Modern Learning Environment tool and moderation panel

Modern Learning Environment (MLE) assessment tool

Schools must progressively upgrade their teaching and learning spaces to complete all upgrades by 2020. The first step is to assess school property against the MLE standard using the MLE school assessment tool [XLS; 401kb].

The tool encourages schools to upgrade classrooms to the Designing Quality Learning Spaces (DQLS) Standards by including adequate acoustics, lighting, heating and ventilation. The tool also encourages schools to think creatively about the way they teach, and introduce ‘breakout spaces’ – spaces where students can work independently, or cross classroom, in an informal environment.

Moderation panel

Some schools have had inadequate investment in their buildings in the past. The top up funding programme gives some schools an extra boost to the Five Year Agreement (5YA) budget to allow them to build new, modern learning environments.

The Ministry has a national moderation panel to review 10 Year Property Plans (10YPPs) if schools qualify for top up funding as part of their 5YA budgets. If you wish to access this funding your 10YPP must contain no priority four projects and must be submitted to the panel for approval.

To make sure your application is not held up at approval stage:

  • make sure your 10YPP only includes priority one, two and three projects. If you are including a priority four project, make sure you demonstrate that all priority one - three projects have been completed
  • include as much description as you can such as sketch plans, pictures, diagrams, statements of intent etc
  • make sure all classroom upgrades will meet the DQLS standards. If the classroom doesn’t need acoustic wall linings, for example, make sure you spell out why
  • don’t include projects that should come out of the furniture and equipment or maintenance budgets
  • check the budgets and make sure all the figures add up on all sheets
  • consider whether some projects could be undertaken for a lower cost, e.g. patching a carpark rather than re-laying
  • don’t attempt to add or rebuild area if the school is already over 300sqm in surplus.


Content last updated: 20 August 2014