Alternative Education

Christchurch Alternative Education

Cashmere High school (CHS) holds the contract with the Ministry of Education to deliver Alternative Education (AE). In Turn CHS contracts 7 private providers to deliver AE programmes.

There are currently 115 AE student places allocated to Christchurch. Throughput of AE students is approximately 200 per year.

A placement in Alternative Education means the student learning occurs in an environment other than the school the student is enrolled at. The small group situation involves goal setting, literacy, numeracy, special interest areas, awards and credits on the National Qualifications Framework. The outcomes include returning to mainstream; placement in a youth training or youth guarantee course; and employment.

Student Verification Criteria for Alternative Education

To be eligible for Alternative Education, students must be verified as being alienated from schools.

Pathway 1

To be verified for Alternative Education a young person is non enrolled, schools are refusing enrolment and one or more of the following criteria apply:

  1. Been out of school for two terms or more;
  2. Multiple exclusions (more than one school in urban; 1 plus other factors rural);
  3. Dropped out of The Correspondence School.

Pathway 2

Case Conference – Students may also be verified for access to Alternative Education through a decision made by a case conference team.
The team would include:

  • The Counsellor or a representative of the referring school,
  • The family of the student – one parent/caregiver must be present
  • At least one other agency that the student had been involved with, eg, DTS, Youth Aid, RTLB, or CYF
  • The Alternative Education Manager, Christopher Heaphy, based out of Cashmere High School. Phone: 027 2211729

Students must be aged between 13 and 15 years (inclusive) and may be considered for Alternative Education by the conference team when:

They have been absent for at least half of the last 20 consecutive weeks (for reasons other than illness) and the absence has meant that they are unable to maintain a mainstream programme:  or
They have been:

  1. Suspended and
  2. Risks further suspension
  3. The school must be able to document genuine interventions that have been previously tried and  have been unsuccessful
  4. Ideally the school must also have carried out a diagnostic assessment that defines gaps in behaviour or learning and desired outcomes for the student that could be addressed by an individual learning plan.

Note: The referring school is responsible for the co-ordination of the case conference.