22 February 2024

Review and develop school practices

Use research and recommendations to build student-centred systems and processes for successful transitions.

Know your students

Know your students

In this Tapasā video students talk about what they want teachers to know about them.

A student-centred process is built on trusting reciprocal relationships, with ākonga actively involved in determining their current interests and future aspirations and how to pursue them.

Use He Pikorua practice principles

Use He Pikorua practice principles

He Pikorua is a framework that supports practitioners to deliver learning support services.

It is one of the ways the Ministry of Education aims to strengthen how learning support is provided, so that all students get the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

The practice principles are:

  • mokopuna and whānau-centred
  • collaborative
  • strengths-based
  • culturally affirming and responsive
  • inclusive
  • ecological
  • evidence informed.

The practice principles are fully described on the Ministry of Education website for Learning Support practitioners.

Our practice principles – He Pikorua

Support students' ambitions

Support students' ambitions

Katrina talks about her ambition to become a kindergarten teacher.

She describes how the school is supporting her to achieve this goal.

Use the National Transitions Guidelines

Use the National Transitions Guidelines

The National Transition Guidelines outline principles that underpin successful transitions.

They are supported by recent New Zealand research and international best evidence.

  • Planning for transition from school starts at age 14* and aims to maximise academic achievement and functional life skills. (* Careers education starts at Years 7-8 and is woven into the curriculum. Start specific transition planning at age 14 at the latest).
  • The student and their whānau drive the process.
  • Partnerships are developed between the school and community supports.
  • The transition plan is embedded in mainstream education and community settings.
  • The process identifies and overcomes barriers to the student’s learning and support.
  • The student and whānau are offered information and support to access inclusive community-based options.
  • There is a clear distinction between the needs of the whānau and the needs of the student during transition.
  • Functional life skills are developed and practised at home and in other natural settings.
  • Outcomes of the transition planning process are regularly evaluated.

Source: Adapted from National Transition Guidelines – Ministry of Education (opens in a new tab/window)

Review school-wide practices

Review school-wide practices

Consider these ERO recommendations for developing student pathways for the future, as part of a robust whole school self-review.
  • Determine the extent to which curriculum, careers, and pastoral care processes assist students to develop career management competencies and successful pathways from school.
  • Develop curriculum and systems to ensure a focus on identifying and responding to the aspirations, strengths, and needs of all students and their families or whānau.
  • Work increasingly with families, whānau, and iwi to develop student pathways to education, training, and employment.
  • Engage local businesses and community health, social, and education agencies to respond to students’ futures in education, training, and employment.
  • Identify and implement the innovation required to support the pathways and success of learners, including the development of courses for Māori and Pacific learners.

Source: Adapted from Secondary schools pathways for future education, training and employment (2013) – ERO (opens in a new tab/window)

Develop whole-school careers education

Develop whole-school careers education

A well-designed, whole-school approach to careers education and guidance is an integral part of preparing students for life beyond school.

Careers education starts in Years 7 and 8 and continues throughout the student’s life in school.

Careers New Zealand’s benchmarks and ERO’s evaluations of careers education have identified key school-wide approaches to careers education.

  • Detailed planning to develop careers education and guidance programmes, including professional development for staff.
  • Designing specific careers education and guidance programmes across year levels and subject areas, starting at Years 7 and 8.
  • Providing targeted careers education and guidance for key groups.
  • Providing careers education and guidance as part of pastoral support and academic counselling.
  • Identifying outcomes for students.
  • Reviewing coverage, quality and outcomes of careers education and guidance.

For more help, see 

Source: Careers education and guidance: Good practice (2015) – ERO (opens in a new tab/window)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Develop effective whole-school practices”:

Return to the guide “Preparing students to leave school”