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The Centre for Educational Leadership Perspectives are opinion pieces that highlight current and topical educational leadership matters. Our professional experts write candidly about their views and offer a fresh perspective on today’s educational leadership challenges. Occasionally, other faculty members contribute.

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Maximise Improvement

Posted on
Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 14:12

Without coherent leadership your efforts will be lost.

The final round of Centrally Funded Professional Learning and Development (CF-PLD) applications for 2019 is scheduled to close for most regions on 25th October. Centrally Funded PLD is a valuable, no-cost resource for your school and provides your team with the opportunity to access high-quality, accredited facilitators who are trained and able to support your school as it pursues its improvement priority.  

Our experts in leadership from Future Learning Solutions, Centre for Educational Leadership (FLS-CEL) can work alongside you as you work with your team to co-construct strong applications for PLD hours. Key elements we consider important to investigate prior to making application are:

  • What is the priority student-centred problem you need to address in our school, kura, or Kāhui Ako?
  • What evidence that the problem exists? 
  • What will success look like if you undertake PLD in this area – for students, for teachers, for leaders and for the school/community?

Centrally funded PLD is about to become more user-friendly in the way applications are submitted and progress is tracked. Many school leaders will be delighted to be able to move away from the challenges of negotiating the often troublesome excel spreadsheet and take advantage of the new online approach.

Along with a revised application process, the Ministry of Education have proposed new priorities for English-medium and Māori-medium locally-focused PLD. It is important that these criteria are reflected in your application. 

In redefining CF-PLD priorities, the Ministry is moving away from specific areas of learning: pāngarau and maths, pūtaiao and science, te reo matatini (pānui, tuhituhi, kōrero), reading and writing, and digital fluency, replacing these with three priorities for English medium schools: 

  • Cultural capability 
  • Local curriculum design 
  • Assessment for learning. 

The report of the Curriculum, Progress and Achievement Ministerial Advisory Group supported this vision and provided a clear direction for the future of curriculum, teaching and learning.

Included in the Advisory Group’s advice was that our vision for education needs to change in the way we use our national curriculum, so that:

  • teachers and school leaders are well supported through clear system leadership, strong networks and better access to resources, guidance and development opportunities

  • high levels of trust allow information about student progress to be used and shared with confidence, to show what’s working for our children and young people, what needs to be improved and where more resources are needed.

FLS-CEL has worked extensively across New Zealand, delivering high quality learning experiences for both schools and Kāhui Ako, building leadership capacity, trust and capability. Our work is strongly aligned with Ministry of Education examples of ways student achievement can be enhancing the current national priority areas:

  • Developing and holding high expectations of teachers and students 
  • Building capability of senior and middle leaders to observe and provide feedback 
  • Supporting teachers and leader’s capability to analyse, interpret and respond to a wide range of data
  • Supporting teachers and leader’s capability to understand and develop student agency

One of the new MoE focus areas is using information to support learning. This is an essential leadership function irrespective of which priority or priorities that your school or Kāhui Ako may eventually focus on. Being evaluative is at the start and heart of any good process; gathering the information to understand what is worth focusing on, understanding what the actual need is, and starting the process of thinking about what better might look like. You don’t have to have all of the answers as you start thinking about PLD but using information to support learning is essential to develop a robust approach to the learning of your staff.

Here is a small sample of schools and Kāhui Ako the FLS-CEL team have worked with recently:

  • West Papatoetoe Kāhui Ako 
  • Rangitoto College 
  • Pukekohe High School 
  • Morrinsville Kāhui Ako 
  • Te Hapara Primary School 

The team at the Centre for Educational Leadership will provide advice and guidance on how best to submit your 2020 PLD application and how the student-centered leadership capabilities that form the heart of our PLD teaching can build a coherence of practice across your school or Kāhui Ako that can bring about the desired improvement you seek.

By keeping in touch with us, you will keep up to date with what we offer, visit our website to find out more or follow our team on our Facebook page Like https://www.facebook.com/UACEL/ on Facebook 

Ngā manaakitanga
Colin Donald and the CEL team