30 Sep 2020

Government announces $9m for teacher support

12:11 pm on 30 September 2020

Counselling and support services for school and early childhood teachers costing nearly $9m will be rolled out, primarily in Auckland, the government says.

Chris Hipkins announced the Labour Party's education policy at an early childhood education centre in Porirua on 15 September 2020.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the move at day two of the Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) annual conference today.

It would include:

  • $4.2m for counselling and support services in Auckland being rolled out in the fourth school term this year, which runs for 10 weeks from 12 October
  • $2m to be spent on services in other areas with a further resurgence of Covid-19, with other options also being explored.
  • $1.5m for an online hub available to all New Zealand educators providing advice and peer-to-peer support, expected to be ready by the end of the school year
  • $1m over three years to support Māori educators' wellbeing

Hipkins said it was a recognition of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on teachers.

"In particular, I am hearing concerns about the effect that recent Alert Level 3 measures have had on our teachers, centre leaders and principals in the Auckland region."

He said it was the direct result of an agreement last year between the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), the PPTA and the Ministry of Education to work together to address teacher workloads and wellbeing.

"The package specifics were developed by the Accord partners, working with representatives of school trustees, principals, and kindergartens," Hipkins said.

"This package does not replace supports already provided by schools and early learning services. The government has a further $7 million to support teacher and principal wellbeing on top of today's announcement."

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