30 Oct 2021

$15m in extra funding to help students get through 'tumultuous time'

2:27 pm on 30 October 2021

The government is investing nearly $15 million in helping Auckland students get back on track after weeks of disruption.

young man holding books

It's hoped some of the money will provide counselling and learning support to boost declining attendance rates. Photo: 123RF

Students in years 11 to 13 were allowed back into school on Tuesday for the first time since mid-August.

Newly named Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti.

Jan Tinetti Photo: RNZ

Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti said the money will fund community initiatives such as counselling and learning support to boost declining attendance rates.

"We want to help those students who are finding it tough to stay engaged with their learning through the remainder of term 4 and support them over summer so they return to school and kura next year," Tinetti said.

Three million dollars will go directly to schools and kura where students need immediate help to stay engaged.

Tinetti said those schools will decide how to spend that money - whether it be on extra staff or mentoring.

The government will provide an extra $2.2m in funding for another 300 student places for year 9 and above in Te Kura to help students catch up and plan for the year ahead.

"We're making sure there are a range of measures in place to support children and young people through this tumultuous time," Tinetti said.

Earlier this week Education Minister Chris Hipkins said primary and intermediate schools and kura in Tāmaki Makaurau could reopen on 15 November, depending on Covid-19 case numbers.

Other parts of the package include:

  • $6m in targeted support through providers to meet the immediate needs of Māori and Pacific students within their whānau so they can re-engage in learning, either back at school, online or with another education provider
  • $1.5m additional counselling support to improve the wellbeing of students, focusing on years six to nine
  • $1m for students with identified learning support needs, including those with disabilities
  • $600,000 increase for the Attendance Service capacity - to connect with and support learners to re-engage with school

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