Appendix 3: Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR)
The goal of the STAR grant is to assist boards to better meet the needs of senior students. It does this by granting additional funds for boards to use in accessing a wide range of courses, and career related experiences, to provide greater opportunities for senior students. Some of the funding may be used to employ a STAR coordinator and/or administration support.
Who is eligible for funding?
STAR funding is a capped resource available to boards of state and integrated schools that have Years 11–13+ students.
Who is ineligible for funding?
International fee-paying students and adult students are not included in STAR funding calculations.
Providers must be accredited by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) to provide courses. Accredited providers may be the schools themselves, or a range of outside providers such as polytechnics, private training establishment, and universities. Boards can engage workplaces to provide students with work-based learning experiences.
Boards are advised to enter into a memorandum of understanding with each service provider.
Objectives of STAR
The objectives of STAR are to enable boards to:
- facilitate transition to the workplace for students, particularly those intending to go straight into the workforce, or those likely to leave school without any formal qualifications
- provide or purchase tertiary-type courses which will better meet students’ needs, which will motivate them to achieve, and which will facilitate their smooth transition to further education, training or employment
- support students to explore career pathways and help them make informed decisions about their schooling and future work or study.
Guidelines for STAR courses
Courses should meet one of the following criteria:
- The course, in all part, includes work-based learning.
- The course, in all or part, leads towards credit for unit standards on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), including NCEA, for vocational, education and training courses at Level 1 or above.
- The course leads to a quality assured tertiary qualification* at a level beyond that of a typical Year 13 course that has by convention been provided in the senior secondary school.
*See the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.
Courses unsuitable for STAR funding
The teaching and learning assessment associated with achievement standards and non-vocational unit standards, as well as religious study courses, may not be resourced using STAR funding.
Information about those areas excluded from STAR funding is outlined in the STAR Excluded List (SEL) [PDF; 87kb].
Specific information on all registered NQF qualifications is available through the NZQA Framework Explorer or at www.nzqa.govt.nz
STAR funding units
STAR funding is based on STAR funding units. The initial STAR funding estimate uses the school's provisional resourcing roll, excluding adult students, for Years 11, 12 and 13+.
Actual funding for the school year is calculated using the 1 March actual roll. Funding units are calculated by multiplying the roll at each year level by factors of 1, 1.5 and 2 respectively. These products are added to give the total STAR funding units to be allocated. Example:
||Provisional resourcing roll
||STAR funding units |
If the school has less than 40 units then STAR funding will be allocated at the rate per unit listed in Appendix 1.
If a school has more than 40 units, the base rate will be allocated for the first 40, with the remainder being funded at the Additional STAR Funding Unit rate.
Boards may not charge fees for students to attend STAR courses, or for any equipment (excepting any take-home component) or activity associated with the course. Boards are expected to meet any additional costs where STAR funding is insufficient to meet the full costs of the course.
STAR funding is not intended to cover the full costs of all STAR courses. Rather, STAR funding is provided as a top up to a board's entitlement staffing and per pupil funding. The operational funding and staffing entitlement that students on STAR courses generate as regular students should also contribute towards resourcing STAR courses.
Links with tertiary institutions
When students enrolled at a secondary school undertake a tertiary course, course funding may be provided to either the school board or the tertiary institution, but not both.
Boards are responsible for establishing the funding arrangements clearly with any tertiary institution before releasing any of their students to attend courses.
Legal requirements for school attendance
In providing opportunities for concurrent study at both secondary and tertiary levels, boards of trustees and principals are required to comply with legislative and other requirements around enrolment.
From 6–16 years of age, with a few specified exceptions, students must be enrolled at and attend a registered school full time.
Students under 16 may be released for other educational courses provided this is not at the expense of the compulsory curriculum. This can be done under section 25B or section 71 of the Education Act 1989.
Audit and reporting requirements
STAR is a tagged resource and boards are required to maintain a record to confirm that the Crown’s funds allocated for STAR have been used for the purpose intended.
A form has been developed that details the information and expenditure that boards should record and retain. This form is available at: www.minedu.govt.nz/resourcingforms
This form and any other records related to STAR funding, need to be completed at the end of the school year, and be available for audit and reporting purposes if requested.
The Ministry expects that STAR funding will be used to fund STAR courses. If school boards do not intend to use all STAR funding allocated, they can opt to receive a portion of their STAR funding. Boards should use the STAR Funding Request Form to indicate the portion of the funding they would like to receive. Forms are available at: www.minedu.govt.nz/resourcingforms
The following table shows the options available to boards who have unused STAR funding at the end of the school year.
|STAR funding remaining at end of year is less than 10% of total STAR funding for year
||boards may carry this funding over to the following year. |
|STAR funding remaining at end of year is more than 10% of total STAR funding for year
||boards should return unused funding to the Ministry; or boards should keep unused funding but request that only a portion of total STAR funding be received the following year. |