Titiro Whakamua - 06/06/2017


Hutt Valley Teen Parent School is well governed and managed to effectively promote and support positive outcomes for learners. Strong community involvement and collaboration with the ECC is a strength. Well-developed individual plans responsive to student needs and career aspirations guide learning. Continuing to strengthen internal evaluation should support ongoing improvement and sustainability.

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

1 Background

Titiro Whakamua is an attached unit of Heretaunga 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


Titiro Whakamua, also known as Hutt Valley Teen Parent School (HVTPS), is a purpose-built facility situated on the grounds of Heretaunga College. An early childhood centre (ECC) adjoins the unit. The TPU offers support for the education and wellbeing of teen parents from the entire Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata. It offers transport to and from the school each day.

An effective working relationship between the governing college, HVTPS and the ECC continues to support and promote successful outcomes for all learners. The school functions as a department of the college. The head teacher has responsibility for the day-to-day running of the school. 

The philosophy is clearly articulated by staff and embedded in practice. Strong community connections and support from volunteer groups and individuals continues to be a strength.

HVTPS has responded well to the areas for development identified in the November 2013 ERO report. Good practice identified has been sustained.

Student outcomes

Staff aim to provide a high quality, holistic programme to enable students to become confident, competent lifelong learners. They have high expectations for all students to achieve academic success.

During their enrolment in the unit, most students achieve National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualifications Levels 1, 2 and 3 and other valued qualifications.

Students are motivated to improve their qualifications to support themselves and their children better.

The leavers’ data for the end of 2016 shows a number of students went on to further education or employment. Overall data shows that students achieve more, the longer they stay. Rates of progress vary according to time spent in the unit and personal circumstances.

Students spoken to by ERO highly value the support and the range of learning experiences offered and the high expectations teachers have for them to achieve academic success.

Leadership, management and organisation

Governance, management and leadership is effective in ensuring there is a supportive environment that is conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing.

A strong collaborative relationship between Heretaunga College, HVSTP and the ECC is highly evident. A shared philosophy aligned to the college values underpins the holistic wellbeing of students and their children.

There is a strong commitment by the board and senior management of the college to HVSTP. Through regular reporting, trustees are well informed about the day-to-day operations of the school and students’ progress and achievement. Trustees regularly attend functions held at the school. The board liaison person visits frequently and is knowledgeable about HVSTP operation and needs.

Clear alignment between Heretaunga College’s strategic plan and HVSTP annual plan, systems and processes provides clear direction focused on raising student achievement and improving attendance and retention.

Leaders and teachers are highly reflective and focused on improving outcomes for students. They have developed a model of inquiry based on optimum conditions and strategies for learning. This should enable teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of programmes, practices and initiatives on student outcomes. 


Staff know the students and their children well. They have a range of knowledge, skills and subject expertise. Respectful affirming relationships are highly evident. This contributes to a strong sense of belonging to the school. Students report that they consider HVTPS is a safe place for everyone.

Students are well engaged in purposeful learning. They participate in a wide range of relevant learning opportunities that are responsive to their interests, strengths and career aspirations. They are well supported in their role as a student and as a parent. Students spoken to by ERO expressed their gratitude for the learning experiences offered to them, particularly opportunities to further develop their parenting skills.

The programme is delivered through well-developed individual learning plans (ILPs) that are responsive to students’ strengths, interests and career aspirations. Long and short term goals are established. Through regular reflection, students are encouraged and supported to monitor their own learning and attendance. Goals are adapted in response to changing needs and aspirations.

A commitment to bicultural practices is evident. Te ao Māori is reflected in the environment and routines. Staff acknowledged the need to continue to build these practices and strengthen strategies to support Māori learners and their children.

A collaborative relationship with Heretaunga College staff supports programme delivery and assessment.

Student support, engagement and transitions

A positive, caring learning environment supports student engagement, progress and achievement. A structured timetable provides clear expectations and purpose to the day.

A well-considered, planned transition process is responsive to the needs of individual students. A wide range of useful information is gathered that enables teachers to get to know each student well and to understand the challenges that may impact on their engagement in learning. This information is used to co-construct ILPs. Ongoing career advice and guidance is integrated.

Progress is monitored and reviewed at the end of each term to ensure that goals are achievable and remain relevant to students’ future pathways.

Processes to settle children into day-care before formally starting the learning programme are responsive to individual needs. Students spoken to by ERO appreciate that teachers take the time to get to know their children and value the time allowed to settle their child.

There is a well-planned approach to supporting students’ transition to further education, training or employment. Contact is maintained with the students to provide further support if needed.

Student attendance is an ongoing priority. Teachers analyse data to identify trends and patterns. To support increased attendance, students track and monitor their own attendance and an incentive programme has been introduced.

Student achievement is regularly celebrated. The school has intentionally created opportunities for whānau to become more involved.

Relationships with external partners

Students are supported through a well-coordinated, collaborative approach to accessing education, health and social providers from the Hutt Valley community to reduce barriers to engagement in learning and wellbeing. Students are well informed about the services available to them.

3 Recommendations

ERO, the head teacher of the TPU, the host school principal and board agree on the following next step. Leaders and teachers will:

strengthen internal evaluation to identify the effectiveness of programmes, practices and operations on outcomes for students. This should support ongoing improvement and sustainability.

4 Conclusion

Hutt Valley Teen Parent School is well governed and managed to effectively promote and support positive outcomes for learners. Strong community involvement and collaboration with the ECC is a strength. Well-developed individual plans responsive to student needs and career aspirations guide learning. Continuing to strengthen internal evaluation should support ongoing improvement and sustainability.

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

Patricia Davey

Deputy Chief Review Officer Central (Acting)

6 June 2017 

About the Teen Parent Unit


Upper Hutt

Ministry of Education profile number


Teen Parent Unit roll


Gender composition

Female 27

Ethnic composition



Other ethnic groups




Review team on site

March 2017

Date of this report

6 June 2017

Most recent ERO reports

Education Review

Education Review

Special Review

November 2013

September 2010

August 2006