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How do you engage whānau and the school community?


A productive partnership starts with the understanding that Māori children and students/ākonga are connected to whānau and should not be viewed or treated as separate, isolated, or disconnected. Parents and whānau must be involved in conversations about their children and their learning. They need accessible, evidence-based information on how to support their children’s learning and success.

Ka Hikitia - Accelerating Success: The Māori Education Strategy 2013 - 2017, p. 18

“The focus is on more informed and demanding parents, families, and communities supporting and championing their children’s learning and achievements.”

Pasifika Education Plan 2013 – 2017

These tools are about involving parents and whānau in teaching and learning – the ideas will require adapting to your school contexts.

Discussion tools 

Engaging with your community

Find out about different approaches for successfully engaging with school communities from these school stories.


Identify and discuss the different approaches the schools took to engage with their community.

Identify what you want to achieve from engaging with parents/whānau and the wider community, for example:

  • finding out what importance they place on financial capability
  • building parent/whānau understanding of the nature of financial capability so that they can support their child’s learning
  • providing the opportunity for community members to brainstorm ideas for what a financially-literate student will look like when they leave your school (use their ideas, along with staff and students/ākonga input, to build your school’s profile of a financially-literate student)
  • connecting with local community agencies. What agencies are in your local area? What do they offer as part of the education programme? How can you include them and utilise their expertise in your school community?

What approach(es) can you plan to engage with parents/whānau to find out what they see as important learning for their children with regard to financial capability?

How can you strengthen home-school partnerships by making parents more aware of intended learning, their child’s progress, and priorities for progress?  

What opportunities are you providing to support your students to engage their parents in informed conversations about their financial capability learning?

Financial capability wall

Create a space where students and parents/whānau can add questions, comments, and statements about financial capability.

This can be set up and incorporated into:

  • Board of Trustees’ meetings
  • parent/whānau/school community meetings
  • a financial capability parent/whānau evening.

It can be used to:

  • provide the opportunity for community members to brainstorm ideas for the skills a financially-literate student will have when they leave your school
  • find out what parents/whānau know and would like to know about financial capability, so that they can support their children’s learning.

Published on: 01 Dec 2013