Understanding what needs to change and planning to make this happen

The process of clarifying the CoL | Kāhui Ako’s purpose and focus provides the foundation for further investigation and collaborative sense making in order to develop priorities for action.

Having identified and agreed common achievement challenges, the community will need to investigate these more closely to understand problems or issues better and to decide what is needed to improve. Engaging with the research evidence about what works and what good looks like is important in establishing a robust evidence base to inform the decisions members will make about priorities and options that will make a difference.

Any theory of improvement has to be unique to the context of the community. In planning effectively for action the CoL | Kāhui Ako needs to:

  • be clear about the problem or issues to be solved to ensure equity and excellence of outcomes for all learners
  • understand what has to improve and how to improve  it
  • consider and select options in the light of the evidence about what will make the most difference
  • know where the capability and capacity to improve lies and identify what external expertise is needed
  • identify the actions to be taken and why and what success looks like
  • allocate the resources necessary to take action.


The big picture             
  • A plan of action reflects an integrated theory of improvement that defines the problem; has a rationale for and alignment of solutions; outlines targets and success indicators and includes ways to monitor and evaluate progress and outcomes.
  • A plan of action results from a collective understanding and clarity about the problem or issues to be solved.
  • Planning includes evidence-based actions that will make the most difference to professional practice and student outcomes.
  • The key structures and practices that will enable shared ways of working are clearly communicated to CoL | Kāhui Ako members.
  • Sufficient resources are allocated to support planned challenge targets and actions.
  • All members of the CoL | Kāhui Ako are engaged in and show ownership of the plan to address the actions for improved outcomes.

What have we found so far?

Planning to take action

Most CoL | Kāhui Ako that have received endorsement of their achievement challenges and appointed leaders are at the early stages of implementation.

Their initial documents provide an outline of what matters in terms of vision, goals and challenges and confirms there has been thinking and discussion about defining a framework for operation and a plan of action.

Whether through facilitation or through their own auspices, the majority of endorsed CoL | Kāhui Ako have developed either a theory of improvement or an inquiry model that they have outlined in their achievement plan. As they move into full implementation, the priority will be to operationalise and embed the various elements of these in a set of priorities for action so that there is clear agreement about what needs to improve and what needs to happen to achieve these outcomes across the whole pathway.

We have found that the work that teachers in the Across CoL | Kāhui Ako role are doing to identify what is going on for students in relation to their specific challenges is providing valuable baseline information to inform and help better specify the improvement actions CoL | Kāhui Ako members will take.

As leaders and Across CoL | Kāhui Ako teachers identify areas for improved practice they are beginning to discuss the most purposeful ways to support development. There are key decisions to be made as to whether they look inward by using their own resources and expertise, whether they seek external support and facilitation or whether they use a combination of both. Increased efficacy and agency is likely to come from opportunities where CoL | Kāhui Ako members have a voice in how PLD processes can support their priorities and at what point this will have the most impact on their practices.

Embedding targets

Schools in endorsed CoL | Kāhui Ako are beginning to embed their achievement challenges as charter targets. This vital process helps to maintain a specific student focus at school level so that there is no doubt about where improvements to achievement need to happen. It makes tracking the impact of instructional practice more visible and provides the basis for robust collaborative inquiry both in-school and at a CoL | Kāhui Ako level. As early learning services become members of CoL | Kāhui Ako, they will need to consider how best to embed the contribution they will make to the CoL | Kāhui Ako.

CoL | Kāhui Ako need to be aware that the data on which they based their initial challenges will change with new data sets and as targeted students and cohorts transition through class levels and across the pathway. Some of the early endorsed CoL | Kāhui Ako have challenges based on 2014 data sets that may need updating. Revisiting achievement challenges to keep the data picture current is a strategic requirement for planning and needs to be factored in at an early stage. In addition, the timeliness and relevance of data is a critical factor as members establish the processes and timing for their monitoring cycles.