Communities of Schools underway

Issue: Volume 94, Number 2

Posted: 9 February 2015
Reference #: 1H9cqP

As students return to class, nearly 38,000 will be part of an exciting new way schools and communities can work together to help raise student achievement in New Zealand.

Under the Government’s Investing in Educational Success programme, $359 million will be used over the next four years, followed by a further $150 million in each out year, to help raise student achievement in our schools.

A total of 83 schools in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Nelson, West Coast, Canterbury, and Southland have formed a Community of Schools and will start looking at their achievement goals and challenges in early 2015. These schools cover primary, intermediate, secondary and area schools, and include all decile groups.

Currently 91 expressions of interest, comprising 437 schools have been received from schools interested in being part of a Community of Schools in 2015. The Ministry of Education will work closely with these schools to assist them with their progress and establishment.

Communities of Schools have been designed specifically for the New Zealand education system, after considerable consultation with the education sector.

They bring schools together, generally in the same area, to share teacher expertise, resources and leadership skills.

Each Community of Schools will work with parents, whānau and the community to identify achievement challenges, reflecting the specific needs of their students.

The Communities will draw up a plan to meet these challenges. Once this is done, funding will be released for new teacher and principal roles, and for paid time for teachers to learn from each other.

Dr Graham Stoop, the ministry’s Deputy Secretary for Student Achievement and on assignment to Investing in Educational Success, explains that the programme will mean enhanced collaboration in schools.

“Schools will build on their success and create more effective learning opportunities. It’s a year since this plan was announced to improve educational achievement by raising the quality of teaching and leadership across all our schools. We know they’re the two things that make the biggest in-school difference to learning and achievement.

“Much of last year was spent working out the details of how this would work with sector groups and educators. Now it has started rolling out in schools and kura, which is very exciting for everyone involved. We’re very pleased with progress.”

Investing in Educational Success is great news for students, parents, teachers and schools, says Dr Stoop.

“It’s good for New Zealand, too, because more students will be leaving school with the right qualifications for the global economy we live and work in. Allowing our best teachers and principals to be more creative, and to have new career choices, also means they’ll stay in the profession longer.”

Parents and whānau can get involved by encouraging their schools to join a Community, and helping decide achievement goals for their children.

You can find out more about Communities of Schools(external link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 5:00 pm, 9 February 2015

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