$27 million for priority children’s education initiatives

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced the Government is investing $27 million in education initiatives targeted at priority children.Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

26 August 2013 Media Statement

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 4PM

$27 million investment in education initiatives aimed at priority children

Education Minister Hekia Parata has today announced the Government is investing $27 million in education initiatives targeted at priority children.

Ms Parata says the initiatives are targeted at children who are falling behind for a range of reasons.

“We know where these children are thanks to much stronger data, including National Standards data. We know our education system performs for a majority of students but it is not as successful for others and we need to continue to take action. These 11 initiatives are focused on giving these children the great education they deserve.

“Ensuring each and every child gets a good education is the single most important thing our Government can do to raise living standards and create a more productive and competitive economy.’’

The new or expanded initiatives include:

• $5 million over three years to scale up Building on Success which is designed to increase the capability of secondary and area schools to improve outcomes for Māori students.

• $8 million over four years to implement both Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-17 and the Pasifika Education Plan.

• $3 million over the next two years to support children in the first year of school to develop literacy and numeracy skills.

• $3.15 million over the next two years to work with over 100 schools to increase NCEA Level 2 achievement and help students transition to tertiary study, training or employment, including through Starpath.

• $1.75 million over four years support teen parents in main stream schools

“The Government is determined to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to ensure every single child crosses the line and achieves their education potential.

“To achieve this we have introduced Better Public Service Targets at early childhood and secondary level. We have also introduced National Standards at Primary and intermediate School level so we can see how kids are doing and identify those who are falling behind early.

“We now have a good set of data across our whole education system which has allowed to see where we can better target our resources.’’

Ms Parata says there is already success in many areas of education through greater investment and targeting and the Government is building on this.

“For example, we’re seeing some great results in NCEA. Last year 77.2 per cent of 18-year-olds achieved NCEA Level 2, which was up nearly three per cent on 2011.

“So we know targeted work and initiatives are delivering results.”

ENDS

Note to Editors

The 11 new or expanded initiatives are:

Building on Success ($5.2 million over four years)

The Building on Success initiative is a programme for principals and teachers to improve their teaching practice to increase achievement of Māori students. The professional development is for the whole school and includes workshops and training with experts. The initiative builds off the successes and strengths of previous and existing programmes including Te Kotahitanga, He Kākano, Secondary Literacy and Numeracy and Starpath to achieve greater system-wide shifts for Māori students in secondary schools. Up to 100 schools will be working through the programme at any one time.

Implementing Ka Hikitia – Accelerating Success 2013-17 and the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-17 ($8.0 million over four years)

An expansion of the original Ka Hikitia, Accelerating Success 2013-2017 provides newly developed resources that give all Māori parents, families and whānau practical advice on how to support their children’s learning, at home and at school. This include books, audio-visual material and on-line information to help parents talk to teachers about their child’s progress, Maori parent, families, and whānau will also receive more information on how NCEA works, and on how to ensure their children can learn in, and through, the Māori language.

The Government has similarly allocated funding to the implementation of the Pasifika Education Plan. Included with this is $1 million to fund the ‘Pasifika Power Up for NCEA Success’ programme – a joint initiative with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. Books, audio-visual material and on-line information, assisted by community champions will be provided to Pasifika parents so they can better assist their children to succeed with NCEA, and to encourage Pasifika parents to become more engaged with their local schools.

Mutukaroa ($3 million over the next two years)

Mutukaroa, a successful programme developed and championed by Sylvia Park School, supports vulnerable children in the first year of school to develop really good literacy and numeracy skills. This initiative provides parents and families with skills to support children’s learning through workshops and home visits and developing individual learning plans to give these children the best start at school.

Achievement 2013 and Starpath ($3.15 million over two years)

Achievement 2013 focuses on an immediate acceleration of NCEA Level 2 numbers by working with sector leaders and partnering with over 100 schools. This includes resources to run summer programmes, achievement camps and homework clubs. The Ministry of Education has employed a number of highly experienced school and tertiary leaders to work directly with schools and tertiary providers to help accelerate achievement. This includes expanding Starpath in Auckland and Northland to Years 9 and 10 in 31 schools, tracking their progress working directly with students to increase their chances of gaining University Entrance.

More Social Sector Trials ($2.5 million over the next two years)

Leveraging off the current success of the Government’s Social Sector Trials, the Government has allocated over $2.5 million over the next two years to support further education initiatives in the 10 new Social Sector Trials. One of these based in Rotorua will have a specific focus on achieving education outcomes.

Teen Parenting Mainstream Trial ($1.75 million over four years)

The Government will invest $1.75 million over four years to trial a programme to better support teen parents in mainstream schools. Around 100 teen parents per year will be involved in the trial. It provides additional information and funding to enable home visits by schools or other providers to keep the students in learning when they are not able to attend school.

Transitions to school ($840,000 over two years)

A range of new community initiatives to intensively support parents to get their children ready for school. This will improve the transition from early learning to school for those Māori and Pasifika children and children from low income families that are enrolled in this initiative. It is expected to involve 130 families and will include home visits, support to complete pre-school checks, assessment for school readiness and continue to track the family and the children through to the end of the first year at school .

Youth Wellbeing Measurement ($860,000 over four years)

As part of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health project funding has been allocated for the Education Review Office’s development of wellbeing indicators to be used as a resource for school Boards of Trustees to lift school performance in relation to student wellbeing.

Foundation Literacy and Numeracy Initiative ($700,000 over the next two years)

This initiative trains parents to help support children to learn to read and count. It will use trained tutors to teach parents techniques to help their children come to grips with the early stages of reading and numeracy.

Literacy and Numeracy for Limited Service Volunteer Course ($80,000 to trial new initiative)

This programme focuses on assessing the literacy and numeracy needs of the young person and trialling whether a full literacy and numeracy programme can be built into the LSV programme. The Government has made $80,000 available for a coordinator with resources for a literacy and numeracy trial with around 80 LSV participants at the six-week residential course at Trentham Camp

Ahi Kaa Accelerated Learning Centre ($675,000 over two years)

The Government is investing $675,000 over the next two years into the Ahi Kaa Accelerated Learning Centre in Petone (Hutt City).The Ahi Kaa Learning Centre is a joint project between the Government and Taranaki Whānau ki Te Upoko o Te Ika. The Centre works with around 150 Māori youth, aged from 13 to 24, and about 60 whānau. Students are given personal education plans to help achieve their NCEA credits, or to help them reengage in learning. Others are given work placements, or pathways to further education, training and employment opportunities. Students are supported with tutoring and mentoring to help them achieve their goals.

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