Topic: Ohorere Student Transition

Topic type:

Ohorere Student Transition

 

ʻOhorereʼ - Student Transition Programm was brought about by three factors. The first was the concern around the the increased stand downs and exclusion that was brought about by the mergers of the schools in 2004. There was concern expressed by the social agencies and schools about the number of young people that were on the streets and who were causing problems. The third, and most telling reason, was the need to change the attitude of disruptive children at an early age and before they got to college.

At a meeting of the Masterton Principalsʼ Cluster it was agreed to approach the Ministry of Education to set up a Student Transition Programme for three years and determine whether or not such a programme could make a difference. After initial set backs, Frazer Mailman and Lynne Birch met with the Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard, who agreed to the funding of the programme. Te Puni Kokiri and the Masterton Charitable Trust also were approached and agreed to fund part of the programme.

In November of 2005 the Management Committee appointed Mr. Kellas Bennett to the senior teacherʼs position and also appointed two teacher aides, Michelle Bain and Sharon Haeata. Their role was to provide academically stimulating programmes with the emphasis to be on literacy, numeracy and ICT. They also developed a social skills programme to meet the varying needs of the students.

Every six months, or two terms, six children would be selected to attend Ohorere. They came from state funded primary and intermediate schools and they had to have the consent and support of their families to be a part of the programme. Each day they would be picked up and to and from school, hence increasing their attendance rate.

Over the four years that Ohorere has operated 52 students have been catered for. Eighty one percent have been successfully returned to mainstream education while a further ten percent have been placed into alternative education centres.

At the end of 2009 the funding for the programme ceased, Kellas resigned taking up a deputy principalʼs position at Makoura College. All is not lost however, as the school is in negotiations with the Ministry to fund it long term. At the time of writing no decision had been reached.