Reviewing and reporting for the STAR programme
Reporting to the Ministry of Education – STAR Funding Report Form
Each year, schools are required to maintain a record to confirm that the Crown's funds allocated for STAR have been used for the purpose intended.
Schools complete the STAR Funding Report form annually and hold it on record so it is available to the Ministry of Education on request. It is the principal's and the board of trustees' responsibility to ensure that this and any other records related to STAR funding are accurate and are available for audit and reporting purposes.
Analysing the Funding Review Report
The STAR Funding Review Report is completed annually and sent to your local pathway advisor/facilitator.
The information in the completed report will help the STAR coordinator evaluate the policy and procedures and, ultimately, the programme.
The following are questions a STAR coordinator might ask when evaluating the programme:
- How many students were assisted through STAR?
- Which sub-groups were priorities for this year and how have their needs been met (for example, Māori or Pasifika, year 13, early leavers, and so on)? Have they received equitable funding?
- What percentage of the courses were run in school?
- What were the most successful courses/experiences for students?
- How many courses were accessed through external providers?
- How many students gained unit standards or qualifications through STAR?
- How much of the STAR funding was spent on in-school courses compared to off-site experiences?
- Was there any STAR funding left at the end of the year?
- How well did we facilitate individual student needs?
- How well did we meet the needs of at-risk students during the year?
- What percentage of the funding is spent on staffing? How is this linked to student need?
- What percentage of courses offered widely transferable skills?
- How many short introductory courses were offered?
Reporting to the board of trustees
At least once a year the principal (and coordinator) should report to the board. The report should focus on how the activity achieved the outcomes set in the annual targets and the STAR policy.
Ideally, the reports are held on file together with the completed STAR Funding Report form for that year. The report to the board should:
- address the key outcomes
- include information about the students who participated in the programme, like:
- gender and ethnicity
- records of attendance
- highlight successes of the programme
- comment on trends, risks or issues that are emerging
- include recommendations about future directions and possibly an action plan for the following year
- provide a brief overview of expenditure
- list of key personnel and their roles.
Any action plans should be detailed and recognise difficulties and challenges identified by both the school and students. The plan will include timelines and outcomes where applicable.
Reporting to New Zealand Qualifications Authority
The principal’s nominee is responsible for forwarding of student achievement information to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), regardless of whether courses are delivered by an internal staff member or by an accredited external provider. Because of this, it is important the memorandum of understanding that the school has with external providers sets out a clear process for communicating results.
When a student has successfully completed a course, the STAR coordinator is required to forward the student names, the NSI number and the provider’s number along with the standard number and version to the principal’s nominee. A prudent STAR coordinator would check the entry before the records are forwarded to NZQA and at a later date check the student record of achievement is accurate.
Purpose of review
The purpose of any review is to look closely at how well STAR is used and if it is best meeting the needs of the students. It therefore involves close examination of a range of elements in relation to each other:
- evidenced student needs
- linkage to school direction and other school activity
- student STAR experiences
- effectiveness of management and administration
- outcomes (academic and other)
- quality of provision
- outcomes post-school (student follow-up).
A review of data in School K illustrates that the Outdoor Education activity funded by STAR which has now been running for 8years currently uses $15,000 of STAR (30% of total resource) for 15 students per year. Student follow-up data reveals that in the past 3 years:
- 2 students out of 45 have gone on to tertiary qualifications in related areas
- 1 student is directly using the skills from this STAR activity in her job
- 16 students out of 45 are now in training and/or work in a branch of engineering
The school does not offer any trade options in engineering.
Is there a better way of meeting the needs of the students?
Reviews can be undertaken twice a year based on information collected throughout the year.
- Annual review of the effectiveness of the STAR programme and results reported to the board.
- Mid-year review, where practicable, completed before releasing the next year's senior course booklet.
- collecting a range of data and evidence
- analysing this data and evidence in a way that informs whether current activity is best serving student need
- mapping the current activity evidence against the evidenced needs of future students
- looking at a range of options that might better meet future student need
- planning and goal setting for the future based on sound evidence
- reporting annually to the Ministry of Education in the STAR Funding Report Form and to the board of trustees.
Using STAR self-review template
The self-review template provides a guide on how to link current and future practice to ensure STAR programmes target students’ needs.
Self-review allows schools to:
- consider the benefits gained by the school, staff, students and providers from the activities undertaken
- consider how the outcomes of processes enhance students' learning experiences
- identify and disseminate effective practice, both internally and externally
- identify opportunities to make review practices more effective and efficient, checking if the school, through its processes, is managing risk appropriately for its activities
- consider new activity that STAR might include in the future, allowing time for research and planning.
Contributors to the self-review:
- Careers/STAR team
- Training providers
- Workplace providers
- Teachers/guidance personnel
- Senior managers and curriculum leaders (via school strategic planning).
Resource G is the STAR self-review template [PDF; 49kb]
Whether courses are delivered internally or externally, they should always be monitored for their effectiveness. Students should complete course evaluation sheets. Record information about each student's gender, ethnicity, attendance record and the particular course they attended.
Try to find answers to such questions as the following:
- Did you find the course interesting? Was it relevant to your needs? Was it well planned?
- What did you think of the tutor? Could you understand his or her explanations? Was it easy to ask questions?
- Have you gained some new skills? If so, what are they?
- Has the course helped you to plan for your future? If so, what have you decided?
- What else do you need to know before you decide on your plans for future work or study?
Evaluation information will:
- shape future programmes
- meet the ongoing needs of individual students
- help with decisions on whether to stay with a particular provider
- be used to inform any report to the board.
Most providers have their own evaluation forms. The memorandum of understanding could include a negotiated agreement by which the provider shares summaries of these forms with the school.
"We get all our students to complete an evaluation form for the internally run STAR programmes in June, prior to the senior options book being published. This helps us to understand whether the courses we are providing internally really are meeting the needs of our students."
"We sent fifteen students on a hairdressing course. The provider got them to fill in evaluation forms, which they sent to us along with the assessment information. The forms showed that the students found their experiences worthwhile and fun. This information helped us to decide that we would use this provider again."
STAR action plan
Objectives and guidelines
The objectives and guidelines for STAR are in Appendix 3 of the Funding, Staffing and Allowances Handbook. STAR objectives developed schools should be aligned to school strategic goals and the school annual plan.
What are we doing now?
List all the activities you are doing in relation to each objective. The activities are contained in the annual STAR Funding Report form.
What evidence do we have?
Collect useful data related to student outcomes and annual goals, including:
- student achievement data (for example, STAR Funding Report Form, student reports, NCEA results)
- perception data (for example, evaluations, surveys, anecdotal)
- demographic data (for example, attendance, ethnicity, gender)
- school systems data (for example, timetables, policies, procedures, strategic plans, minutes, annual plan)
- research and best practice data (for example, research articles, advisor input, professional readings, networking ideas)
- destination data.
What needs to be done?
Look at the collected evidence; analyse and interpret what this means in relation to student outcomes and annual goals.
Consult stakeholders as required and discuss with other relevant staff who help administer and deliver STAR activity.
Reflect on what this means for future planning.
Here is an example:
||What are we doing now?
||What evidence do we have?
||What needs to be done?|
||Facilitate transition to workplace.
||Placements have been circulated to the STAR committee and discussed at a meeting. Documentation kept on student profiles.
||These need to be included in our policies and procedures handbook, and copies given to members of STAR committee and principal. Copies are also kept on file.|
||Provide tertiary-type courses.
||Lists of courses offered internally and externally (school and off site) – details recorded on audit review.
||All staff and senior students should be included in process; discussion with staff interested in offering courses, and students as well as providers consulted for options.|
||Support students to explore career pathways.
||Student profiles record choices; notes on students recorded when assisted to make career choices.
||Students interviewed to ensure smooth transition to pathway is occurring.|
What happens now?
- set goals for next year (based on review, evaluation and reflection) and:
- prepare an action plan to meet these goals (see the example above)
- review policies, job descriptions and procedures to ensure they accurately reflect priorities, actions and activities planned
- include relevant stakeholders in the planning and communication
- write annual report to principal and board of trustees.
Resource G can be used to identify future STAR programmes needs [PDF; 49kb]
Regular review will take place in the same way the board of trustee reviews any other school policy.
The policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s EOTC, and Health and Safety policies.