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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/core-practice/practice-tools/the-tuituia-framework-and-tools/the-tuituia-framework-and-domains/education-tuituia-domain/
Printed: 26/04/2024
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Last updated: 01/07/2019

Education — Tuituia domain

A positive experience of school and education can be a significant protective factor. It’s important we understand and respond to the educational needs of te tamaiti as they can determine future wellbeing and success.

Upcoming changes for this content

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this content. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice approach

What is the education domain

This domain examines:

  • the experience of education for te tamaiti, learning in both formal and informal pre-school settings
  • attendance, achievement and engagement in formal schooling
  • vocational training and employment issues.

Only some of the education sub-domains will apply to the assessment of this tamaiti. Be aware of the age and circumstances of te tamaiti, and apply the relevant subdomain, for example for a tamaiti under the age of 5 years the Early Childhood subdomain is relevant; no other sub-domains are required.

In completing the assessment of education needs for te tamaiti it’s important that you:

  • seek the views of the tamaiti and their whānau or family about their educational experience
  • enage with the early childhood provider/school and other professionals (health, education, specialists) working with te tamaiti around their views and opportunities to work together, especially if te tamaiti is in care
  • consider any Gateway or Youth Justice Health and Education Assessments/Screen that have been completed or ensure these are undertaken if required
  • Access any other education/development assessments that may have been undertaken (Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) assessments, speech language, occupational therapy etc)
  • seek the views of the caregiver if te tamaiti is in care.

Gateway assessments

The education screen

This domain focuses predominantly on the relationship te tamaiti has with the formal education system. However ‘learning’ does not occur only within the formal education system. To consider other aspects of development, learning and achievement refer to the learning and achievement domain.

Learning and achievement — Tuituia domain

The significance of education in the life of tamariki

It’s important to recognise the significance of education and the time spent at preschool and school in the lives of tamariki. Tamariki spend a significant amount of their lives in school and education itself is an important determinant of future life choices.

Success at school is important for:

  • cognitive development
  • self-esteem
  • general social competence, and
  • future employment possibilities.

School also provides opportunities to acquire friends, hobbies, sporting and cultural interests, general social skills and confidence.

Early challenging behaviour, difficulties in formal learning environments and low engagement at school are factors associated with increased risk-taking and behaviour in adolescence. There’s a clear link between truancy, school exclusion and offending behaviour.

When the school environment is supportive, challenging and te tamaiti feels involved, the potential of each tamaiti is recognised, protective factors and resilience are promoted. Every interaction within the school becomes an opportunity to build protective factors and promote resilience.

Assessing the education needs of tamariki Māori

"Māori enjoying education success as Māori means Māori learners succeeding in our education system, while maintaining and enhancing their identity, language and culture as Māori" Ka Hikitia – the Māori Education Strategy.

The role of education is to nurture the potential of te tamaiti and to support their educational success. To do this effectively for tamariki Māori means ensuring that their aspirations as Māori are recognised, valued and promoted within their learning environment. Māori students do much better when education reflects and values their identity, language and culture.

There is a strong link between wellbeing and achievement. Student wellbeing is strongly influenced by a clear sense of identity and access and exposure to their language and culture. Learning needs to connect to this, as a foundation on which to build and celebrate learning and success.

Education for tamariki Māori needs to not only focus on traditional learning areas, but needs to value te reo and tikanga, learning about the natural environment, and support te tamaiti in their ability to interact within te ao Māori.  See also cultural context for learning within the Tuituia learning and achievement domain.

Along with te reo, and tikanga, effective education for Māori learners will recognise the important role that whānau play in the education of te tamaiti. Education/learning is a partnership between the school/kaiako (teacher), the student and the whānau.

Whānau have the single greatest influence on learning and achievement in a social context, while kaiako (teachers)/schools enjoy this status in an educational context. Be mindful- whānau members will have had their own experience of the education system, and this will shape the value they place on education for their tamaiti. It will also influence their confidence in engaging with the education system. Seek to understand the experiences of whānau as part of the education assessment for this tamaiti. These two powerful influences can work together to support the holistic development of te tamaiti.

However, for many tamariki their formal learning environment will fall short of supporting and enhancing these dimensions of their learning. An assessment of their educational needs should give consideration to how their language, cultural knowledge, understanding and confidence is nurtured and developed. While this may be addressed through formal educational settings, such as kohanga reo, kura kaupapa schools, bi-lingual units, the assessment also needs to consider how these needs may be addressed outside of the formal schooling environment. For example, by:

  • strengthening relationships with key whānau members
  • time spent on their marae and within their kainga
  • kapa haka  or other cultural activities.

 Exploring how these needs will best be met will occur as part of the planning process for te tamaiti (see the All About Me plan for tamariki in care). Aspects of this assessment will also be considered within the learning and achievement Tuituia domain.

All about me plan to meet the needs of tamariki

Learning and achievement– Tuituia domain

It’s also important that those supporting te tamaiti hold high expectations for Māori students to achieve. Students who are expected to achieve and who have high (but not unrealistic) expectations of themselves are more likely to succeed. Sometimes this means challenging long-standing beliefs and stereotypes and advocating strongly for the rights of the individual tamaiti to be provided with the best learning opportunities and support possible.

Early learning for tamariki

In early childhood tamariki need to be exposed to multiple and varied experiences; stimulating the brain and providing opportunities for physical, emotional, social and cognitive development to occur. Early learning happens everywhere and all the time. Everyday interactions for most tamariki pose a world rich with opportunities to explore and to stimulate cognitive growth.

Early learning occurs in the home and wider community, and can be supplemented by attendance at a formal early childhood service/centre such as:

  • teacher led services: services where the education and care of tamariki is overseen by kaiako/teachers with a recognised ECE teaching qualification. For example, kindergartens, education and care services, home based services, Te Kura (the Correspondence School playgroups)
  • parent/whānau-led services: the education and care are undertaken by parents of the tamariki attending or by educators/kaiako specifically trained in the practices and philosophies distinct to that service type. For example, Playcentre and Kōhanga Reo, playgroups, Puna kōhungahunga (Māori-focused playgroups), Pacific Island-focused play groups.

ECE services have a key role in building strong learning foundations to enable young tamariki to develop as competent and confident learners. For tamariki in care Regulations 36 and 37 of the National Care Standards requires that we support their early learning with enrolment in an ECE service, where it is considered in their best interest. However, not all whānau or family choose to have their tamariki attend a formal ECE service/centre and for some tamariki, including some that have entered care, a safe, stable, stimulating home environment will be best for them, and meet their early childhood learning needs.

Whether education/learning occurs in a ‘centre’ or at home, there are some key things to consider when assessing the education needs for preschool tamariki, such as:

  • supportive parenting early in life, which has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive, behavioural, and psychological development throughout the lifespan. This is a critical time in the development of te tamaiti
  • the learning environment, which should:
    • recognise, value and incorporate the language and culture of te tamaiti
    • create connections – with the people important to te tamaiti, and within the brain to stimulate it’s development
    • provide an opportunity to learn and experience new and varied things
    • build on the interests and abilities of te tamaiti
    • support te tamaiti to realise their potential to become a competent and confident learner
    • be a safe, responsive and nurturing environment
  • connecting learning between an ECE centre and home – by whānau or family taking an interest and getting involved.

School engagement and achievement

Student engagement is fundamentally important in promoting and enabling achievement and in retaining students within the education system. Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism and passion that the student shows when they are learning or being taught.  

A range of factors contribute to engagement. These factors are both internal to te tamaiti and external to them – influenced by how the school interacts, fosters and supports the development of these factors.  

Factors include:

  • connectedness/sense of belonging to school
  • sense of agency
  • motivation and interest in learning
  • confidence in one’s ability to learn and achieve
  • the relationship between the kaiako (teacher) and te tamaiti
  • how well the school understands and responds to their individual needs, especially where a neuro-disability or trauma background means te tamaiti needs support for their functioning and success within the school environment
  • a supportive home environment that is interested in and connected to the experience of te tamaiti at school.

Whānau or family engagement in school reduces absenteeism and improves student achievement; and importantly tamariki with involved parents/caregivers have better social skills and show improved behaviour.

Some whānau or family members may have had negative experiences of schooling themselves, and may struggle to engage with the school or not value schooling for their tamaiti. Seek to understand how parents’ experiences of schooling may impact their ability to engage with the school and support te tamaiti in their education. The communication between the kaiako (teacher) and parents/caregivers provides a vital support system to help tamariki flourish at school so it is important to understand how this dynamic influence the experience of te tamaiti.

For younger tamariki, engagement is important as a precursor to achievement and learning in future schooling – the most important consideration is that they develop a positive attitude towards their learning; that they believe they can learn, and believe in themselves. 

Regular attendance is important to help tamariki feel connected with their classmates, and school communities and to stay engaged in their learning.

Engagement is strengthened when schools have strategies to ensure diversity is respected and upheld, and where tamariki see their culture, language and tikanga valued and affirmed.

Some tamariki who have experienced trauma or have a neuro-disability can be unable to understand or connect with the way the school day is run, or the way tamariki are expected to manage social relationships within the school context. Health professionals working with te tamaiti have an important perspective to share regarding the needs of te tamaiti within the school environment.   It’s important that the assessment of these issues is shared with the school so these needs can be responded to and te tamaiti can feel safe and able to engage effectively in their education. 

Support needs to be offered, in partnership with education to te tamaiti and their whānau or family if te tamaiti is at risk of disengaging from school. Consider times when te tamaiti may be at higher risk of disengaging or falling out of education – for example when their home situation is unstable, something traumatic is occurring, or they are transitioning from primary to intermediate or secondary schooling. If absence is an issue, seek to understand from the perspective of te tamaiti and their parent/caregiver the barriers to attendance.

Paying attention to learning support needs

Many tamariki will have experienced a sub-optimal prenatal environment, exposure to stress and trauma, transience and violence, drugs or alcohol.

The prevalence of these issues for tamariki in care is significant and the impacts on te tamaiti can sometimes be difficult to discern and may not be immediately visible. Social workers and the school need to be alert to this, to be curious about the prenatal and early experiences of te tamaiti that may have impacted on development and that may be impacting on their behaviour and cognitive development within the learning environment.

Often times it will be the behaviour of te tamaiti within school that raises concerns, and may result in behavioural supports being put in place. However understanding where the behaviour comes from, such as a neuro-disability, experience of trauma, a change in their safety or wellbeing at home, or acting out as a way of hiding embarrassment or difficulty in learning, will allow for the appropriate learning needs supports to be put in place for te tamaiti.  It will be important to involve health professionals working with te tamaiti in the assessment of these issues within the school context.

Early identification and support is critical as tamariki who experience repeat failure due to their learning needs not being understood and addressed are more likely to have negative experiences of learning and more likely to prematurely leave the education system.

For some tamariki there will already be a diagnosis or a disability that is readily identifiable and services can be accessed to support this. Despite this tamariki who have disabilities or learning support needs can still face systemic and structural barriers that can disrupt their schooling – and affect their engagement, attendance and achievement.

When assessing the education needs of a tamariki with a disability or learning needs there are some key additional considerations/questions to explore:

  • if absence is an issue, we need to listen to te tamaiti and their parents/caregiver to understand the reasons and to identify any disability/developmental-specific issues that are contributing to absence, such as transportation issues or lack of inclusiveness
  • if there are health related issues keeping te tamaiti out of school. If so, ensure health professionals are involved in assessing and responding to these issues
  • tamariki with emotional difficulties or challenging behaviours that stem from their disabilities, prenatal experience or trauma history need behaviour management strategies that understand the origin of the behaviour rather than being responded to with punitive or exclusionary practices. It’s the role of health and education professionals to modify the environment for te tamaiti so that they can use their strengths and succeed to their potential, rather than to expect te tamaiti to make changes without the environment changing to support them
  • seek to understand how any disability or developmental impairment affects the learning or achievement of this particular tamaiti. Get advice from those working with te tamaiti – especially specialist health and disability services. Understanding the specific needs of te tamaiti in relation to their learning will assist the school and home to work with the individual strengths of te tamaiti and provide the right supports to enhance their learning
  • tamariki can be at risk of underachieving in areas not directly related to their disability or developmental impairment; seek advice from health specialists, the whānau and te tamaiti to understand the nuanced issues for this tamaiti in order to support targeted interventions that can support overall learning
  • learning can be challenging for tamariki where English is a second language. Seek to understand whether this is having an impact on how te tamaiti is learning at school
  • if there are student support services, or educational assessments that need to be accessed to support te tamaiti and their whānau or family. Are any assessments undertaken by kaiako (teachers), Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), Ministry of Eucation psychologists, health specialists etc available and geared to understand potential trauma, neuro-disability and other educational needs of te tamaiti to support their engagement, learning and achievement?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and neurodiversity

Assessing education needs for tamariki in care

The National Care Standards requires the education needs of te tamaiti in care to be assessed as part of their needs assessment (regulation 10 National Care Standards).

In order to do this, the Education domain, and the Learning and Achievement domain within Tuituia need to be considered.  This provides a broader focus on education and learning and ensures the assessment is not just focused on the engagement, attendance and achievement within a school/institutional setting. The needs identified in these two domains will be incorporated into the All About Me plan for te tamaiti.

All About Me Plan to meet the needs of tamariki

Many tamariki entering care will have had disrupted schooling or have experienced difficulties within the school environment. The gateway assessment and youth justice health and education assessments/screens are a critical step in understanding educational needs for te tamaiti.

Gateway assessments

The education screen

Tamariki Māori are disproportionately represented in children in care numbers and in negative education statistics compared to non-Māori. When tamariki Māori enter care it is critical that we get alongside them and their whānau to understand their experience of education, what has worked for them, and where they need support. Issues affecting educational engagement and achievement can be intergenerational and it is therefore important that we seek to understand the experience key whānau members, particularly mothers, have had with the education system.  

Supporting tamariki with their education and training needs

While not every tamaiti in care will experience difficulties with learning, many do. Most tamariki in care will have experienced early trauma, harm and significant and/or multiple losses. Many will have experienced prenatal environments that have exposed them to trauma, stress and/or alcohol or substance exposure. This can affect te tamaiti in many ways and can contribute to a range of problems around their development, behaviour, social communication and cognitive skills. If these issues are suspected or evident it is important to help te tamaiti to access appropriate health and education assessments to discern needs and supports.

The Ministry of Education has recognised the significant impact of trauma on tamariki that enter care and have developed a resource for schools to support the education needs of tamariki in care called Supporting children in care – guide for schools. There is also a Māori language version of this resource. This resource could be used to help facilitate conversations with educators, to identify the specific education needs of a tamaiti in care.

Supporting children in care- guide for schools 

Supporting children in care: Maori language version

Relationships with the school will be important for the social worker in assessing and re-assessing the education needs of te tamaiti.  Knowing who to talk to about any issues, and being in regular contact with the school will help to know about issues as they develop, rather than hearing about them when they have escalated to a level that makes them difficult to resolve.

Having clear, regular lines of communication will help in ensuring that the assessment of education needs for te tamaiti is current and any issues can be responded to promptly.

When te tamaiti transitions between placements, or from one school to another, their education needs may change and an updated assessment of their needs should occur. This includes when they move from primary to intermediate school, or onto secondary schooling. These are key transition points and te tamaiti may fall between services or have their learning needs missed. 

Assessment of the education needs of a tamaiti in care should also include access to the things you need to get to and participate in schooling/education.

The caregiver for te tamaiti will also have an important perspective on how the education needs of te tamaiti are understood. Ensure that the assessment includes engaging with the caregiver to understand their perspective and how they can support the education needs of te tamaiti.

When te tamaiti is placed with a care partner and their caregivers, the allocated social worker will work closely with the care partner and their caregiver to:

  • assess the education needs of te tamaiti
  • agree on and document the All About Me plan – the education support required, including who will undertake the agreed actions.

Supporting tamariki with their education and training needs

All About Me Plan to meet the needs of tamariki

Responding to identified education needs

The National Care Standards Regulations 36 -43 outline a number of requirements for supporting the education needs of tamariki in care. Once the education needs of te tamaiti have been assessed and identified, their All About Me Plan will outline how these needs will be supported and monitored.

All About Me plan to meet the needs of tamariki in care

Supporting tamariki with their education and training needs

Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018

Subdomain: Early childhood education

Assessment prompts

  • How are the early learning needs of te tamaiti being met within the home?
  • How are cultural learning needs being addressed, either within the home/whānau or ECE service?
  • If in ECE, does  the provider recognise and respond to the aspirations and learning goals of the whānau or family?
  • How is te reo and tikanga learning being supported? What role are family, whānau, hapū and iwi playing in the learning needs of te tamaiti?
  • Are there books at home, do parents/caregivers read to te tamaiti? Is a love of reading and books being fostered? Are parents/whānau confident reading to their tamaiti, if not, have they been offered support?
  • Does the home environment support te tamaiti to learn through play at home? Is te tamaiti provided with free-play opportunities, where role play and fantasy play is supported, within a safe environment with clear routines. Are there a variety of toys, activities, arts and crafts available to build creativity and imagination?
  • Are they exposed to cultural experiences, are they growing knowledge and confidence about their whakapapa, marae, family, whānau, hapū and iwi?
  • What other life experiences are they getting? Do they have opportunities to explore and learn in their own environment and wider community, with safety and routine in place?
  • Does te tamaiti attend a quality ECE service? Are there any barriers to access? Do the parents/caregivers need assistance to access these services?
  • Is attendance at ECE stable and predictable for te tamaiti, and does it allow for consistent care relationships for te tamaiti within the ECE service? If te tamaiti has entered care how are existing ECE relationships being maintained to provide continuity and support?
  • Is the relationship between the parents/caregiver and any ECE service supportive, connected and an opportunity to respond to developing needs of te tamaiti?
  • Are any learning needs or developmental issues being identified early, so that learning assessments can be initiated and interventions established early if necessary? Are we accessing expertise from health and education to support our understanding of these issues?

Descriptors: early childhood education

10 — The early learning needs of te tamaiti are being fully met. Te tamaiti is receiving positive early childhood education both in the home and/or through an ECE service — this includes kindergarten, kohanga reo, play centre, early learning centre. Te tamaiti is provided with the opportunity to explore and learn in a number of environments, including settings that support awareness and cultural learning.

5 — The early learning needs of te tamaiti are partly met at home. Te tamaiti is enrolled in an ECE service however attendance is limited or erratic and support is needed to maintain consistent attendance and engagement.

1 — The early learning needs of te tamaiti are not being met. Te tamaiti is receiving little or no early childhood education either in the home or through an ECE service. The home environment does not support learning and is not preparing te tamaiti for starting school.

Subdomain: School engagement

Assessment prompts

  • Has te tamaiti had the opportunity to develop a positive experience of school- through attendance, consistency of schooling, recognition of and responsiveness of the school to their needs, and the opportunity to build positive relationships?
  • Does te tamaiti have a positive image of themselves as a successful learner? What goals does te tamaiti have for their learning? What areas are they passionate about? How can they be supported to achieve their aspirations and how can school engagement support this?
  • Does te tamaiti have friends at school? Do friendships carry over to ‘outside’ school times? Are friends supporting a positive view of school for te tamaiti? If friendships are difficult to make or maintain, is there support in place to help them manage relationships?
  • Does te tamaiti feel they are connected to their school – do they see themselves as part of the school community? Do they feel they belong? Is te tamaiti engaged in any school activities- sports, kapa haka, choir, drama- activities that promote a sense of connectedness and identity with the school? What does te tamaiti and the whānau or family see as the barriers to engagement?
  • Are the culture and language of te tamaiti valued and visible within the school environment; is te tamaiti encouraged to be proud of who they are and where they come from?
  • How are cultural learning needs being addressed? How is te reo and tikanga learning being supported?
  • Does te tamaiti and their whānau or family experience the school as inclusive, recognising and responding to difference? Does te tamaiti and their whānau or family experience the school as flexible, and supportive of building plans that respond to individual need. Does te tamaiti feel able to manage within the physical environment at school?
  • Is there a connection between school and home, are there clear lines of communication? Are the parents/caregivers engaged with the school, supportive and connected and communicating with kaiako (teachers) about the experience of school for te tamaiti?
  • Do parents/caregivers talk to te tamaiti about school? What’s happening at school, who their friends are, what they like, what they do at lunch time? Do parents/caregivers help te tamaiti problem solve any issues or talk through problems?
  • What can the parents/caregivers tell us about what is happening at school for te tamaiti? What are they noticing, do they have any concerns, what do they think is working well?
  • Is the school aware of and sensitive to home circumstances that are impacting on the ability of te tamaiti to engage at school?
  • Does te tamaiti feel safe at school? Are any bullying or discrimination issues (gender identity, sexual orientation) being addressed?

Descriptors: school engagement

10 — Te tamaiti enjoys most or all aspects of school life, is motivated to learn and is engaged in most/all aspects of the school experience — social, academic, sporting, arts and culture. S/he has a sense of connectedness and belonging with their school community. Parent/caregiver/ whānau support and encourage continued engagement.

5 — Te tamaiti enjoys some aspects of school, expresses some challenges and is disengaged at times. Educational supports are in place and are aiding engagement. Te tamaiti shows some motivation to learn and has school relationships that support belonging. Parent/caregiver/whānau support and encourage continued engagement.

1 — Te tamaiti is very unhappy at school, or is rebellious/disengaged with learning and school in general. Te tamaiti is not motivated and there are no supports in place. Parent/caregiver/whānau do not support or encourage continued engagement or circumstances at home do not support engagement.

Subdomain: School attendance

Assessment prompts

  • Is te tamaiti enrolled at school? What is their attendance at school? What are the barriers? Are they on time?
  • Are there issues in their whānau or family life that make it difficult to achieve full attendance or ones that impact on the capacity of te tamaiti to stick to the school routine? Does te tamaiti worry about whānau members when separated from them?
  • Do they have all the necessary equipment, stationary and uniform requirements, shoes and warm and wet weather clothing needs? Is this preventing them from attending school?
  • Do they come to school prepared for learning – have they eaten breakfast, do they have lunch? Do they get sufficient sleep?
  • Are there issues around peer bullying that are impacting on school attendance? Be mindful adolescent bullying occurs within schools and can continue out of school and on-line as well.
  • Is there a pattern of absence/truancy – if so, seek to understand from the perspective of te tamaiti and their parent/caregivers what might be contributing to this and any barriers to attendance.
  • Is the school open to negotiating an alternative plan to support attendance and learning for te tamaiti? Who needs to be part of this planning process?
  • Have learning needs been considered, and if found, assessed for and supports put in place?
  • If te tamaiti has entered care does the school understand the new living circumstances and who to contact if they are concerned?
  • Is the school aware of the underlying issues/challenges for te tamaiti (change in living arrangements, experience of trauma or harm) and is this being considered in their approach to working through issues with te tamaiti, whānau and caregivers?

Descriptors: school attendance

Age range

Over 5 year olds.

10 — Te tamaiti attends school every day, prepared, supported and ready for the day ahead.

5 — School attendance is a concern for te tamaiti but there is a plan in place to which everyone is committed and progress is being made. Circumstances at home that may be impacting on attendance are well understood and are being addressed.

1 — Te tamaiti is not attending school, or not attending regularly. S/he is not enrolled, or is excluded. There is a history of stand-downs and/or exclusions. Circumstances at home impact on their ability to attend regularly, or te tamaiti is not supported to attend. Te tamaiti has had frequent changes of school.

Subdomain: School achievement

Assessment prompts

  • Is te tamaiti making progress and achieving to their potential?
  • Is te tamaiti learning and achieving at the expected levels for their age and development?
  • How does te tamaiti feel about their progress at school; are they proud or is this an area of concern for them? Does their kaiako (teacher) feel they are fulfilling their potential? Do kaiako (teachers) have high expectations of achievement and are they supporting te tamaiti to reach their potential?
  • How do their parents/caregivers feel about the progress te tamaiti is making?
  • Have areas of strength been identified for this tamaiti- are these being supported and developed to promote their overall achievement?
  • Does the school environment reflect and value their identity, language and culture? Does te tamaiti see their language and culture as relevant and valued within the educational setting?
  • How are cultural learning needs being addressed? How is te reo and tikanga learning being supported?
  • Is English a second language for te tamaiti — is this impacting their achievement at school? How is knowing a second language valued and utilised to support learning?
  • Are other aspects of development and learning progressing for te tamaiti- are they developing social skills, growing independence, self-control/discipline, organisational skills, cultural knowledge and physical development skills – that will support future success?
  • If there are any learning issues, have these been assessed and is there a plan to respond? Can te tamaiti see and hear in the classroom? If there are learning issues have these potential explanations been examined?
  • Is there a need for an assessment of learning support needs? Has a Gateway/Education profile been completed for a tamaiti in care? Has appropriate resourcing been accessed for a tamaiti with learning support needs?
  • Are there any barriers to learning that we could be looking to overcome? Does te tamaiti have access to resources, tools that are necessary for schooling and that support learning?
  • Does the home environment support learning and achieving- is te tamaiti supported by his/her parents/caregivers to complete homework, reading, assignments, tasks? Does te tamaiti have access to a quiet space in the evenings to complete homework?
  • Has behaviour been identified as a factor in achievement? Have learning support needs been considered in any behaviour support planning?

Descriptors: school achievement

10 — Te tamaiti has a positive orientation to learning, is motivated, has a sense of pride in his/her achievement. Te tamaiti is achieving to his/her potential. Any learning difficulties are assessed and supported to assist te tamaiti to progress in their learning.

5 — Te tamaiti is making progress in their learning, but this may be inconsistent or there may be areas of identified difficulty that need additional support. His/her motivation to achieve may be variable, or social or whānau networks may not value achievement.

1 — Learning is not progressing for te tamaiti. Te tamaiti demonstrates little or no motivation and social or whānau networks do not value achievement. Learning difficulties have been identified but no support or commitment to intervention is occurring. Te tamaiti is not experiencing success and this may be negatively impacting on his/her sense of identity and self-worth.

Subdomain: Vocational training or employment

Age range

Over 16 year olds.

Assessment prompts

  • What aspirations does the rangatahi have for their future? What have these aspirations been influenced by? Who do they talk with about their dreams and aspirations?
  • Has every effort been made by the school, Minstry of Education, and health, working together with us to ensure rangatahi can remain in school? Is leaving school in the best interests of the rangatahi and not a response to a lack of support and assistance to remain within the formal education system?
  • Does the rangatahi have clear and achievable plans in place for leaving school?
  • Has the rangatahi been supported to plan their pathway through education? Is the plan more than just a short-term course what comes next for the rangatahi? How does any short-term course scaffold the rangatahi to a viable vocational/employment future?
  • What do they enjoy doing? What excites them? What do they think they need to support their future goals?
  • Is the rangatahi realistic about what it means to make a commitment to vocational training or employment? Do they have the self-management, self-care and organisational skills and knowledge to be successful? Are there any distractions for rangatahi (for example peers, home/living situation)
  • What are the expectations of whānau or family? Is this helping or hindering the ability of the rangatahi to achieve their goals? Who else provides the rangatahi with support, coaching and role modelling on appropriate behaviours to support vocational/employment success?
  • Do rangatahi leaving care have the necessary supports to maintain ongoing engagement in education or vocational training? How are any neuro-disabilities or trauma impacts being considered in the plan for the rangatahi?
  • For rangatahi not enrolled in education or vocational training what are we doing to address this and support the rangatahi to find a positive future pathway?

Transiton to adulthood

Descriptors: vocational training or employment

10 —Te rangatahi has an early leaving certificate (s71) or has completed his/her secondary schooling and is fully engaged in vocational training of their choosing or paid work. S/he meets their training or employment obligations well. Te rangatahi has a vision for his/her future and sees a clear pathway to achieve it. They have a network of connections that provides support and guidance.

5 — Te rangatahi is enrolled at secondary school, on a course or in employment but attendance is inconsistent. There is a lack of understanding about requirements/expectations of their course or work commitments. Te rangatahi has only some interest in the course or lacks motivation/stickability at work. S/he is unclear regarding their future vocational plans.

1 — Te rangatahi does not have an early leaving exemption (s71) or has not completed his/her secondary schooling, and is not engaged in any vocational training or employment, or any other meaningful daily activity. Te rangatahi has no clear plan for his/her future employment/career, and little positive guidance and support to plan for their future. S/he feels unable to move forward in training or paid work because of real or perceived barriers.