Saturday, July 13, 2024

$89m to revamp specialist schools

The Government has announced $89 million as part of Budget 24 to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs.

The funding allocation includes:

  • $63 million in depreciation funding to upgrade specialist schools in poor condition;
  • $26 million in capital funding to deliver additional capacity through satellite classrooms for specialist schools, relieving pressure on the network.

“We are providing certainty for parents, teachers and children by committing to the redevelopment of three schools and the provision of an additional 17 satellite classrooms around New Zealand,” said Education Minister, Erica Stanford.

“A report recently released by the Education Review Office (ERO) highlights that some of our most vulnerable learners are in classrooms that are in a terrible condition. I was horrified to learn about the unacceptable state of specialist school property and the long wait lists of more than 650 children, following significant underinvestment in maintenance and growth.”

The investment includes funding for the upgrade of Sommerville Special School in Auckland, with work will begin on site at the end of this year, the Minister confirmed.

The Sommerville Special School redevelopment will deliver 22 new teaching spaces with connecting walkways and canopies; a new pick up/drop off area and parking; and a new building and infrastructure to house co-funded hydrotherapy pools and equipment.

Decisions on funding for two other specialist schools are in their final stages, she said.

“We are committing to include specialist schools and satellite classrooms in network planning for the first time to give families around New Zealand the choice they deserve.”

“A specialist schools work programme is also underway to ensure children get the critical services they need. This work is part of the Government’s six education priorities to deliver a world-leading education system. 

“Today’s announcement signals this Government’s firm commitment to our specialist schools who do incredible work for young people with the highest needs,” Ms Stanford says.

Latest Articles