The New Zealand Principals’ Federation has welcomed the increased funding to Education in the 2022 Budget announcements.
“Our top priorities are to implement the curriculum refresh by providing the appropriate resources and professional learning for our teaching staff and re-engaging our students by having them present at school, participating in learning and making progress,” said Cherie Taylor-Patel, President of NZPF.
“We warmly welcome the pre-announced $88 million for re-engaging students and the $135 million announced in the Budget, for the curriculum refresh, including te Reo resources, research, teaching resources, professional learning and the NCEA change programme.”
“It is also pleasing that the equity index will now be implemented and will replace the decile system which was always a blunt instrument,” she said. “The injection of an extra $75 million will ensure that no schools will experience a decrease in funding for 2023, and principals will welcome that,” Taylor-Patel said.
Other supports to get a boost from the Budget include $90 million to support mental health and student wellbeing through the Health Budget’s Mana Ake programme, funding for community learning hubs and increased support for at risk students. A further $13.4 million was allocated for the learning support of deaf students, for ethnic learning hubs and for students in remote locations and $22.3 million for leadership advisor positions.
“We are pleased to see more funding for these critical services and especially pleased at the increase in leadership advisor positions but would like to have seen more Mana Ake support for schools in Auckland, since more than half of all our students are in the Auckland region,” she said.
Taylor-Patel noted that since the initial 600 learning support coordinators were established in schools, no further increase had been funded.
“We would also like to have seen further learning support coordinators funded, so that more of our schools could benefit from their expertise,” said Taylor-Patel.
She noted that whilst the increase of 2.75% for schools’ operations grants was welcome, it did not come close to meeting the rate of inflation.