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Ministry of Education.

Supporting school leaders

The He Kākano Professional Operations Manager describes how this initiative supports school leaders, and how school leaders support one another through their participation in the He Kākano process.


Paora Howe (Professional Operations Manager): “Because one of the things that we’re trying to do is to say look you’re going to have support. You know the reason that this project is different from others is that we’ve got the manutaki in place, their role is to support you over the next two years. We’re going to be sitting behind them, we’ve got excellent people sitting behind us. As a community of practice you know as all these schools get together we’re going to be able to get solutions to problems from them. I think that’s a really empowering thing. When they come in one of the first things we ask them to do is to write on a post-it, you know, what is a particularly gnarly issue in relation to He Kākano issues about, around Māori achievement.”

Man at meeting: “You’re going to have seven minutes in the first round to come up with the responses to the scenario….”

Paora: “What is critical in this bus-stop exercise is to be able to collapse all those gnarly issues, so you might get and as in this case here, forty-five different gnarly issues, collapse them into five or six real scenarios and then enable them as mixed groups to actually attack those different scenarios in a very, very tight timeframe. And the idea is that you know it’s the top of the head stuff, they, they come up with solutions and it’s amazing how quickly a group of people or four or five, can look at one gnarly issue and, and provide a solution. And of course as they move round to the different groups you’ve got four or five groups looking at that one gnarly issue and so you’ve got four or five pages of solutions, and four or five pages of solutions they can then analyze at the end. You do have to give, ah, people an opportunity to reflect, you do have to give people an opportunity to meet other people, here not just from their own school. So the idea is that all the activities that we, that we do put in front of them are ones where they, they might talk to their own school and then they might talk to other school leaders, or they might talk to different people that they would never talk to, from smaller schools, Māori schools that are in the Tuhoe area for example are here talking to, ah, big city schools like Burnside. So you do get that opportunity, they get the opportunity to mix and to hear different perspectives and I think that’s a really important part of this operation.”

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