Promoting collaboration through Kāhui Ako

The opportunity to form and collaborate through Kāhui Ako was first implemented by the Ministry of Education (the Ministry) in 2014. The aim was to bring together schools, kura, early learning services, tertiary providers, and the wider community to raise learners’ achievement and strengthen education pathways.

The Ministry had previously promoted collaboration between schools through initiatives such as Building Evaluative Capability in Schooling Improvement, Kia Eke Panuku Building on Success, Extending High Standards Across Schools, and Learning and Change Networks.

Despite strong support for building collaborative networks, the New Zealand evidence base about the necessary conditions for effective collaboration is somewhat limited. To address this gap, the Education Review Office (ERO) initiated case study research to gather rich, in‑depth information about the experience of schools, kura, early learning services, tertiary providers, and the wider community about the performance and operations of their Kāhui Ako . ERO’s framework, Building Collective Capacity for Improvement, built on international evidence on collaboration, and provides the backdrop for understanding how the experiences of Kāhui Ako compare with international evidence.

This ERO publication contributes to a series of four publications entitled Collaboration in Action. The report features the experiences of three Kāhui Ako and includes the strategies and approaches used to create, build, and strengthen collaboration between schools and early learning services to improve outcomes for learners. We recommend this summary is read along with two ERO companion documents published in 2017 and designed to support the development and evaluation of Kāhui& Ako: Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Collaboration to Improve Learner Outcomes and Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working Towards Collaborative Practice.