Young people talk about learning in Alternative Education


Who we are

The Education Review Office works for the government. Our job is to look at how things are going for young people in education, all over Aotearoa New Zealand.

What we did (our research)

We talked to some young people and adults at different Alternative Education places. We wanted to find out if young people:

  • have good teachers
  • have safe and happy classrooms
  • learn things that are important to them
  • learn things that will help them have a good future.

Thank you to everyone who did this research with us

The things you told us were really helpful. Here we share:

  • the most important things that young people told us
  • things that will make learning in Alternative Education better.

124 young people did an online survey and 53 young people were interviewed. 

Whole article:

Young people talk about learning in Alternative Education

What young people told us they liked about learning in Alternative Education

Young people like how they learn at Alternative Education

A lot of young people told us that:

  • the small groups help them learn
  • they like their relationships with the adults that work with them
  • they are helped to feel good about their learning and who they are
  • their culture is respected at Alternative Education. Sometimes, we heard that a little more could be done to help them celebrate their identity.

“Here it’s small, I can actually ask for help and interact with all the tutors” -  Young person attending Alternative Education

Young people like their learning and achievement

We heard from young people that:

  • they get to talk about their goals with adults
  • they think the work is at a good level for them
  • they know what they want to do after Alternative Education.

“You feel loved here” - Young person attending Alternative Education

When ERO was visiting we saw that people who work with you:

  • really care about you, and want to help you out
  • but they cannot always help you as much as they want to because they need better:
    • buildings for you to learn in
    • equipment for you learn with
  • the money given to the people who work with you isn’t enough to do a good job
  • you don’t get to see all the people who can help you with your learning
  • the people who work with you keep changing.

The Education Review Office is telling the government:

  1. The Ministry of Education needs to help schools to help you stay in school and enjoy learning in school.
  2. You need more choices than school or Alternative Education.
  3. The Ministry of Education needs to change how Alternative Education is done.  
  4. There needs to be help for you to find the best places to learn after you leave Alternative Education.
  5. The Ministry of Education needs to know more about how you are doing in Alternative Education.