What is there to learn from these Kāhui Ako?

The three Kāhui Ako in this report shared characteristics intrinsic to the successful establishment of a community of learning. Leaders and participants understood and accepted that setting the right conditions and shared purpose was critically important. Frustrations with time, achievement challenges or appointments did not deflect from the clear vision of the group.

The Kāhui Ako lead’s role in driving the development of a compelling vision, and setting priority goals, targets, and structures inclusive of the aspirations of diverse stakeholders was crucial in creating a strong foundation for effective functioning of the Kāhui Ako. The Kāhui Akos’ commitment to bringing about enduring change could be seen in the thoughtful use and distribution of resources; strong engagement across the community from the outset; focus on developing the Kāhui Ako as a professional learning community; and strengthening of engagement between teachers, learners, and their parents and whānau.

Activities and actions undertaken in each Kāhui Ako paved the way for building high levels of relational trust between members. The effectiveness of the collaborative endeavour in the Kāhui Ako can be attributed to the approach to leadership. This leadership occurred amongst colleagues and sought to influence rather than mandate change. Participants recognised difficulties in building relationships and know there is still progress to be made.

An area of success has been the growth in collective understanding of how to set priorities for action, based on sound data. This led to a willingness to engage in collaborative inquiry and ways of working that challenged thinking and practice. Leaders, teachers and the wider community could have confidence in actions to improve outcomes for children.

At this stage of implementation, monitoring and evaluation for improvement was the least developed area. Leaders had focused on establishing the infrastructure required to identify achievement targets and to deliver teaching programmes to meet the needs of children and young people across the community.

It was clear that professional and community trust needed time to become real. It is critical for the future progress of Kāhui Ako that the infrastructure for generating timely information about progress towards goals and impact of the actions taken is considered with urgency. Development of these processes is needed to help increase accountability for learner outcomes, strengthen personal skills and competencies, interpersonal relationships, and the ability to make discretionary judgments.[5]  It is a foundation for success in sharing and taking collective responsibility for the achievement and progress of children and young people through Kāhui Ako.

[5] Fullan, M., Rincon-Gallardo, S., & Hargreaves, A. (2015). Professional capital as accountability, Education Policy Analysis Archives, 23 (15), 1-22.