Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/care/caring-for-tamariki-in-care/supporting-tamariki-with-their-education-and-training-needs/enrolling-and-engaging-tamariki-and-rangatahi-in-care-in-education/
Printed: 03/10/2022
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Last updated: 30/08/2022

Enrolling and engaging tamariki and rangatahi in care in education

We work in partnership to build a shared understanding of the education needs of tamariki and rangatahi, identify the best education environment for them and develop a plan. A good relationship with the school and effective communication are vital.

Whakataukī

Ko te ahurei o te tamaiti arahia o tātou mahi

Let the uniqueness of the child guide our mahi

How we support tamariki or rangatahi to enrol and engage in education

1 Identify current situation

Te tamaiti or rangatahi is:

  • not enrolled
  • disengaged/partially attending
  • moving schools
  • starting school
  • exiting a residence.

2 Understand education needs

Understanding education needs takes place within the context of building a shared understanding of the needs, challenges and strengths of tamariki or rangatahi, their parents or caregivers and their whānau or family.

To work effectively with Māori, we must:

  • have regard for the mana and whakapapa of tamariki and rangatahi Māori
  • have regard for the whanaungatanga responsibilities of their whānau, hapū and iwi
  • be sensitive to the history of the education system as experienced by Māori.

Policy: Assessment

Gather all relevant information, knowledge and understanding regarding the education needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi by:

  • meeting with them, their whānau or family and significant others who can help us understand their needs in the context of education, including cultural, religious and identity needs (seek support from advisors as appropriate such as kairaranga ā-whānau or other Māori or Pacific cultural advisors or regional disability advisors)
  • gathering information from previous schools, early learning centres and the Ministry of Education
  • accessing information held by Oranga Tamariki, including:
    • CYRAS
    • Tuituia
    • High and Complex Needs Unit
    • All About Me plan
    • court plan
    • family group conference plan
    • gateway assessment.

If te tamaiti or rangatahi is leaving a residence, discuss the current education plan with their education provider who will support this transition to education in the community.

3 Work in partnership to understand the best education setting

Work in partnership with te tamaiti or rangatahi, whānau or family and others

  • Engage with te tamaiti or rangatahi and whānau or family about the education options. Seek understanding about which school is the preference for te tamaiti or rangatahi, their siblings, and their whānau or family. Consider holding a hui ā-whānau or family meeting to support our engagement.
  • Work with those from education (including the school), Oranga Tamariki (including kairaranga ā-whānau or other Māori advisors, Pacific cultural advisors and regional disability advisors), the community (including cultural and religious advisors), and others significant to te tamaiti or rangatahi when determining the school that will best meet the needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi.
  • Consider whether a boarding school or other special character school is appropriate:
    • Why would this school be an appropriate fit for this tamaiti or rangatahi?
    • How do the values of te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family align with the kaupapa of the school? Contact or meet with the school to gain understanding.
    • What are the school's expectations about enrolment? Make sure everyone involved, particularly te tamaiti or rangatahi and the whānau or family, have a clear understanding from the school about what the school requires of them.
    • What additional supports can the school provide or might need?
    • What are the ongoing expectations from the school once te tamaiti or rangatahi is attending the school? Make sure everyone involved, particularly te tamaiti or rangatahi and the whānau or family, have clear understanding from the school about what the school requires of them.
      Enrolling and supporting ākonga Māori in Māori boarding schools
  • Consider and seek advice about how to meet the identified education needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi, including cultural, religious and identity needs in the context of education.
  • Ensure any decision about whether a school is appropriate is aligned with the existing All About Me plan to meet all the needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi. (The most appropriate school may not necessarily be the school closest to where te tamaiti or rangatahi is living.) How is this school able to meet the aspirations of te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family?

Consult

Consult with:

  • the senior advisor education and health for further education advice and support
  • Ministry of Education for assistance with accessing education records and identifying current and previous supports and other parties who may be able to support enrolment or engagement
  • kairaranga ā-whānau or other cultural advisors as appropriate
  • regional disability advisors as appropriate.

For transitions from early childhood education to primary school, primary to intermediate, or intermediate to secondary, start transition planning 1 term before enrolment. Work with the current early childhood centre or school and the Ministry of Education to develop a plan. For tamariki or rangatahi with additional learning needs, including behaviour and disability, transition planning may need to start 2 school terms before enrolment.

For tamariki or rangatahi transferring to a new school or region, planning across the 2 sites or schools should occur before the transfer. Contact should be made with the Ministry of Education to plan the transfer.

4 Engaging with the school and developing a plan

Once the education needs are understood and the proposed school is agreed, the Ministry of Education, Oranga Tamariki, te tamaiti or rangatahi, whānau or family, caregivers and the school should meet to agree the next steps for enrolment and to develop details of a plan.

The plan to meet education needs will form part of the All About Me plan. Take the current All About Me plan into account when developing the education plan to ensure existing goals and strategies can be supported or updated. Ensure consideration is given to:

  • how the All About Me plan will uphold the mana of the whānau or family and reflect their role in the plan
  • how the whakapapa connections of te tamaiti or rangatahi will be maintained or strengthened if they are enrolled with this school
  • how the plan will support oranga including wairua, hinengaro ngākau, tinana, whānau, waiora (spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, family, and environmental wellbeing) for te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • any wrap-around supports needed to enable enrolment and full learning for tamariki and rangatahi with mental health and or disability support needs.

Policy: All About Me plan

If additional supports are required from within or outside the school, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is required. The IEP, or any other specific education plans or assessments, should be attached to the All About Me plan.

An IEP should be completed by the school, sometimes led by the Ministry of Education (although sometimes Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) or the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) develop the plan). The IEP is developed around and including te tamaiti or rangatahi, and sets out how, by who and when the needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi will be met to ensure they are supported to remain in school. The IEP should be reviewed as required and agreed.

If Oranga Tamariki teacher aide support is required and agreed in addition to Ministry of Education or school support, this should be indicated in the IEP, including the number of hours per week and the number of terms. The IEP should include a review date.

5 Set up good relationships and communication with the school

Provide the school with contact details for ongoing connection. Include the contact details of the Oranga Tamariki social worker, caregiver and others involved in supporting the plan. Where a tamaiti or rangatahi is at school out of their home area, a co-worker needs to be allocated so the school has a local contact.

  • Ensure the school is aware of the first point of contact for any daily concerns – for example, the Oranga Tamariki social worker or the caregiver, depending on the nature of the concerns.
  • Ensure the school is clear about who are the guardians of te tamaiti or rangatahi who would need to be contacted for emergencies where custodial or guardianship consent is required.
  • Ensure the school knows who the primary contact is for communication about the education plan – for example, the Oranga Tamariki social worker.
  • Provide the school with contact details for an Oranga Tamariki contact person for any concerns they want to escalate.
  • Work with the school and te tamaiti or rangatahi to identify a key support person for te tamaiti or rangatahi at school and develop a communication plan.
  • When it has been identified that a boarding school best meets the needs of te tamaiti or rangatahi, a detailed communication plan between the school, the whānau, the social worker, the caregiver, and the hostel parents is required.

Policy: Casework responsibilities when our work involves more than 1 site