Education for students who are risk of disengaging from school receives a $9.8 million boost in Budget 2019, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced earlier this week.
“Education isn’t one-size-fits-all – we need options to support learners who are dealing with a range of challenges, such as difficult family circumstances, mental health issues or addiction,” Minister Martin says.
“I’m working with the sector to make sure we build the best possible supports for young people, so they can re-engage in their education, make progress and achieve their goals.
“I’m pleased to announce today that I have been able to secure an increase in the funding the Government provides for at risk students.”
The funding, which will be available from July 1, 2019 includes:
- An additional $5.8 million funding over four years for Alternative Education providers.
- An additional $1.4 million funding in the next three years for attendance service providers.
- And $2.6 million additional funding over four years for Te Kura’s pilot programme for at risk students.
“When I met with providers and others in the alternative education sector recently in Wellington, they shared their concerns with me about the cost pressures they are facing.”
The announcement comes after Education Central recently cast the spotlight on Youth Nelson’s call for support from the Government.
In his opinion piece Dan Hawke articulated this clearly.
“Change has been promised over many years. The reality is that this change continues to feel a long way off. For programmes like Youth Nelson to continue to be successful it isn’t just money that’s required. It’s the respect and the recognition of the Ministry and our peers in the teaching industry,” said Hawke.
Martin says the funding for Alternative Education will allow providers to better cater for the 1,888 students in their care.
“One area of concern for me is the number of children and young people who are not attending school regularly and who are transient, moving frequently between schools and communities,” she says.
Last year more than 18,000 students were referred to Attendance Service, which works with students and their whānau where a student is not enrolled in a school, or has had persistent non-attendance.
“Attendance Service providers tell me they are feeling the squeeze. This has the ability to make a difference.”
The Te Kura Big Picture programme provides face-to-face learning opportunities, pastoral support and personalised learning programmes for students who have disengaged, or are at risk of disengaging from education.
“The $2.6 million will allow this programme to have a positive impact on more students’ lives.”