Te Whare Whai Hua Teenage Parent Centre - 26/06/2017


Te Whare Whau Hua Teenage Parent Centre embraces a kaupapa that supports young parents to pursue their education. Students are supported to achieve well by dedicated staff who work as a collaborative team. Staff are innovative and responsive to student needs and enact a holistic curriculum that promotes academic and pastoral success.

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

1 Background

Te Whare Whai Hua Teenage Parent Centre is an attached unit of Lytton 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?

Te Whare Whai Hua Teenage Parent Centre is a spacious facility situated on site at Lytton High School and adjacent to an early learning service (ELS). It provides education for teenage parents from the wider Gisborne region, until they are 19 years of age. At the time of the ERO evaluation, the school roll was 21, comprising 18 Māori, one Pākehā and two Pacific learners. The teen parent centre is ideally located near the host school medical centre.

The board and teen parent centre manager have responded well to the findings from ERO’s 2013 report. The introduction of digital portfolios has strengthened students’ individual education plans. The students now have greater access to mainstream teaching, especially in the National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) Level 3. A full time teacher has the new role of ‘Leader of Learning’ to support effective practice.

Significant features of the centre include the continuation of a strong kaupapa and a collaborative team approach that utilises the strengths of all staff including the social worker and ELS staff.

Student outcomes

What does this TPU know about outcomes for individual students?

Student achievement data is collated, analysed and reported to the board. Patterns emerging show that students working at NCEA Level 2 and 3 engage well, have good attendance and achieve well. Teachers have identified that students enrolling with no or little qualifications require extra support to engage in their learning and to set and achieve short and long term goals.

Destination information shows that those students who enrol for a short time can be difficult to track on leaving the centre. The manager, teachers and external agencies have implemented strategies to address this concern.

Students benefit from formal and informal discussions and workshops around health, sexuality education, parenting skills and life skills. Students report the benefits of these programmes in relation to their social, health and wellbeing development.

Leadership, management and organisation

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

The manager effectively leads Te Whare Whai Hua. Very good routines are evident for the day to day management and organisation of the centre. Good safety procedures are in place and are in keeping with host school procedures.

Te Whare Whai Hua staff know the learners extremely well. The complementary roles of the manager, teaching staff, social worker and ELS staff ensure positive and respectful relationships occur between student and adults. Staff are very aware of the challenges teen parents face and work sensitively alongside students to support them throughout their time at the centre.

The centre’s philosophy statement aims to promote positive parenting and life skills that awhi and assist young people in their endeavours to pursue their education, learning and development. Respectful and inclusive ways of working are part of the stated centre values and modelled by staff and students. Clear expectations are outlined to students on enrolment and reinforced throughout the school day by staff.

The centre is continuing to improve the quality of its achievement targets within the annual plan. Goals are developed and reviewed throughout the year. A specific goal for 2016 and 2017 includes the expansion of the kitchen area so that Hospitality courses can be provided.

Internal evaluation is becoming more formal. Teachers reflect on their practice and discuss and record this at staff meetings. Since the 2013 ERO review an in-depth evaluation was undertaken around the delivery of the curriculum. At the time of the ERO evaluation some staff had not been formally appraised. The host school understands this needs to be addressed.

Staff at the centre have undertaken professional learning development to up-skill in digital technologies and have attended career induction workshops. They appreciate the teen parent conferences held every two years.


What is the quality of the curriculum at this TPU?

Students value the holistic ‘in-house’ curriculum delivered by dedicated staff who have been innovative and responsive to student needs. Academic programmes are balanced with health, wellbeing and life skill courses. Low and high impact sport activities are an important part of the curriculum.

Students access learning programmes through Te Aho o Kura Pounamu, the Correspondence School (Te Kura) and the host school classes for academic courses. Health and wellbeing, parenting skills and life skills are delivered through external providers. The centre is supported by Te Kura’s relationship coordinator who visits students during the year.

Individual education plans have been strengthened to provide students with long term goals and career pathways. The introduction of digital portfolios has enabled students to keep a comprehensive record of their goals, reflections, career pathways, achievements, pastoral support, work experience and other appropriate information.

The centre’s kaupapa inspires the school manager and staff to work respectfully with students on a social and emotional level. They have a good understanding of how to support students’ language, culture and identity.

Student support, engagement and transitions

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

Good processes are in place to welcome students to Te Whare Whai Hua and the ELS. Students are given time to transition their child into the ELS and to become familiar with centre kawa and expectations. Comprehensive health assessments are undertaken and a current action plan designed between the student and social worker.

Student needs are well met. Staff work to build student confidence and self-esteem in order for them to achieve across all areas. Improving student attendance and retention are goals identified for 2017. Staff are keen to look at ways to further motivate students to engage fully in their learning.

Staff at the teen parent centre have been pro-active in arranging work experience for their students. STAR courses allow students to pursue their interests and aspirations. Many local organisations attend the annual careers week so as to support students’ vocational pathways. As yet there are no official GATEWAY placements offered through the host school. 

Relationships with external partners

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

The centre manager has long standing connections and good relationships with services in Gisborne. Students are well served by these networks.

Staff at the ELS form positive relationships with the student and child. They encourage the student to be aware of their child’s learning development and suggest strategies to help with parenting skills. Students can upload their child’s portfolio on a daily basis to view their learning development over time.

Very good relationships exist between Te Kura and Te Whara Whai Hua. Students report positively about the learning through Te Kura and like the flexibility the school provides for their learning.

There are good connections with the Wananga and Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT). Regular visits take place to enable students to experience a tertiary environment.

3 Recommendations

What are the key next steps for this TPU?

ERO, the host school principal and board and the TPU manager agree on the following next steps. Leaders and teachers should:

  • use internal evaluation more strategically to improve attendance and retention rates
  • use student achievement information better to strengthen long term planning and inform future decisions.

4 Conclusion

Te Whare Whau Hua Teenage Parent Centre embraces a kaupapa that supports young parents to pursue their education. Students are supported to achieve well by dedicated staff who work as a collaborative team. Staff are innovative and responsive to student needs and enact a holistic curriculum that promotes academic and pastoral success.

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

Violet Tu’uga Stevenson

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern (Acting)

26 June 2017

About the Teen Parent Unit 



Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Girls 21

Ethnic composition

Cook Islands Māori


Review team on site

April 2017

Date of this report

26 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Special Review
Special Review
Special Review

November 2013
September 2010
August 2006