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Community engagement

This section draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support schools as they consider the community engagement principle.


This section provides tools you can select from to support community engagement initiatives.

Starter survey

You can use this survey to help you consider how you are currently enacting the community engagement principle, and what your next steps may be. The survey can be used in a range of ways, for example:

  • by your entire school community, including students, parents, families, whānau, and iwi to identify areas of strength and future actions
  • with teachers to generate discussion and classroom actions
  • by school leaders to inform strategic planning.

The survey is available as a Word document download. By marking the tick boxes, you will be able to identify where you sit in relation to each statement and create an action plan for improvement.

Community engagement - starter survey.

Word 2007 icon. Community engagement - Getting started (Word 2007, 144 KB)


The descriptors for this survey have been guided by findings by the School Leadership and Student Outcomes BES, and reflective questions in NZC Updates 1 and 10.

Other tools

School partnerships self audit tool
This self-audit tool helps you assess current practices for working with students' families and at aspects of your school organisation and school culture that affect home-school relationships.

A possible process
This process could be used to act on the information collected about your school's needs for your home-school partnership.

Conducting community engagement workshops
You can select from these comprehensive workshop materials to support your community engagement initiatives.

Reviewing your school-whānau partnerships
Use this interactive tool with parents, families, whānau, and communities to identify the strengths and needs of your school–whānau partnerships and work towards improving student outcomes. The tool results in a comprehensive report that supports you to identify your progress, next steps, and goals. 

Better relationships for better learning
Better relationships for better learning provides guidelines for Boards of Trustees and schools on engaging with Māori parents, whānau, and communities.

There is no one way to engage the community in the life of a school. The uniqueness of location, size, and dynamics determines the strategies schools use to encourage community support and interaction.

Lee Anderson, Principal, Te Kopuru School

Next – Examples of ideas and approaches some schools are using to enact the community engagement principle

Published on: 31 Jul 2015