About Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako help students to achieve their full potential. On this page education providers can learn about Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako and how to join.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Teachers and kaiako
  • All early learning services
  • Tertiary organisations

It is voluntary for education providers to join a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

About Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

A Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako is a group of education and training providers that form around their students’ education pathway, working together to help students achieve their full potential.

Early learning services, me ngā kōhanga reo, schools, kura and post-secondary providers can all be included.

Benefits of joining

By collaborating and sharing teaching capability and expertise, children's and young people's learning pathways are supported and their transition through the education system is improved.

Communities of Learning also provide more opportunities for parents, families and whānau and communities to be involved with their children’s and young people's learning.

Schools and kura within a Community of Learning are resourced to allow time for teachers to work together on tackling the achievement challenges, drawing on each other’s skills, knowledge and experience. Communities of Learning also open up new career opportunities for principals and teachers.

Joining a Community of Learning

Early learning services, me ngā kōhanga reo, schools, kura and post-secondary providers can all choose to join an existing Community of Learning.

Your school, kura, early learning service or tertiary education providers can either:

  • contact your local Ministry office to talk to a Kāhui Ako lead advisor, or
  • download and complete an expression of interest form and email it to ies.team@education.govt.nz.

Local Ministry offices

Community of Learning expression of interest form [DOCX, 272 KB]

Achievement challenges

Each Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako identifies shared goals, or achievement challenges, based on the particular needs of its learners.

Once these have been endorsed, the Community of Learning works with learners, their parents, whānau, iwi and communities to tackle those challenges.

Read more about identifying achievement challenges and view endorsed challenges.

Achievement challenges

Starter guides

The following guides contain detailed information about Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako.

They describe the process from expressing interest in participating to developing and implementing the achievement challenges plan to appointing the specific Community of Learning roles.

Development maps

Our development maps support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako to chart their development across 6 foundational domains: teaching, leading, evidence, pathways, partnering and building.

The maps are designed to help a Community of Learning understand what stage of development it is at as well as plan actions for future development. Ministry staff are available to support this process.

Local Ministry offices

The maps were first released as part of a toolkit produced for the 2017 National Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum on Raising Achievement and subsequent regional forums.


Development maps [PDF, 998 KB]


We offer a range of support to Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako from the early stages of establishment, through to being fully functioning.

Roles that support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

  • Education advisor is the primary contact person for all Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, to provide support as they establish and progress.
  • Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako lead advisor provides guidance and advice while overseeing and supporting the development of Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in their region. 
  • Student Achievement Function (SAF) practitioner uses data and culturally responsive practice to develop the achievement challenges that are focused on Māori and priority learners. 
  • Secondary-tertiary lead is experienced in analysing NCEA data, secondary learning pathways, qualifications, progression from Level 2 to tertiary training and connections to local industry.  
  • Education manager has oversight of all Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in their region, coordinating and leading our Ministry support.

Student Achievement Function (SAF) – TKI(external link)

Operational and staffing support

State, state-integrated schools and kura that are members of Communities of Learning receive ongoing operational funding and staffing support.

Boards that appoint teachers or principals to a Community of Learning role receive additional resources.

These roles include:

The board of each school or kura receives $1,000 when it joins a Community of Learning.

Each board then receives $1,000 annually thereafter to help with costs relating to maintaining their Community of Learning.

Inquiry time

Inquiry time will no longer be available for schools and kura in a Community of Learning in 2024.

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