Teen Parent Units

Find information about Teen Parent Units (TPU), including how to establish one at your school.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Proprietors
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • All Early Learning Services

Establishing a TPU will require our consent, and may also require providing early learning services for the parents’ children. This page provides the things we consider before agreeing to a unit. 

Establishing a TPU

A TPU is a unit run by a state school for teenage students who are parents or pregnant.

If you as a board want to establish a TPU at your school, contact the Ministry of Education to find out if your school is eligible. We'll consider things like:

  • whether your community needs a TPU and whether you have enough students to start up and sustain it
  • whether there's an existing early childhood education (ECE) centre close enough for the teen parents’ children to go to or whether a new ECE centre would have to be established to support the TPU
  • how a TPU might affect the rest of your school and how you will manage any impacts.

Providing and paying for a new TPU

If we agree that your community needs a TPU, it's provided in a:

  • Ministry-owned building at your school or on another school site, or
  • purpose built building at your school, or
  • privately-owned building leased by the Ministry.

We only pay for new TPU buildings if your school doesn't have enough surplus space available for the TPU and there are no other suitable buildings within the community. If you have some surplus, but less than 200m² net, we base the funding on a mix of new space and surplus space.

Note: Net space is the usable area in a room excluding corridors, reception areas, cleaners’ cupboards, toilets, switch rooms and network spaces.

TPU in a Ministry-owned building

If you have a TPU located in a Ministry-owned building at your school, you're responsible for maintaining and modernising the building, like any other building at your school.

You'll receive Property Maintenance Grant Funding to maintain the building and 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding for its capital upkeep. This funding is based on the square metres of the TPU.

TPUs count as legitimate space — they generate funding but aren't counted in your SPG entitlement.

We'll give you your TPU property funding with your regular school funding. To make sure the TPU gets its share you must:

  • include the TPU in your 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP)
  • budget for its maintenance and capital upkeep.

In a privately owned building

  • If you have a TPU located in a privately owned building, the building will be leased by the Ministry. In this situation your board doesn't have any property responsibilities.
  • The Ministry will manage the lease including rent payments. You'll need to manage furniture and equipment, and pay for tenant damage and internal decoration.

A leased building doesn't affect your property entitlement.

Providing early childhood education services for a TPU

An ECE service is needed close to the TPU so that the TPU students’ children are cared for while their parents are at school.

Your first option must be to use existing ECE services if there's an ECE close enough and with space to spare. If not, we may provide funding to build a new ECE service at your school or improve the existing ECE service’s capability.

The ECE service would enter into an ECE lease with the Ministry.

ECE services on school sites

The lease will be either a:

  1. ground lease, where the ECE provides and owns the buildings but leases the land, or
  2. building lease, where the ECE leases a Ministry-owned building.

These leases are between the Secretary for Education and the ECE. The site will be removed from your Property Occupancy Document. You won’t receive any funding for these buildings or have any responsibility for maintaining or paying for their capital upkeep. 

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