New Zealand Principals’ Federation commended Budget 2021 for funding a Ministry of Education overhaul and a curriculum centre, as well as over $40million for intensive help and learning support for at risk children.
“We are pleased that this Budget addresses some of the Tomorrow’s Schools recommendations, including a Ministry overhaul to refocus on serving schools through establishing Education Service Agencies, and a curriculum centre,” said Perry Rush, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF). “With a curriculum refresh underway, the work of this new curriculum centre will be pivotal.”
Rush said he was ‘heartened to see that principals’ calls for appropriate support for our most traumatized young people have been heard, with the allocation of $17.7million repurposed funding for learning support that includes support for alternative education services’.
“This funding will help stabilise alternative education while it is redesigned. Enabling ‘at risk’ primary and intermediate school students access to alternative education is a goal.”
“The number of students showing up at schools traumatised and in desperate need of specialised support, has grown exponentially,” he said. “The support these students need, especially those displaying violent outbursts, is more than a mainstream classroom can offer.”
An additional $24.3million has been targeted to provide intensive support for New Zealand’s most vulnerable young learners at risk of disengaging with schooling.
The NZPF was pleased the plight of schools unable to meet maintenance demands on school property were also heard with a one-off package of $52.8million to address property upgrades and maintenance.