New PLD priorities set to start moving

Issue: Volume 99, Number 19

Posted: 19 November 2020
Reference #: 1HAE_0

This term sees the first school and kura projects approved under new priorities for regionally allocated professional learning and development (PLD), ready for their PLD journeys to start in term 1 2021.

In a combined terms 3 and 4 2020 allocation round, schools and kura have submitted proposals against the new priorities through the online PLD system which was updated for the change.

The new priorities, well supported across the sector and wider community, refocus PLD on capabilities that promote equitable learning opportunities and inclusive practices, so all ākonga are supported to thrive in their learning and be secure in their identity, language and culture.

The priorities were introduced on 26 August 2020 in an online presentation by Secretary for Education Iona Holsted, Associate Deputy Secretary – Curriculum, Pathways & Progress Pauline Cleaver, and Group Manager Te Uepū Reo Māori Kiritina Johnstone from the Ministry of Education; Dr Mere Berryman of the University of Waikato, and Dr Margie Hohepa. 

Teachers and kaiako are encouraged to view the recorded presentations on the PLD website(external link) and three short video animations on the same webpage that stimulate thinking about why the refocused priorities matter for our young learners and their whānau.

Iona Holsted noted in her presentation that the new priorities reflect that what was heard through Kōrero Mātauranga really matters and makes a difference in education.

“While all of the new priorities have an important contribution to make, I see building cultural capability as essential if all young people are going to feel connected and welcomed at school,” said Iona, who emphasised the importance of cultural capability in removing racism and discrimination from any learner’s lived experience of education.

Iona also noted that this year’s lockdown experience underscored the importance of digital fluency which remains a priority for all schools and kura.

Kiritina Johnstone noted the part PLD and the new priorities play in Māori medium and te reo Māori settings in helping continue to strengthen cultural identity and in looking strongly and deliberately at what students need to help them be successful in their education journey and future. 

Doing things differently

The new priorities also bring a need to make some adjustments and do some things differently for real progress to happen, said Pauline Cleaver. 

These adjustments and improvements in PLD include a redeveloped PLD website(external link) where you will find information about how regionally allocated PLD works and how to apply as well as helpful guides, an updated facilitator database for finding a facilitator for your approved PLD and a link to the new online system where proposals and PLD projects are submitted and managed.  

The website is your best place to start if your school, kura, Kāhui Ako or cluster has identified a PLD need and the news section is where you can keep up to date.

The Ministry is working with the PLD provider network and others on strengthening the facilitator capability that supports the new priorities, with strong participation in recent webinar workshops. A better approach is being developed for ‘assuring quality’ of the PLD services providers and facilitators deliver into schools and kura.   

“It is important we get this right and work with our provider network and school and kura communities in doing this and to test it will work well. This means the shape of the approach will become defined over the next year, rather than being fully in place in term 1 2020,” said Pauline.

Already in place this month, to help schools and kura with successful proposals for PLD against the new cultural capability priority, is an initial list of existing providers and their facilitators approved by the Ministry to deliver cultural capability PLD. There are opportunities planned for adding more providers and facilitators.

Schools and kura need to choose their facilitators from the list for cultural capability PLD approved for regionally allocated PLD funding. 

New priorities – a challenge for all

The priorities and these other PLD improvements cannot alone, realise the progress they are intended to promote so that as Iona said “every one of our ākonga is supported to thrive in their learning, secure in their identity, language and culture.”  

Recognising this, two key themes ran through the speakers’ presentations: the challenge for all of us of making a real difference for ākonga, and the importance of participation – of using the opportunity PLD offers to successfully take up this challenge. 

New PLD priorities for Māori medium and te reo Māori settings

  • Mātauranga and te reo Māori
  • Aromatawai
  • Marau ā-kura.

New PLD priorities for English medium settings

  • Cultural capability
  • Local curriculum design
  • Assessment for learning.

Digital fluency remains a PLD priority for all schools and kura.

You can read the descriptions of the new priorities on the PLD website.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:40 am, 19 November 2020

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