New frontline support for high quality teaching that promotes the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people was announced by Associate Minister of Education Tracey Martin today.
“We are funding up to 40 Curriculum Leads who will work directly with schools, kura, early learning services and kōhanga reo to support the teaching of mental health and healthy relationships and promote the wellbeing of learners,” Minister Martin said.
“For too long, as identified in the last two ERO reports, a number of schools have struggled in this area of teaching. The Curriculum Leads, a new type of role based in regional Ministry of Education offices, will provide the specialist support that primary and secondary schools have been wanting and need in this area.”
The new roles are funded from a $32.8 million programme that will be delivered over four years and are the first part of a comprehensive wellbeing support package for the entire education sector. The programme funding also provides for resources for parents and whānau that will support their understanding of the importance of teaching and learning about mental health and healthy relationships. This will enable families to provide support to their children at home.
“It’s predicted that COVID-19 will have long-lasting impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people,” Mrs Martin said.
“These Curriculum Leads will provide frontline support that will be tailored to local needs. This will strengthen the sector’s ability to promote and support the wellbeing of all learners in the medium and long term.”
The leads will work with principals and teachers to deliver a high quality Health and Physical Education and Hauora local curriculum, including the refreshed Relationship and Sexuality Education Guidelines and the Wellbeing and Mental Health Guidelines.
“They will also support School Boards to undertake quality engagement with their local communities on the health and physical education curriculum and promote positive school and kura environments,” the Minister said.
“For the last 13 years, ERO reports have found weaknesses in this area so I am exceptionally pleased that our government has addressed this and provided this much needed support.”