Associate Minister of Education Louise Upston said young people aged between 13 and 16 who are alienated from mainstream schooling often end up enrolled in alternative education or activity centres. However, the pilot will look to identify those at risk of disengaging earlier in their educational pathway, and connected with the appropriate supports.
“Alternative education and activity centre providers and tutors often cite a range of unmet needs that their students require support with before they can re-engage in learning, including mental health issues and dependency on drugs and alcohol. This is often too late in students’ educational pathways to take meaningful action,” says Upston.
“The rollout of the new model for delivering learning support will provide more accessible and flexible support to young people to help them realise their full potential. We will be piloting new local responses to better meet the needs of young people at risk of not achieving in education.”
Alternative education contracts are in place until December 2018 while the pilot is underway. The Ministry says all young people currently in alternative education and activity centres would continue to be supported.