Christchurch Alternative Education, 2019

 About AE in Christchurch 2019

Cashmere High School (CHS) holds the contract with the Ministry of Education to deliver Alternative Education (AE) to 120 students from the Christchurch Secondary Schools* who have signed up to the CHS/schools/Ministry of Education MoU. 

CHS has contracted five Whanau AE Providers and seven Vocational Pathways AE Providers.** The former being community groups with a history of engaging young people in learning, cater mostly for Year 10 students while the latter cater for Year 11 students who are ready for an introduction to a Tertiary level programme.  

* See below for the Eligible schools list

**  See below for the list of providers

Students placed in AE must be on the roll of one of the Eligible Christchurch schools and must be verified as eligible for AE by the AE Manager through an application process. See the attached T1 Appication form.

The MoE verifies the decision of the AE Manager.

Those students currently not on a school roll (for example those who are with the K3 attendance service as a NEN case) must be enrolled in a school.  The school then provides the student with a programme and where necessary at a latter date applies to the AE Manager for placement into AE.

Students who have been in AE programmes in other parts of NZ must be enrolled in a Christchurch school and given a programme in that school.  Where necessary at a latter date the school can apply to the AE Manager for a placement innto AE.

Previous engagement in AE in another part of NZ does not mean automatic eligibility for AE here in Christchurch.

The AE Manager places the student into the most appropriate programme and students can move from a Whanau provider to a Vocational Pathways Provider.

A placement in Alternative Education is temporary and means the student learning occurs in an environment other than the school the student is enrolled at. The small group situation involves goal setting, literacy, numeracy, special interest areas, awards, and credits on the National Qualifications Framework. In student speak 'we get credits towards NCEA.'

The AE programme is delivered each week of the school term. 

Successful AE outcomes include placement into a mainstream school programme; placement in a youth guarantee course; dual enrolment in a secondary school and an associated trades academy; and employment.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for Alternative Education, students must be deemed eligible by the AE Manager.  (The MoE has oversight of these decisions)

Applications using the form below (T1) must be submitted to the AE Manager by the School AE Contact Person. 

Once a student has been deemed eligible, two meetings are convened prior to the setting of a start date with an AE Provider. The second meeting, known as the induction meeting, is held at the provider’s site.

Please note that pomises made to students regarding placement in AE and in a particular AE programme by anyone other than the AE Manager serve to mislead and/or give the student inappropriate hope.


The student is

  1. either not attending school (out of registered school) and thus is showing in ENROL as a NENs case. The K3 Attendance Service works with the case to get the student enrolled in a school.
  2. or has been excluded from school
  3. or has dropped out of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu after enrolment as an at risk student
  4. or is, while on the roll of a school, not attending that school
  5. or has been suspended and is at risk of further suspension
  6. or is struggling with the school setting and needs time to address issues related to learning.

Not Eligible for AE

  • Y9 although exceptional circumstances may apply in Terms 3 and 4 
  • High & Complex Needs students
  • Intensive Wrap Around Service students

The providers of Whanau Alternative Education programmes (WAEP) are:

  1. Kimihia Adventure Programme (KAP) governed by the Trust with the same name.
  2. Te Kaupapa Whakaora (TKW) governed by Te Ora Hou
  3. Te Kupenga o Aranui (TKA) governed by the Trust with the same name
  4. Tumanako governed by Youth South West Christchurch Trust
  5. 180 Degrees governed by the 180 Degrees Trust

The providers of Vocational Pathways Alternative Education programmes (VPAEP) are:

  1. Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)
  2. Vision College
  3. National Trades Academy (NTA)
  4. NZ Institute of Sport (NZIS)
  5. NZ Management Academy (was the Academy)
  6. Salvation Army
  7. Hagley Intensive Literacy and Numeracy

Others to be added to this list as and when is appropriate

Achievements in recent years

See report cards for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 under attachments below.


 The Christchurch Secondary Schools Alternative Education is managed by Arthur Sutherland.

See the attachments below for a number of useful documents including Getting started in AE (AA1), The vapplication form (T1) and the AE membership (AA3). The latter includes the schools, the providers and the membership of the advisory group.