What is STAR?
STAR stands for ‘Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource’. It is additional operational grant funding that is provided to all schools funded by the government with Year 11- 13 students.

Why do we have STAR?
STAR gives Year 11–13 students the chance to attend tertiary courses. Students can get a taste of a subject or job area that interests them, and learn new skills that can help them move into study or work. STAR programmes are designed to help Year 11-13 students move smoothly from school into tertiary study or further training or work. Schools are given a certain amount of funding for STAR, so the programme and what courses are offered can vary.

What are the benefits of STAR?

With STAR students can:

  • try out tertiary education while still at school
  • get practical, hands-on, work-based experience
  • try out a possible career, so that they can decide if it's something they want to do in the future.

What options are there for students after they have been involved in a STAR programme?

If learners have enjoyed their experience with STAR, they may want to put the skills they’ve learned into practice by getting some work experience. Many schools offer the Gateway programme, where students are placed with an employer one day a week. Doing some work experience will help students get an idea of what a job is like, and whether it might suit them.

What is the basis for STAR funding?

STAR funding is based on the number of enrolled students. At Year 11, 12 and 13, each enrolled student equals 1 STAR unit, while each student enrolled at Teen Parent units equal 1.5 STAR units. 

What is the STAR funding rate per unit?

In 2016, the following rates apply:

For the first 30 units: $996.27 per unit
For subsequent units: $175.08 per unit

What is the formula to calculate STAR funding?

STAR faq

Is there a spreadsheet I can use to calculate my STAR funding for 2016?

What are the reporting requirements for STAR?

Schools flag individual students or courses that have been funded through STAR, either partly or fully, in their school roll return. For more information see: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/181317/2017-School-Roll-Return-Guidelines.pdf

It is also expected that Boards of Trustees will receive a report at least once a year on the use of the STAR resource to support outcomes for students, so adequate records should be kept.

What are the guidelines for using STAR?

STAR should be used to:

  • provide flexible funding for courses which will better respond to  students’ needs, motivate them to remain in education and 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 study or work, aligned to the Vocational Pathways.
  • providing individual tailoring of STAR programmes to meet the needs of specific students, rather than offer a single programme to a number of students for whom the fit may not be the best. 

As with the other components of operational grant funding, schools have discretion about how they use STAR funding. However, it is expected that schools use it to provide students with the range of learning experiences needed to support their engagement and achievement and successful transition to further study and employment.

Is there a credit requirement for STAR?

No. While there may be an advantage for participating students to gain additional industry credits as a result of their STAR experience, this is not a mandatory requirement. 

How can we provide a STAR programme that is aligned to the Vocational Pathways?

STAR programmes can provide access for students to sector related standards in a Vocational Pathway. It is also possible to provide learning experiences within a Vocational Pathway that are not assessed by standards.

For a list of standards within the Vocational Pathways, go to: http://youthguarantee.net.nz/resources/

For more information about the Vocational Pathways, go to http://www.youthguarantee.net.nz/vocational-pathways/

STAR funding is often used to provide generic standards, but most of them have been removed from the refined Vocational Pathways - why?

The Sector Consortia Groups looked at the standards that could fall into the generic/employability/work readiness areas and considered whether they specifically related to their Vocational Pathways. If they did they were included, if not they were removed.

All assessments are still on the framework, so can still be used to develop programmes, some just may not go towards gaining a Vocational Pathways Award.  

Can credits from STAR be counted towards Gateway and/or Trades Academies?

No. It is important to separately report achievement that has been funded by different initiatives. For example, it will distort performance measures (multiple counting) if credits from STAR are also counted against Gateway or Trades Academies and vice versa. 

Can schools use their STAR funding to enrol their students in university papers?

Yes, if this initiative is identified as meeting the needs of these individual students. 

Can STAR be used to fund Taster courses with no credits attached for Year 10 students?

Yes. Taster courses do fit within the guidelines for use of STAR funding. 

How can schools access practical advice on the use of STAR and share good practice?

With the alignment of STAR and Gateway under Youth Guarantee, the Youth Guarantee Secondary Tertiary Leads are now able to assist schools and provide advice on these initiatives. For your local Secondary Tertiary Lead, please visit: http://youthguarantee.net.nz/find-a-provider/

Are there future plans to centralise the provision of STAR and Gateway resources to one government agency?

No. There are no plans at present to change the way STAR and Gateway resources are provided to schools.  The Ministry and TEC are working together to ensure there is consistency in policy implementation and guidelines now that both initiatives are part of Youth Guarantee

Can exemplars of best practice in STAR be disseminated to schools?

There are some cases online for how best to plan/provide STAR funded courses within a student’s total programme. The Youth Guarantee team is aiming to provide more examples in the near future.

Can schools continue to work with Private Training Establishments (PTEs)?  

Yes. STAR resource can be used to provide courses run by PTEs to meet students’ needs.

Can STAR be used for Level 3 achievement as well as Level 2?

Yes. STAR can be used at Levels 1, 2 and 3.