Thousands of students in Auckland suburbs including Ellerslie, Lynfield and Te Atatu will be part of a radical education reform that aims to spread the best teaching and leadership.

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced another 129 schools across the country have signed up to the flagship Investing in Educational Success (IES) programme.

The schools have more than 45,000 students between them and will be divided into 18 groups or "communities".

In Auckland, communities include Kelston, Lynfield, Te Atatu, and One Tree Hill with both secondary schools and primary schools involved.

Advertisement

One of the country's largest schools, Lynfield College, has signed-up, as have lower-decile schools that have seen great improvements in results including Kelston Boys' High School and One Tree Hill College.

Other schools involved are in Whakatane, Taupo, Havelock North, Westland, Kaikoura, Greymouth and Blenheim. In Rotorua, Catholic schools including Aquinas College and John Paul College have formed a group.

New Zealand's education system gives a high degree of control to each individual state and state-integrated school and its board of trustees, and studies have pointed to a lack of collaboration as a major problem.

The Government's new IES programme aims to help rectify that, and was a major announcement ahead of last year's election.

While opposed by the primary school teachers' union, the programme eventually won support of the Post Primary Teachers' Association.

Some principals believe the reform could create the most radical shift in schooling since Tomorrow's Schools.

The scheme uses $359 million over four years to create "communities of schools" where principals and teachers are paid extra to collaborate and provide additional teacher-learning time for the schools involved.

A new principal role will help oversee each Community of Schools, and it is anticipated that four or five teachers will work across the schools to share their expertise. These roles will come with extra salary.

Advertisement

There will also be new roles and funding for teachers to stay in their own classrooms and have other teachers observe their good teaching, and how learning takes place - about one in 10 teachers will be able to take up this role if they apply.

Currently teachers in all schools have time where they are released from their classroom to complete administration tasks and prepare lessons.

Those in schools that have joined IES will get more time to focus specifically on working with other schools to lift student achievement.

Today's announcement by Ms Parata brings the total number of schools involved to 222.

Each of the 29 grouping of schools will work with parents and the community to identify what could hold back students' achievement, and how such challenges can be overcome.

The NZEI union has opposed IES and said its analysis of the first 11 groups of schools shows that larger, high decile schools like Auckland Grammar are getting most funding.

Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins said that paying bonuses to teachers and principals from schools in wealthy communities would only enforce inequality in the schooling system.

Ms Parata said almost 60 per cent of the 129 schools signed-up in the second round were decile 1 to 5.

"We know that the biggest factors in-school for lifting achievement are the quality of teaching and leadership," Ms Parata said.

"The biggest out-of-school factors are family involvement and community expectations. IES promotes all these."

Kelston Community of Schools

* Kelston Boys' High School

* Kelston Girls' College

* Kelston School

* Kelston Intermediate

* St Leonards Road School

* Glen Eden School

Lynfield Community of Schools

* Lynfield College

* Waikowhai Intermediate

* Halsey Drive School

* Blockhouse Bay School

* Marshall Laing School

* Blockhouse Bay Intermediate

* Chaucer School

* Glenavon School

Te Atatu Community of Schools

* Rutherford College

* Rutherford School

* Te Atatu Intermediate

* Peninsula Primary School

* Matipo Road School

* Edmonton School

* Freyberg Community School

* Tirimoana School

One Tree Hill Community of Schools

* One Tree Hill College

* Ellerslie School

* Stanhope Road School

* Panmure District School

* Bailey Road School

* Sylvia Park School