Making centrally funded PLD more effective

Issue: Volume 95, Number 10

Posted: 7 June 2016
Reference #: 1H9d2M

Schools, kura and Communities of Learning (CoL) will be able to choose their own facilitator for centrally funded professional learning and development (PLD) and will be able to tailor what they do to meet their particular needs under a new system rolling out this year.

The Ministry of Education has been working with sector representatives to redesign the PLD system. The changes are aimed at making centrally funded PLD more effective, making a difference to student achievement in priority areas, supporting school leadership and strengthening professional networks as a complementary source of PLD.

When the new system is fully in place, schools will be able to draw support from a mix of centrally funded PLD and PLD funded from their own budgets, as well as support from professional education networks.

The changes will be phased in over the next two years. The first phase is a new system for allocating centrally funded PLD which will be up and running by Term 4 this year.

Sector input into the change

In 2013 the government set up a sector-led PLD Advisory Group to provide advice on the future design of PLD.

The government considered the Advisory Group’s recommendations, and what works well in other systems, and decided to overhaul the system. Since then, the Ministry has been working with a sector-led PLD Implementation Reference Group and four working groups made up of sector representatives that looked in depth at different aspects of the new system.

Key changes

Doing a few things well

Evidence indicates focusing on a few things and doing them well makes a bigger difference in outcomes for students. So for the next three to five years centrally funded PLD will be focused on a small number of national priorities – pāngarau/maths, pūtaiao/science, te reo matatini (pānui, tuhituhi, kōrero)/reading and writing and digital fluency.

This does not mean that funds for PLD will only be available in pāngarau/maths, pūtaiao/science, or the other priorities. Centrally funded PLD will offer leaders and teachers the opportunity to use an inquiry approach and analyse the results they are seeing, define the issues, and work on changes and improvements that will lift student achievement.

For example, a school that wants to improve student outcomes in literacy may decide, after analysis, that it needs PLD to improve cultural intelligence, or build evaluative capability or work more effectively with parents, families and whānau.

A tailored system with regional allocation

Under the new system schools, kura and CoL will be able to tailor centrally funded PLD to their particular requirements.

They will analyse their needs, within the priority areas, and co-construct a proposal for centrally funded PLD with their regional education advisor. That proposal will be assessed by a regional allocation panel, that includes sector representation. If the proposal is approved, the school, kura or CoL will be able to choose a PLD facilitator from an online list of accredited facilitators to plan PLD.

Accredited facilitators

To give schools, kura and CoL ‘quality assurance’ when selecting a facilitator, all facilitators delivering centrally funded PLD will be accredited.

Their qualifications and areas of specialist expertise will be checked and endorsed by the Ministry and national accreditation panels and a two page summary of their portfolio, plus names of referees, will be available online.

Priorities for centrally funded PLD

Centrally funded PLD is a limited resource and is focused on equity and excellence for priority students.

The needs of CoL will be prioritised and as the number of CoL grows they will be increasingly used to deliver centrally funded PLD. If schools or kura are not in a CoL they may still be able to access PLD in 2017.

Support for leadership and professional networks

The new system recognises the importance of support for leaders in schools, kura and CoL and one-off learning opportunities, subject specific information and other resources for teachers.

Work is also underway on support for school leadership and professional education networks.

More information

There will be more detail about the changes available online soon.

We are preparing a new website that will be a hub of information about the new system and later this year will carry lists of accredited facilitators. The website will be launched soon.

The Ministry will keep you posted as further design work is completed, and you can send questions via email to

If we can’t answer them immediately, we will answer as soon as we can. In the interim, for more information visit: link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 2:18 pm, 7 June 2016

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