Communities of Learning
Under IES, Communities of Learning are formed, work together on identifying common achievement challenges and share expertise for addressing them. A Community of Learning (a Community) is made up of approximately eight to twelve schools. These schools form a pathway which reflects students’ journey through the education system.
Participation in a Community is voluntary and something each board should consider. NZSTA offers advice to boards that are considering joining a Community to help them make an informed decision.
To help with this decision, NZSTA has developed a Community of Learning | Kahui Ako website containing a range of information from exploring what a community of learning is all about, through to the planning, development, recruitment and review required to have a fully functioning community. Also review The Pathway to a Community of Learning guide. Please download this guide for more detail about the below stages.
Stage 1: Information Gathering & Consultation
This initial stage focuses on boards having discussions and obtaining more information about Communities of Learning. They can contact their MOE Senior Adviser or email NZSTA for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of this stage, a board decides whether or not they are going to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) for involvement in a Community of Learning.
Stage 2: Approval Process
During stage two, boards are notified of the outcome of their EOI. If approval for the formation of their Community is given by the Ministry of Education (the Ministry), the board must decide who will represent the board on the Community Steering Group/Oversight group and communicate the decision within their school community and staff.
To assist with the formation of the steering/oversight group, NZSTA has developed a framework and protocols guideline document containing information about developing and establishing a stewardship group.
Stage 3: Development
During this stage, the Community Steering/Oversight group work together to identify and finalise their shared achievement challenges. Participating boards must confirm their approval of these challenges and develop and sign a Memorandum of Agreement.
Tips and Starters: Working Together and Guide to Writing a Memorandum of Agreement contain more information about developing and establishing a Community’s achievement challenges and operating structures.
Stage 4: Establishment of Community of Learning roles
Once the Ministry has endorsed the Community’s achievement challenge, it will release funding to begin appointing the Community roles. The boards and Steering/Oversight Group can seek advice from their NZSTA Employment Adviser in this process.
More detailed information and resources for this stage are available on Community of Learning roles