The education screen

When children and young people are not engaged in education, training or employment, there is a strong likelihood that they will become involved in offending. The youth justice co-ordinator is required to provide information and advice on the education needs of the child or young person for whom a youth justice family group conference is held (s255) and the family group conference must ensure that any issues are dealt with in the plan.

The primary purpose of the education screen is to provide information about the level of educational need for each child or young person. Where the education screen indicates a high level of concern the youth justice co-ordinator will seek further consent for an education assessment. In all cases where there is any level of concern, the youth justice co-ordinator will contact the school and elicit support from them for the child or young person and the family group conference. The child or young person’s social worker will contact the school if further information is required to inform the Tuituia assessment.

The education screen provides information on the child or young person’s presence at school or alternative education, participation and learning, current achievement levels, interests and abilities and other influencing factors, which may include health issues.

There will be an indication of previous school history (number of schools, attendance records, suspensions, stand-downs, etc) and of any recommended actions or options for students currently in use or being considered. Where available, this information will be used to inform the youth justice pre-family group conference case consultation and the Tuituia assessment

The referral form for the education screen is located in the Health and Education Assessment folder under the Intervention phase in CYRAS – please use CYRAS when making referrals and recording outcomes. It should be noted that “Declined”, “Not Eligible” and “Consent withdrawn” are not acceptable reasons for not completing an education screen.

If education information has been provided by an education officer or in a Ministry of Education “information-only” report in the Youth Court, the report should be entered into the ‘Outcome’ tab of the Health and Education folder in CYRAS. The referral tab should be used to record the source of the report – the referral form in this case can be deleted and free text entered.

If a young person aged 16 or over is in full time secure employment, a referral for an education screen is not required. However the employment information must be entered into the Outcome tab of an education screen record and the record set to “Incomplete’

Oranga Tamariki can request education information without requiring the consent of the child or young person or their parents/caregivers. The appropriate legislation is noted on the referral form.

Education screens for children who offend are requested by a youth justice social worker.

It would be helpful if the youth justice manager and co-ordinators contacted their local schools and colleges and arranged to meet with them to explain the reason for and importance of the education screen. Attending a principals’ association meeting or a staff or deans’ meeting can be very useful in socialising and gaining support for the screen, particularly in getting their prompt return.

The expectation is that the screens will be completed and returned within five working days:

  • Where a child or young person is identified as being enrolled at a school (either currently or in the recent past) then the youth justice co-ordinator sends the screen to that school to be filled out and returned.
  • Where a child or young person is not enrolled at a school or a recent school cannot be identified the youth justice co-ordinator sends the screen to the local Ministry of Education office to be filled out and returned.
  • Where a recent school is latterly identified by the local Ministry of Education office, the youth justice co-ordinator should request further information from that school.
  • Information for young people who are aged 16 and over and no longer formally engaged with education, training or employment should still be sought from their last known school or local Ministry of Education office.