Plan and form

Once your Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako has approval, from the Minister of Education, you will need to decide how you will work together as a community. The key objectives at this phase are to develop a shared vision, protocols and ways of working. It is important that time is spent developing these, as this will help clarify what you are wanting to achieve and guide the establishment of community processes, systems and effective relationships. The Ministry of Education acknowledge the importance of spending time at this stage and support this with a payment of $1000 to each school within the Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako. Each board then receives $1,000 annually to help with costs relating to maintaining their Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako. The MOE will also provide Public Achievement Information (PAI) analysis and ERO will provide a report across the schools.

This phase involves clarifying your purpose and vision, identifying key groups and support networks, developing a communication process for consulting with and informing stakeholders. The formation of a stewardship group (including board of trustee members), a steering group and other delegations are needed to undertake these initial tasks.

Expected Outcomes: The vision, operational structure and data protocols of the MoU will come from this phase.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will we work together

Now that your Community of Learning has approval, there are a few things you will need to do to fully establish the Community: Spend time working with all groups in your community to develop a shared vision for ākonga/students,

  • Decide how the different parts of your Community of Learning will work together.
  • Identify your shared achievement challenges and create a plan to address them.
  • Establish how it will operate as a Community.
  • Decide how, you will involve parents throughout each step, family, iwi and the wider community.
  • Decide how you will document and share your learning as a Community.

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The new roles and resources that come with being a Community of Learning are intended to improve outcomes for ākonga/students as set out in your achievement plan. Your Community of Learning will make decisions about how and where to prioritise the use of those resources to support your achievement plan. An effective, agreed means of operating and clarifying responsibilities within and across the Community of Learning will help ensure decisions are made in the best interests of ākonga/students. Using this approach will also mean that resources and effort are appropriately focused where they are needed most: on those ākonga/students to be assisted under/agreed achievement challenges and their teachers.

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You may find it useful to consider the feedback from teachers in different schools talking about their experiences of building a thriving Community of Learning

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The new roles and resources that come with being a Community of Learning are intended to improve outcomes for ākonga/students as set out in your achievement plan. Your Community of Learning will make decisions about how and where to prioritise the use of those resources to support your achievement plan. An effective, agreed means of operating and clarifying responsibilities within and across the Community of Learning will help ensure decisions are made in the best interests of ākonga/students. Using this approach will also mean that resources and effort are appropriately focused where they are needed most: on those ākonga/students to be assisted under/agreed achievement challenges and their teachers.

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Guide to Writing a memorandum of understanding

The following document provides a guide to writing a Memorandum of Understanding

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This protocol is for boards, tumuaki/principals, kaiako/teachers and other community members associated with Communities of Learning. It is part of the MoA that boards and tumuaki/principals will sign up to. The purpose of this guide is to provide Communities of Learning with guidance and protocols in relation to information sharing and privacy of information associated with forming and operating a Community of Learning.

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This document is a supplementary document to the Community of Learning Guide for Schools and Kura. It provides additional advice and support for boards of trustees and principals of an approved Community of Learning. It was developed by the Community of Learning workstream in consultation with education networks.

It provides tips and starter points on working together: best practices for collaboration, how to approach setting your first achievement challenge, and your Community of Learning's structure.

Your local Ministry office and the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) will be there to help you through these steps, providing additional advice, support and information you may need along the way.

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Communities of Learning increase collaboration between kura/schools through the sharing of ideas, information and practice. Some of the steps that can assist with building collaborative practice include:

  • Taking time to build relationships/whakawhānaunatanga so that teachers, kura/school leaders and their boards of trustees are more likely to want to work together with openness, respect and mutual trust. Personal connections and quality relationships between staff enhance collaboration over time.
  • Taking time to actively share and understand more deeply the uniqueness of each kura/school within the Community. This could include having Community meetings at different schools, allowing staff at the kura/school to talk about what is special about their school, and to show other people around.
  • Ensuring that the focus on student achievement is a clear and unifying feature of discussions. The aim is to promote the focus on our Community of Learning ākonga/students and their achievement rather than the achievement of individual schools.

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The Education Review Office have developed a range of resources to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako foster and develop collaborative practices to improve learning outcomes.

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There is not one right way of overseeing and organising a Community of Learning. For any group to operate effectively it needs to have good operating structures and processes to support it to achieve its goals. It is important to establish what these are at the start and to recognise that these may need to change over time as the group learns from doing the work/challenges.

In the case of a Community of Learning, each Community will need to work out what will work best for them.

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How will kura/schools be represented in making decisions about how the Community of Learning will work on a day to day basis to achieve its objectives?

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How will the Community of Learning ensure the widest input from staff, students, boards, the kura/school community and wider community groups in developing and implementing its objectives and practices?

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How will the Community of Learning put its decisions into practice to achieve its desired outcomes?

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How will the kura/schools use resources equitably and collaboratively in achieving the aims of the Community of Learning?

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How will the Community of Learning provide feedback on progress, both within its kura/schools and to external stakeholders?

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