What does NZEI Te Riu Roa think?
NZEI members strongly opposed the Government's original "Community of Schools" model in 2014 and fought for a more responsive approach that would better meet the needs of children and support quality public education.
In 2015 NZEI members worked with the Ministry of Education through a joint initiative to look at effective collaboration and transition practices already taking place in New Zealand schools and centres (see "What happened" for details). NZEI members agreed the "Community of learning" (CoL) concept with the Ministry of Education which supersedes the original CoS model, better fits the primary schooling context and offers more flexibility in terms of leadership and teacher roles (see "What we agreed" for links to the respective variations).
However, NZEI strongly believes that the CoL model needs to evolve further if it is to meet the goal of significantly improving success for learners with the most challenges. We agreed that the CoL approach should be reviewed at the end of 2016 so that there is an opportunity to further change the model to make it more flexible and responsive to learners' needs. ( See "How will CoLs change and evolve").
We strongly encourage members to put the needs of learners first and to push strongly to "stretch" the CoL resourcing and roles currently on offer to ensure they go where children's learning needs are greatest.
Equally, we believe that forming or joining Communities must be voluntary and that it is the right of every school or service to decide what is best for their students.
For more on how the Community of learning concept came about go to "What happened".