Many countries are at varying stages of implementing competency-based education into their schools to equip youth with skills necessary to adapt to a changing world. Very little is known regarding practical approaches to incorporate competencies into school curriculum. This study examines five schools in Auckland, New Zealand from a variety of socio-economic areas. Seven senior school leaders were interviewed about their views, understanding and the perceived integration of Key Competencies into the curriculum. Schools that were more successful in terms of implementation planning and progress shared the following characteristics: strong leadership, rethinking pedagogy, professional learning support, and accessing of relevant resources. These characteristics are used to frame recommendations to aid implementation and for further research on key competencies as they might be implemented in secondary schools.
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