Leaders and Education Authorities Program (LEAP)
The Leaders and Education Authorities project is an initiative in the Solomon Islands of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD), supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, designed to support Provincial Education Authorities and school leaders to improve students’ opportunities to learn.
LEAP works with 85 schools in six provinces – Guadalcanal, Central, Isabel, Malaita, Rennell-Bellona and Temotu. By working closely with the Provincial Education Authorities, primary school leaders and their communities, and teachers, LEAP seeks to improve management at the PEA level and strengthen leadership at the school level in order to improve learners’ reading and writing skills. LEAP identifies problems at each of these levels and creates solutions together.
LEAP is implemented by Future Learning Solutions, the University of Auckland, the Institute of Education of the University of South Pacific, and the Fellowship of Faithful Mentors, in partnership with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD).
What does LEAP aim to achieve?
LEAP’s overall purpose is to help schools improve students’ opportunities to learn literacy, through strengthening the work of Provincial Education Authorities (PEA) and school leadership. LEAP recognises the centrality of developing a relational approach as a strategy for improved educational outcomes, an approach which is grounded in Solomon Islands beliefs and realities, and a recognition of learning, teaching and leading as relational approaches.
LEAP uses four strands of engagement focused on enabling people and learning:
- Leader and leadership mentoring
- Coaching and facilitation of professional learning
- Iterative cycles of data-based learning, problem solving and co-design through Tok stori
- Peer learning, networking and collaboration
LEAP aims to develop the knowledge and skills of Provincial Education Authority staff and school leadership teams to perform the functions that are required of them. It builds and develops local capability to implement its activities, including utilising work approaches and strategies that can adapt to the continually changing and complex environments in which Education Authorities (EA) and Schools operate. This support is also complemented by sectoral support funds for a grant to assist schools and Provincial EAs to take greater ownership of and responsibility for education outcomes.
How does LEAP work?
LEAP’s approach is to engage and co-create strategies or ‘improvement plans’ with schools, PEA and MEHRD, embedded on staff’s beliefs and values about quality teaching, learning and leadership, combined with locally collected evidence on student learning, teacher practice and leadership practice. By developing a shared understanding of the problem to address, and shared ’hypotheses’ for how we can work together to change it, there is a higher likelihood of achieving change, than by simply importing solutions from elsewhere or providing technical training alone.
LEAP focusses on enabling School Leadership teams and PEA leaders and staff to build their capability for leading on-going improvements in student literacy learning. This is achieved through work-place based mentoring and coaching delivered by the SL and PEA mentors; ongoing cycles of data collection, analysis and collective problem solving practice supported by the wider LEAP team in close collaboration with MEHRD.