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Our AE school offers a learning environment that provides our students with a safe space to experience success through electives to extend student’s interests through PBL - Project Based Learning, and PB4L - Positive Behaviour For Learning.  We assess student’s learning levels and set in place an Individual Education Plan (IEP). ACES is able to deliver alternative education (AE) for our managing school, Mount Albert Grammar School.


Our AE school is for students who are not engaged (or have been excluded) from a mainstream setting, excluded or legally not attending attending. Read the New Zealand Education Act legislation from the Ministry of Education to find out more.  We can enrol students who are between the ages of 13 -16 years from Year 9 to Year 11 ākonga. We can support a Year 12 student from 16 years to transition to a course or employment. These supporting schools are located in Auckland city centre and east Auckland, Panmure. We also offer an online learning option through our Pathway Options programme.   

There are many reasons that our ākonga will choose our alternative education school. Some of can be seen here.

  • Not attending mainstream school where attendance is poor and below 60%

  • Not engaging in mainstream school or Te Kura Correspondence

  • Mainstream school learning environment not working for the student

  • Student has been excluded

  • Stood-down and at risk of suspension

  • Not responding to strategies implemented by a mainstream school

  • Non-Enrolled in any school

  • Just moved here to Auckland City and educational information is limited.


Project based learning (PBL) is a teaching approach that engages through literacy and numeracy as well as other curriculum areas i.e. culturally with competency and resilience skills development with AE Values can be integrated into a project, that allows our students to participate in meaningful and authentic learning experiences. PBL involves students working on a complex and challenging problem or question that requires them to apply their knowledge and skills, collaborate with others, and create a product or solution that demonstrates their learning. PBL can be used in alternative education settings to re-engage students who are at risk of or have already disengaged from school. PBL can help students develop academic, social, and emotional competencies, as well as foster their creativity, critical thinking, and self-regulation. PBL can also support students to explore their interests, passions, and aspirations, and connect their learning to real-world contexts and issues. PBL can be aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum and the NCEA qualifications framework, as well as the cultural values and aspirations of students and their whānau.


Positive behaviour for learning (PB4L) is a framework that supports schools and early childhood services to create a positive and inclusive learning environment for all students. PB4L is based on evidence-based practices that promote social, emotional, and academic outcomes for students. PB4L also provides tools and resources for teachers, parents, caregivers, and whānau to address challenging behaviour and support positive relationships. PB4L has several initiatives that cater to different needs and contexts, such as PB4L School-Wide, PB4L Restorative Practice, and Incredible Years Programmes. Alternative education is one of the pathways for learning in education, where students who are at risk of or have already disengaged from school receive additional learning support. Alternative education aims to re-engage students in a meaningful learning programme that is tailored to their individual needs and goals. Alternative education school also supports students to transition back to school, further education, training, or employment. PB4L and alternative education are complementary approaches that can help students achieve their potential and contribute to their wellbeing. Visit the Ministry of Education website to read more on PB4L in schools.

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