National promises $1.9 billion education invesment
A National Government is promising to prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, says National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis.
“Parents just want what’s best for their child. As a mother, I know the worry parents have about how their child is achieving, whether they are struggling in an area and may need more support, and what job prospects they will have when they leave the education system,” says Collins.
“Parents want to see their children grow and thrive, to have options and opportunities once they leave school. We understand this, and a National Government will invest in the future of our children.
On a visit to the Graduate School of Education, Collins announced how a National Government would support parents, students and teachers in making sure all New Zealand children get the start in life they deserve through a $1.9 billion package over four years.
National's plans include:
• Ensure there is better support for children with additional learning, behavioural and physical needs by providing schools with a $480 million boost in learning support
• Increase the number of teacher aides in our schools by investing $150 million over four years to fund about six million additional hours of teacher aide support in classrooms, equivalent to around 1500 new teacher aides
• Support more families to have choice about their child’s schooling by reversing the Government takeover of school zoning schemes, investing in fast-growing state and state-integrated schools, and supporting the establishment of additional kura kaupapa, integrated, special character and partnership schools
• Ensure all children have the opportunity to learn at least one second language at primary and intermediate school, with a funding boost of $40 million per year to deliver this
• Identify which schools are having the greatest positive impact on student achievement and tasking education officials with seeing how this can be replicated in other schools
“National will increase spending in education every year including increasing operational funding for schools and early childhood education services.
“We want all children to go on to achieve great things. With the right education we can overcome the challenges some children face purely because of the situation they were born into.”
Willis says their investment in additional teacher aides will make a big difference to children’s learning.
“Parents and teachers alike know how valuable it is to have an extra pair of hands and eyes in the classroom.”
Willis reconfirms National’s previous commitments in education, such as:
• Support for parents in the first 1000 days of their child’s life with plans for a programme of early childhood screening, an improved B4 School Check at age three, and more input from early childhood educators
• Investing an additional $4.8 billion in school infrastructure to fix our schools, provide additional classrooms and build new schools
• Delivering smaller class sizes by reducing student-to-teacher ratios in primary schools giving our children more attention in the classroom
• Aim to establish 25 new partnership schools by 2023 including some focussed on high-priority learners such as Māori and Pasifika; children with additional learning needs; and in specialised education areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
• Abolishing the annual registration fee that teachers are currently required to pay to the Teaching Council
“Passionate teachers and principals play a key role in impacting a child’s love of learning and their education. We will support quality teaching at every stage, from recruitment and training, through to ongoing professional development and career progression,” says Willis.
“A quality education can make all the difference in the future of a child. National knows how important it is for children to leave school with firm foundations in core areas, but also for parents to feel empowered to make the choices that will best suit their child’s needs.”