Ministry news

SN14 - Education - From the Ministers Desk - Anne Tolley - 2Four further support days for secondary school teachers, as they implement the new curriculum-aligned

achievement standards for NCEA levels one, two and three, will be provided over the next two years.

Two teacher-only professional development days will be provided to schools in 2012, with two further teacher-only days available in 2013. These are in addition to the two professional support days which have already been announced for 2011.

“This follows recommendations from a working group which I set up, involving PPTA, the Secondary Principals’ Association (SPANZ), NZQA and the Ministry, to address any issues around teacher workload as the standards continue to be phased-in,” Education Minister Anne Tolley said.

“The curriculum changes and subsequent changes to assessment standards are critically important, and these additional support days will allow teachers to access professional development to help build their capability.

“Schools will now be able to give parents and students plenty of notice about the teacher-only days, and plan their professional development for 2012 and 2013 well in advance.

“The support days are part of a package to help schools and teachers, and more details of this will be announced soon.”

The teacher-only days are optional and dates will be decided by individual school

Ministry apologises for funding confusion

The Ministry of Education has contacted private schools to apologise for any confusion caused by an overpayment for the 2011 school year and clarify funding for 2012.

Secretary for Education Karen Sewell said the 2011 rates were set incorrectly.

“Budget 2009 added $10 million in funding for private schools. Some of this was allocated to the new Aspire Scholarships. When determining the 2011 pool, this amount was not excluded.

“Private schools received almost $2.5 million more than they should have for the 2011 school year. The Ministry apologises for this mistake and we are reviewing our systems to ensure the correct rates are applied in the future,” Ms Sewell said.

Private schools will receive their correct rates for 2012. While this is less than received in 2011, it is what they should receive.

Ms Sewell wrote to schools explaining the difference in funding levels between the 2011 and 2012 school years.

“No school or student will be disadvantaged by this. The Ministry will not seek to recover the overpayment from schools,” she said.

Ultra-fast broadband connections by July 2012

Nearly 100,000 students at 221 schools around the country will have ultra-fast broadband-enabling fibre connected by July 2012, Education Minister Anne Tolley and Communications and IT Minister Steven Joyce have announced.

Mr Joyce said 97 per cent of schools will receive ultra-fast fibre enabling speeds of 100 Mbps plus over the next five years. “The remaining three per cent of schools, which are in the most remote locations, will receive a high-speed wireless or satellite connection. No schools will miss out.”

UFB will transform New Zealand’s education system, making it one of the most wired in the world, Mrs Tolley said.

“Fewer than 200 New Zealand schools currently have bandwidth capable of the ultra-fast broadband speeds that are essential for applications such as high-definition, two-way video conferencing.

“This technology means that students anywhere in New Zealand can have access to the best teachers and online resources anywhere in the world.”

New scholarships for Christchurch students

Year 13 Christchurch students whose plans for tertiary study may have been affected by the recent earthquakes will have access to $1 million of funding for new scholarship awards.

The Canterbury Earthquake Scholarships will provide $2000 each year for three years of study for 160 students.

“This additional financial support will help students take on tertiary study after what has been a traumatic time,” Education Minister Anne Tolley said.

“Students showed great resilience following the February earthquake, with many having to share school sites and go to school in shifts, and these scholarships will ease the burden for some whose families have been affected financially.

“The application process was developed along with schools and communities. Schools will be working with students to complete their applications, while the students can nominate community members to speak in favour of their application.

“I have also told NZQA to ensure that the number of scholarships for high-achieving students is maintained at the same level as previous years.”

The new scholarships will be available to students who are enrolled and studying at Year 13 at any Canterbury secondary school, including state, private and integrated schools in Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn. Successful students can then enrol for 2012 in a course of tertiary study for one year or longer.

The Ministry is contacting schools with information on how students can apply for the scholarships.

Consultation on Canterbury education

Communities and the education sector in Canterbury are to have the opportunity to take part in consultation on the future of education in the area following the recent earthquakes.

The feedback received will contribute to a draft Education Renewal Plan for greater Christchurch.

The Ministry of Education will be inviting representatives from the education sector, community members and business leaders to a series of meetings to provide the chance to discuss options and give feedback.

The wider community, including students, parents, teachers and employers, is also being encouraged to take part and provide valuable feedback at

The consultation will run until November 13, after which the Ministry will analyse submissions before reporting back to Cabinet. This will then contribute to a draft Education Renewal Plan which is scheduled to be released for widespread community consultation in the New Year.

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