STAR information for board and principals

The board and principal share responsibility for ensuring the school uses the Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) to help provide access for their students to a relevant and coherent vocational curriculum.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Administration staff
  • Teachers and Kaiako

This guidance informs different groups of their roles and responsibilities regarding the management of Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) funding.

The role of the board

The board ensures that STAR:

  • contributes to the achievement of NCEA qualifications, using the Vocational Pathways
  • is aligned with the school’s charter and strategic plan
  • meets the STAR objectives
  • is included in the school’s strategic and financial planning processes
  • demonstrates success in meeting its goals and objectives through robust assessment and evaluation practices.

STAR objectives

And that:

  • the principal’s reports to the board include regular information about STAR that enables the board to gain a clear and accurate picture of how the resource is being used to meet the learning needs of students 
  • any anomalies or underperformance of the STAR resource are promptly and appropriately addressed.

In practice, this means that the board verifies the use of the school's STAR resource and receives regular reports on its delivery.

The role of the principal

The principal manages the delivery of STAR on behalf of the board. Key responsibilities for principals include:

  • reporting to the board about the effectiveness of the STAR resource to support their strategic and financial decision making in regard to student achievement
  • developing operational procedures and processes
  • ensuring that there are good processes for STAR delivery through a Vocational Pathways programme of learning and that credits gained from STAR programmes are awarded to participating students
  • ensuring that the school endeavours to maintain a timetable flexible enough to accommodate STAR as part of a student’s learning programme
  • ensuring that STAR is understood and valued within the school and that there is good communication between all staff.

Reviewing and reporting use of STAR funding

Developing STAR policy and procedures

Administering STAR funding

The role of parents, whānau or guardians

Students need their parents' or guardians' informed consent to take part in STAR-funded courses. Parents want to:

  • know that their children's time at school is used wisely 
  • know how their child will benefit from STAR 
  • be reassured that their child's involvement in STAR will enhance academic achievement and contribute to their vocational pathway.

Good communication with parents and whānau will ensure that they:

  • know how STAR works 
  • know that STAR gives their children opportunities to pursue strengths and to work towards credits for qualifications at no cost to them 
  • understand the importance of STAR in their child’s Vocational Pathway

The parents and whānau in your school community may be happy to offer active support. For example, some may be prepared to offer work-based learning experiences, deliver a course or help with transport.

The role of students

Students will get the most benefit from STAR when they clearly understand the expectations for their work commitment and behaviour as well as being able to see the relevance of their learning to their Vocational Pathway. One way of communicating clear expectations is the use individual contracts with students that explain:

  • how STAR fits into their Vocational Pathway
  • how the student will keep up with their regular class work while also meeting the requirements of their STAR funded course 
  • the importance of developing their employability skills such as attendance, punctuality and presentation.

Schools can draw on their STAR funding and their operational funding to give coordinators a time allowance:

  • STAR funding can be used (up to 10% is recommended) to employ an administrator. This allows coordinators to focus on the ‘bigger picture’ of providing an effective programme that best meets the students' needs
  • Payments for recruitment, retention and responsibility (3R payments) can be given to coordinators , thus reflecting the value that they place on the role.

Administering STAR funding

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