Communities of learning News story

Communities of Learning helping learners achieve their full potential

Communities of Learning helping learners achieve their full potential

Last updated 9 November 2016
Last updated 9 November 2016

The Ministry of Education is encouraging tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to join Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in their area.

What are Communities of Learning?

A Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako is a group of education and training providers (early childhood education, ngā kohanga reo, schools, kura and post-secondary) working together to help learners achieve their full potential.

There are now 148 Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako throughout the country. Over half of all eligible schools (1,264 out of 2,416) are now part of a Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako, involving more than 410,000 students.

Any TEO that can support a Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako's achievement challenges and help extend young people’s learning pathways can join that community. TEOs can be a member of multiple Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako and belong to a Youth Guarantee partnership at the same time. Joining is voluntary and there is no additional funding for TEOs at this stage.

Each Community of Learning sets shared goals

Each Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako sets shared goals, or achievement challenges based on the particular needs of its children and young people. Once the Minister of Education has endorsed these achievement challenges, the Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako works with students, their parents, whānau, iwi and communities to achieve them.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako are a part of Government’s Investing in Educational Success (IES) initiative.

Supporting school to tertiary and employment pathways

Joining one or more Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako  will enable TEOs to more effectively support students’ transition from secondary into tertiary education or training. This, in turn, will lead to improved outcomes for young people in tertiary education and training. 

Also, it will enable TEOs to proactively support students’ interests and strengths, encouraging them to extend their learning pathways beyond secondary education and achieve their full potential.

Depending on the Community of Learning’s achievement challenges, there may be other ways in which a TEO can contribute. For example, it could support learning pathways that link to further study, training and/or employment opportunities specific to that region.

Achievement challenges examples

The Ministry of Education’s website has examples of achievement challenges. These include:

  • increasing the percentage of students leaving school with NCEA level 2 or higher
  • improving pathways to participation in tertiary education (for example, at least 90% of all school leavers in full time employment or tertiary level learning aligned to a planned pathway. 

More information

You can find out more about Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako and how to join on the Ministry of Education's website. You can also contact your local Director of Education to discuss what's involved, or ring 0800 IES INFO (0800 437 4636) or email


Caption: A meeting of the Waitakere Community of Learning which is a group of 12 diverse schools in West Auckland. Photo courtesy of the Education Gazette.