Young people, or ākonga, within the youth justice system are a unique cohort of learners in many ways. While ākonga are awaiting a court trial, they could be placed in residential remand homes for days, weeks, or months. Ākonga are entitled to receive educational services of a high quality while in residential remand homes. The New Zealand Ministry of Education manages the education provision, and wanted to know what they could do to further improve the learning and wellbeing outcomes for learners.
The New Zealand Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga wanted to understand the variation in the implementation of education within the remand homes. Context was paramount, therefore it was important that the data focus on capturing different educational experiences, highlighting the diversity of the models that influence relevance and effectiveness for ākonga. The team employed a mixed-methods approach, relying more heavily on qualitative data. Salient themes were identified across varied experiences from interviews with government officials, education providers, remand home providers and ākonga. The information was used to identify the delivery and contractual management factors that the Ministry could leverage to further support a relevant, coherent and effective educational programme for ākonga.