Tuesday, June 15, 2021

COVID-19 fund benefits thousands of learners

More than 2,000 schools, kura and early learning services me ngā kōhanga reo have been funded to help more than 300,000 New Zealand children and young people affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns, Education Minister, Chris Hipkins has announced.

He said more than $30 million from the Urgent Response Fund had been allocated between August and December 2020.

“The feedback I’ve received has been incredibly positive. Schools, kura and early learning services have seen improvements in the wellbeing and re-engagement in learning for the ākonga supported by the fund,” the Minister said.

“Many have used the funding for additional teacher and teacher aide time to provide mentoring, academic catch-up and for engaging with whānau.

“We have heard from one school, for example, that having the opportunity to talk through issues with its secondary students helped them to realise they could still achieve NCEA.

“An early learning service has told us that a parent feels their child has a sense of belonging and has ‘found her voice’ from the wellbeing support families have been offered.”

Mr Hipkins said he would like to thank all the teachers, school leaders, support people, regional representatives – and learners themselves – for their commitment during and after the lockdowns.

“What has worked really well is having decisions made in the regions about how the fund is allocated. Our 10 regional education offices have worked with local experts – such as school principals, iwi, and early learning representatives – to engage with their communities and decide the best use of funds for local learners.”

The Urgent Response Fund can be used for school, early learning service or cluster-wide activities to support attendance, re-engagement with learning and wellbeing, or for individual students or groups of young people. It is a one-year fund until June 2021.

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