A good education is vital, as it provides the opportunity for any child from any background the chance to get ahead and make the most of their life. That’s why we’re putting an extra $15.3 million over the next four years into in-class support for students who need it most. This funding increase, which was announced last week in the lead-up to Budget 2016, will ensure an extra 1250 students with a range of learning difficulties will receive support from teacher aides. When combined with the increased funding in last year’s Budget, the Government is now funding an extra 550,000 hours of in-classroom support for these students. Teacher aides play an important role in classrooms across New Zealand. This latest investment will see more students have access to the support they need to gain an….. education that helps them become more independent and confident. This is just one of the initiatives the National-led Government is investing in to help lift student achievement in schools.
Last week, we also reached a key milestone in the $359 million Investing in Educational Success initiative I announced in 2014. There are now more than 1000 schools working together in small groups that are called Communities of Learning. This is great news because it means more children all across the country are getting the benefits of their schools working together and sharing expertise. It’s also helping to keep the best teachers in the classroom as we all know what a difference a great teacher can make to a child’s education. These communities, which make up 40 per cent of all schools and support more than 320,000 kids, will help to lift the achievement of students from early childhood to secondary. Another way we are ensuring our children are getting the best possible education is by providing modern learning environments. Unlike traditional classrooms, where teachers address students from the front of the class, today’s teachers work more collaboratively with students, either in groups or individually according to students’ learning needs.
When new schools are built or existing schools upgraded, this is an opportunity to invest in modern classrooms, which support new teaching styles and offer flexible, comfortable environments for learning. This Government has invested more than $4 billion in school property maintenance, growth, and modernisation over the past seven years – something kids, parents, teachers, schools and their local communities are all benefiting from. A good education helps our children be successful at home and around the world and also contributes to building a more productive and competitive economy. That’s why we will continue to work hard to ensure every child in New Zealand gets the best education possible.