Executive summary

This report discusses the quality of education at seven schools located in Child Youth and Family (CYF) residences. These residences accommodate the most challenging and vulnerable children and young people in New Zealand. The residences include Care and Protection services[1] as well as Youth Justice services. One of the residences, Te Poutama Ārahi Rangatahi, caters for boys who have been convicted of sexual offences.

This Education Review Office evaluation found that the CYF residential schools provided a good education for students. Staff have built strong relationships with students and engaged them in learning. ERO found very few areas for improvement in relation to the quality of education, although some suggestions have been made for developing teaching and learning. This includes making greater use of students’ ideas and providing more authentic teaching and learning activities.

The CYF residential schools have effective processes for inducting students. Education staff are welcoming and make students feel comfortable. Teachers have suitable processes for identifying students’ needs, especially in numeracy and literacy.

Currently not enough is being done to use the expertise in the CYF schools to support the successful transition of students to new education or training destinations when they leave a residence. At the time of the review CYF was introducing a new service model for the residences. This service model aims to create more collaboration between the social workers and the other professionals supporting young people, including education staff.

The implementation of the service model is intended to improve the effectiveness of the exit transitions for students at the residential schools. ERO will work with CYF to include an evaluation of this initiative, and its impact on student outcomes, in future reviews.