of their goals. English, mathematics and financial literacy are priorities. Learning can involve group and individual teaching, classes at the host school and other external educational courses. Assessment practices and moderation are undertaken as part of the host school practices.

Programme planning is flexible and based on students’ individual learning plans (ILPs). These plans respond to individual strengths, needs and career aspirations. Students set short and long term goals to support their career pathways. These are flexible and regularly reviewed.

A programme to support student wellbeing and engagement with the wider community has been developed. Students and teachers share their ideas and aspirations and contribute to the planning of activities and events. Continuing to develop this programme and evaluating the impact on outcomes for students is a planned next step.

Student support, engagement and transitions

There is a well-considered approach to support students’ transition and induction. Time is given for students to settle their child into the ELS. They appreciated this as they felt more ready and focused to learn, knowing their child was settled. Students’ values and aspirations are identified and used to inform future planning. Broadening the range of student information gathered in the induction phase should build a stronger picture about the student as a learner.

The systems and processes to guide students’ ILPs were reviewed and redeveloped in 2017, to better support students’ self-management and ownership of their learning and transition pathway. This new process enables students to set meaningful goals and identify ways to achieve these. Discussions around career planning responds to students’ aspirations and abilities. Proposed pathways are well monitored for each individual. The HoL has plans in place to continue to strengthen these systems and processes, including tracking and monitoring student progress and introducing academic mentoring.

Increasing student attendance is a strategic priority. As a result of a recent review and collection of student voice, barriers to engagement were identified and strategies developed to support improved attendance.

Relationships with external partners

Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke is developing good connections with education, health and social providers to support improved outcomes for students. Staff work with students, agencies and organisations to ensure that social and health issues do not become barriers to engagement in learning.

3 Recommendations

There are useful systems and processes in place for leaders to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of programmes and practices on improving outcomes for students.

ERO, the head of learning and the host school principal and trustees agree on the following next steps. The TPU governance, management and leadership should continue to develop and strengthen:

  • student achievement, including tracking and monitoring progress
  • transition and induction processes
  • the programme to support and promote student wellbeing outcomes. 

4 Conclusion

Te Tipu Whenua o Pa Harakeke is well governed and managed to promote positive outcomes for learners. Raising student achievement is a strategic priority.  This is supported by providing learning opportunities based on students’ wellbeing and individual interests, needs and career aspirations. Continuing to strengthen transition, teaching and learning processes and practices are next steps.

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

Patricia Davey
Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

19 June 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit 



Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Female 17

Ethnic composition



Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

19 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

This is the first report of this unit