Ngā hononga kura-whānau e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Reviewing your school-whānau partnerships

Te arotake i ngā hononga kura–whānau

This tool helps school leaders and whānau to identify the strengths and needs of their school–whānau partnerships in relation to seven areas:

  • Overview
  • The school curriculum
  • Teaching and learning at school
  • Teaching and learning at home 
  • Reporting
  • Day-to-day involvement in the school community
  • Special events and occasions

Reviewing school-whānau partnerships will generally be a collaborative, face-to-face process for school leaders and whānau representatives.

However, after this tool has been introduced to whānau representatives, they use it to complete their review independently of school leaders. This provides valuable information on how whānau views differ from the school’s.

The analysis of this information and ongoing review of partnerships should then occur collaboratively. 

The tool is not used multiple times by multiple users.

Instead it is worked through twice, once by the school leader(s) and once by whānau representatives.

For this reason, users should follow the following steps.

1.  Agreeing on a process and deciding on roles

The school

Decide who will work together through the tool from the school’s point of view.

This will most likely be the principal and three to five other school leaders/teachers.

Decide how this group will gather the views of other staff.

This group (or the principal) should give whānau representatives a briefing on the tool so that they can get started on step 1. 

Whānau and the local Māori community 

 Decide how to gather the views of whānau, Māori students, and the local Māori community.

Determine who will act as representatives to work though the tool.

See step 2 for examples of possible approaches. 

2.  Gathering information

Before working through the tool, have a full picture of current school–whānau partnerships and evidence for their effectiveness. To achieve this picture:

  • listen to and record the full range of perspectives among those you are representing
  • use the tool to collect evidence and suggestions for next steps and professional learning.

This is an especially important step for whānau and the local Māori community. Here are some examples of approaches they could take to consult and gather information are as follows:

  • A group of about five Māori from whānau, the community, and students could consult with a broad range of those whom they represent and then work through the tool with the information they have gathered.
  • Whānau could be sent (electronically or on paper) the Word or PDF file to complete individually and return to one or more representatives, who collate the responses.
  • There is no representative group; instead, whānau and the local Māori community meet together several times to work through the tool, with one person recording responses and decisions as they are made.

3.  Completing a review

The tool covers seven areas – an overview and six areas served through partnerships.

For each of the areas, there are indicators1 for opposite ends of a continuum of school–whānau engagement.

At one end of the continuum, school and whānau engage in a minimal or limited way that is usually determined by the school. At the other end, school, whānau, and the Māori community engage in genuine, long-term partnerships for learning. 

As you work through each area, enter your response for each pair of indicators and the evidence, next steps, and required professional learning for that area.

4.  Conducting subsequent reviews

As the school and whānau work together to improve their partnerships, they may wish to conduct another review in a following year to see what progress has been made. 

Comparing two or more reviews will provide information over time on progress and on those areas that need attention. 


Reviewing your school-whānau partnerships 

Ruia Partnerships self review tool Word download (Word, 33 KB)

Reviewing your school-whānau partnerships 

Ruia Partnerships self review tool PDF download (PDF, 146 KB)

The interactive version of this tool has been removed.


  1. The indicators are based on Ruia’s principles of educationally powerful partnerships; [4.1] they have also drawn on resources such as Te Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori Learners (Ministry of Education, 2011), the National Standards self-review tools (Ministry of Education, 2009), and Partners in Learning: Good Practice (ERO, 2008). Note that the indicators do not provide an exhaustive list.

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