Titiro Whakamua - 15/09/2010

1. Background

Introduction

This review of the Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit was conducted as part of a national evaluation of Teen Parent Units. Such reviews are scheduled nationally based on a consistent set of terms of reference.

A national overview evaluation will be written later in 2010.

Terms of Reference

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the board of trustees and management of the base school, Heretaunga College, in relation to the terms of reference for this review.

The overall approach was to determine the extent to which the board of trustees is using the Teen Parent Unit funding to bring about student engagement, progress and achievement and to identify what further support the unit needs to provide high quality education.

This evaluation has focused on the quality of:

  • educational outcomes for students;
  • teaching and learning;
  • governance and management;
  • student support; and
  • physical and emotional safety of staff and students.

2. The Education Review Office (ERO) Evaluation

The Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit is attached to Heretaunga College in Upper Hutt. Communication between the unit and the host school is primarily managed through the teacher in charge of the unit reporting directly to the college’s principal.

The composition of the roll at Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit is diverse. Students’ ages range from 13 to 19 years and the amount of time since their most recent secondary school education varies considerably. Consequently, students are at different levels of the curriculum and stages of learning and achievement. Students are able to access a wide variety of programmes and many courses lead to the attainment of credits toward National Qualification Framework (NQF) certificates. In 2009, 55% of students gained national certificates and data shows that nearly all year 11 students gained more than 40 credits towards the National Certificates in Educational Achievement (NCEAs). Retention rates are very good.

Appropriate programme provision is based on detailed interviews with students and the development of effective individualised education plans. Students know how well they are achieving and what they need to do in order to progress.

There is a high focus on students as young mothers who can succeed and this is clearly articulated by teachers who use successful teaching strategies. Students are purposefully engaged, focused on their achievement and making progress towards their academic and career goals. There is a positive and constructive learning environment where reciprocal respect is evident. Teachers promote self worth as a key value and have high expectations for student behaviour.

Structures and processes underpinning the relationship with the unit and its base school, Heretaunga College, are explicit and well understood. There are clear lines of communication within the unit and with a wide variety of outside agencies to provide a strong pastoral care service. Students indicate that staff are positive and supportive and work in their best interests.

The board of trustees and ERO agree that there is a need to use more evidence-based, self review practices. This includes further analysis and interpretation of student achievement and progress to continue improving educational outcomes for students.

Future Action

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

3. Findings

Educational outcomes for students

Areas of strength

Students are able to access a wide variety of programmes which are tailored to suit their educational needs and backgrounds. Literacy, numeracy and parenting skills’ courses are taught on site, and students have access to the host school and distance education providers for many other subjects.

In 2009, 55% of students gained national certificates and data shows that nearly all year 11 students gained more than 40 credits towards the National Certificates in Educational Achievement (NCEAs). Retention rates are very good. Many continue on to tertiary education. Students, including Māori students, are highly engaged and making progress.

Appropriate programme provision is based on detailed interviews with students and the development of effective individual education plans (IEPs) that include clear links to goal setting. Well monitored tutor folders are maintained by students and contain their records of achievement, regularly reviewed IEPS and self-assessment checklists. Students know how well they are achieving and what they need to do in order to progress.

Area for development and review

In discussion with the teacher in charge, it was agreed that there is a need to use more evidence-based self-review practices. These should include further analysis and interpretation of student achievement and progress to continue improving educational outcomes for students.

Teaching and learning

Areas of strength

Students are purposefully engaged, focused on their achievement and making progress towards their academic and career goals. There is a positive and constructive learning environment where reciprocal respect is evident. Self-paced learning is a feature and individual conferencing enables students to have their learning carefully sequenced and progressed.

Teachers use successful strategies to support learning, including positive oral feedback, effective questioning techniques, teaching problem-solving skills and an appropriate emphasis on adapting content and approach to motivate students. Clear learning goals are explained to students.

A Māori mentor is assisting staff to raise their capability in te reo me ngā tikanga Māori. The curriculum integrates Māori and Pacific perspectives and there is value placed on each student’s cultural heritage.

High quality resources including information and communication technologies and a well stocked library are available to students and their children. Students appreciate access to these facilities.

Area for development and review

It is timely to review the purpose of the tutor group meetings to ensure there is a consistent understanding of the rationale for having these meetings.

Governance and management

Areas of strength

Structures and strengthened processes underpinning relationships between the board and the teen parent unit are explicit and well understood. The roles and responsibilities of the board and teen parent unit have been strengthened. The teacher in charge meets regularly with the principal to discuss student progress. The board receives a termly report on unit operations. Teachers are provided with many professional development opportunities at the host school.

The teacher in charge provides supportive leadership. She encourages her staff to work as a team to promote links with parents and the wider community to enhance partnerships. She has an open-door policy and promotes an ethos of supporting students to assume leadership roles and take responsibility for their learning.

The early childhood education facility is connected to the unit and close links are maintained. Weekly meetings are held with the head teacher and students are welcomed.

Student support

Areas of strength

Students speak of a sense of belonging and emotional safety at the unit. Teachers promote self worth as a key value and have high expectations for student behaviour outlined in a student agreement. There are high expectations for attendance and absenteeism is carefully tracked in partnership with the early childhood centre.

There are clear lines of communication within the unit and with outside agencies to provide a strong pastoral care service. A wide variety of appropriate agencies are accessed. A social worker and mentor provide additional help with home visits. Students indicate that staff are affirming and work in their best interests.

Health and safety

Areas of strength

A student information book clearly outlines explicit health and safety expectations. Policies are reviewed regularly and the unit works closely with the childhood centre for evacuation drills.

Positive, caring relationships amongst students and high levels of support from staff contribute to the friendly and family-like atmosphere in the unit. The purpose-built facility provides an attractive and welcoming environment.

4. Board Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review the board of trustees and principal of Heretaunga College completed an ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist for the unit. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • board administration;
  • curriculum;
  • management of health, safety and welfare;
  • personnel management;
  • financial management; and
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked policies, procedures and practices about compliance in the following areas (because they have a potentially high impact on students’ achievement):

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment);
  • physical safety of students;
  • teacher registration;
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions; and
  • attendance.

5. Future Action

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

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region

About the Unit

Base School

Heretaunga College

Gender composition

Female 33

Ethnic composition

New Zealand European/Pākehā 16, Māori 14, Other ethnic groups 3

Number of teachers

4

Unit roll at time of review

33

Review team on site

June 2010

Date of this report

15 September 2010

Previous ERO reports

Special Review Report

August 2006

To the Parents and Community of Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit

There are currently nineteen Teen Parent Units in New Zealand. This review was conducted along with the others during term 2, 2010. The board of trustees of Heretaunga College receives government funding and is responsible for the governance and management of the unit.

This review is based on an evaluation of the performance of the board of trustees and management of Heretaunga College, in relation to the terms of reference for this review. The overall approach was to determine the extent to which the board of trustees is using the Teen Parent Unit funding to bring about the desired outcomes for students and to identify what further support the unit needs to provide high quality education.

This evaluation has focused on the quality of the:

  • educational outcomes for students;
  • teaching and learning;
  • governance and management;
  • student support;
  • physical and emotional safety of staff and students.

These are the findings of the Education Review Office’s latest report on Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit.

The Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit is attached to Heretaunga College in Upper Hutt. Communication between the unit and the host school is primarily managed through the teacher in charge of the unit reporting directly to the college’s principal.

The composition of the roll at Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit is diverse. Students’ ages range from 13 to 19 years and the amount of time since their most recent secondary school education varies considerably. Consequently, students are at different levels of the curriculum and stages of learning and achievement. Students are able to access a wide variety of programmes and many courses lead to the attainment of credits toward National Qualification Framework (NQF) certificates. In 2009, 55% of students gained national certificates and data shows that nearly all year 11 students gained more than 40 credits towards the National Certificates in Educational Achievement (NCEAs). Retention rates are very good.

Appropriate programme provision is based on detailed interviews with students and the development of effective individualised education plans. Students know how well they are achieving and what they need to do in order to progress.

There is a high focus on students as young mothers who can succeed and this is clearly articulated by teachers who use successful teaching strategies. Students are purposefully engaged, focused on their achievement and making progress towards their academic and career goals. There is a positive and constructive learning environment where reciprocal respect is evident. Teachers promote self worth as a key value and have high expectations for student behaviour.

Structures and processes underpinning the relationship with the unit and its base school, Heretaunga College, are explicit and well understood. There are clear lines of communication within the unit and with a wide variety of outside agencies to provide a strong pastoral care service. Students indicate that staff are positive and supportive and work in their best interests.

The board of trustees and ERO agree that there is a need to use more evidence-based, self review practices. This includes further analysis and interpretation of student achievement and progress to continue improving educational outcomes for students.

Future Action

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

We encourage boards to inform their community of any follow-up action they plan to take as a result of their education review. You should talk to the board the principal or the Teen Parent Unit head teacher if you have any questions about this evaluation, the full ERO report or their future intentions.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please contact the school or see the ERO website, www.ero.govt.nz.

Kathleen Atkins

National Manager Review Services

Central Region