Communities of Learning / Kahui Ako – what has it cost you?
One of the key initiatives of the previous National-led government was Communities of Learning, or Kahui Ako. On paper, this initiative sounded positive and worthwhile. A secondary school would form a committee with the intermediate schools feeding it, with the primary schools feeding the intermediates, and with the ECE services feeding the primaries. Sort of like a pyramid selling scheme.
The Ministry embarked on an implementation process that focused solely on schools and left ECE services out in the dark. Schools received funding to form these CoLs.
The job of each CoL was to identify the students who have the greatest learning challenges and develop a plan to address these, thus lifting the attainment of students throughout the system.
By the time ECE services were invited to participate, the CoL clubs were already well-advanced in many areas, so (logically) ECE services found it hard to break into these CoLs. Where they did get a foot in the door, there wasn’t really an equal partnership and certainly no funding for ECE services. Meetings were frequently held during working hours, all of which put ECE services at an increasing disadvantage.
We do recognise a few CoLs seemed to get their head around the value of having ECE services involved, but (regrettably) they were few and far between.
The Labour-led government is proposing to continue some sort of collaboration with other education providers (ie: schools, etc). We don’t know if this means CoLs or not, but it would seem sensible to adapt the current initiative rather than reinvent the wheel.
We want to invite those centres involved in their local Community of Learning / Kahui Ako to tell us their experience via this survey. How easy or difficult was it to get involved? What do you estimate is has cost you in time? Etc. We value your opinion and your help to ensure ECE centres get a fair deal if something like CoL rolls out soon. Go here to complete the survey.