Reviewing and reporting for the STAR programme
Reporting to the Ministry of Education
STAR funding is part of operational funding, which is the money a board of trustees receives from the Government to implement the goals of the school's charter, and to run the school. Schools now have discretion about how to use STAR funding, and are not required to report on its use to the Ministry. However, it is expected that schools will continue to manage and monitor the use of STAR funding for audit purposes and for reporting to the board of trustees.
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 action plan (see below) and the STAR policy.
The report to the board should:
- address the key outcomes
- include appropriate information about 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 an overview of expenditure
- list key personnel and their roles.
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 internally 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 completed a course, the STAR coordinator is required to forward the student name, their National Student Number, the provider’s number and the assessment standard number and version to the principal’s nominee. The STAR coordinator should check the entry before the records are forwarded to NZQA and at a later date check the student record of achievement.
Purpose of review
The purpose of a review is to examine how well STAR funding is used and if STAR activities meet the needs of students. It involves consideration of a number of elements, including:
- Student needs
- The link with school direction and other school activities
- Student’s STAR experiences
- Effectiveness of management and administration
- Outcomes (academic and other)
- Quality of provision
- Post-secondary outcomes (student follow-up).
There are two types of review a school can undertake in relation to STAR funding.
- Annual review of the effectiveness of the STAR programme, including reporting results to the board
- Mid-year review, where practicable, completed before releasing the next year's senior course booklet
- Collect a range of data and evidence.
- Analyse the data and evidence to determine if current activities serve student needs.
- Map the evidence against the needs of future students.
- Examine options that might better meet future student needs.
- Plan and set goals for the future based on sound evidence.
- Report to the board of trustees.
Using the STAR self-review template
Resource G – the STAR self-review template provides guidance about linking current and future practice to ensure STAR programmes target students’ needs.
Self-review allows schools to:
- consider the benefits of STAR activities to the school, staff, students and providers
- consider how the outcomes enhance students' learning experiences
- identify and disseminate effective practice internally and externally
- identify opportunities to improve review practices
- check a school’s risk-management policies and processes
- consider new activities that might be included in a STAR programme.
Contributors to the self-review might include the Careers and/or /STAR team, students, parents and caregivers, the local community, training providers, workplace providers, teachers and/or /guidance personnel, senior managers and curriculum leaders.
Whether courses are delivered internally or externally, they should always be monitored for effectiveness. The STAR coordinator should record appropriate information about each student's gender, ethnicity, attendance record and the courses they attended. Students should complete course evaluation sheets.
Student course evaluation sheets might include questions like:
- 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 can plan future work or study?
Evaluation information will:
- shape future programmes
- meet the ongoing needs of individual students
- help with decisions about whether to stay with a particular provider
- be used to inform review and reports 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.
STAR action plan
A STAR action plan should include a detailed analysis of student need and the actions that will be taken to ensure the STAR programme meets its objectives and aligns with school’s strategic goals and annual plan.
STAR-related objectives developed by schools must align with the overall STAR objectives, which can be found in Appendix 3 of the Funding, Staffing and Allowances Handbook.
The following areas should be addressed when developing a STAR action plan.
Consider all the STAR activities the school is undertaking and how they relate to the school’s STAR objectives. A school may also wish to consider whether the school’s STAR objectives align with any recent educational policy changes.
Schools must ensure that data collection, retention and disclosure does not contravene any statute or code, particularly the Privacy Act 1993. Guidelines about privacy practices for agencies collecting personal information can be found at the website of the Privacy Commissioner.
Collect data related to student outcomes and annual goals, including:
- student achievement data (for example, student reports and records of learning)
- perception data (for example, evaluations and surveys)
- demographic data (for example, attendance, ethnicity and gender)
- school systems data (for example, timetables, policies, procedures, strategic plans, minutes, and the annual plan)
- research and best-practice data (for example, research articles, advisor input, and professional readings)
- destination data.
Preparing an action plan
- Examine the data, and analyse and interpret its meaning in relation to student outcomes and annual goals.
- Consult stakeholders as required and discuss conclusions with other staff who help administer and deliver STAR activity.
- Reflect on what the evidence means for planning, and set objectives for the next year.
- Review policies, job descriptions and procedures to ensure they reflect priorities, actions and planned activities.
- Include timelines and outcomes.
- Include relevant stakeholders in the planning and communication.