Eight extra teachers will help lift Maori and Pacific students' achievement in one of the country's most advanced "Communities of Learning" in West Auckland.

It has taken more than two years to become a reality, but the Waitakere Community of Learners now links eight state schools and four Catholic schools with 400 teachers and 6000 students in Henderson.

"We have been working towards this from late 2014, but no one actually got paid until April 2016," said cluster leader Shona Smith, deputy principal of Waitakere College.

"We had initial data that we used to determine what our goals were, but we only yesterday welcomed a new member of our team who has the specific role of data."


The cluster's 12 schools range from deciles 2 to 7 and serve what Smith calls "a glorious mix" of students.

The group's priority is to lift the two groups that score lowest on literacy and numeracy - Maori and Pasifika.

The Community of Learning funds Smith and nine subject lead teachers to spend 40 per cent of their time working with other teachers across the cluster, plus 45 teachers to spend 8 per cent of their time leading others within their schools, plus 40 per cent of a teacher's time for "enquiry time". That's equivalent to eight extra teachers.