Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Schools fund to relieve lockdown cost

Schools affected by the February 2021 regional Alert Level 3 restrictions will now be able to claim a reimbursement for unforeseen costs, Education Minister, Chris Hipkins announced today.

He said a new support scheme was being set up to help relieve some of the cost pressures on schools from a local lockdown.

“We’ve set aside $6.5 million to help schools meet those unexpected costs – such as for cleaning, staff cover, cancelled professional learning and development and other bookings,” the Minister said.

“We know that Auckland schools were financially impacted by the regional lockdowns. This scheme will support schools in Auckland and the surrounding regions where the most impact was felt.

“We want to make sure schools are not out of pocket and that students do not miss out. For example, where school camps were impacted by the regional lockdowns, some costs could be reimbursed to allow schools to plan future activities.”

Support was provided to schools for COVID-19 costs to the end of 2020, but there have been ongoing impacts into this year, Mr Hipkins said.

“Schools have done an amazing job planning and managing changes in how learning has been delivered, and students supported through periods of uncertainty. 

“This fund simply aims to remove pressure on those schools that cannot absorb unforeseen costs within their current baselines.

“While we hope there aren’t any future lockdowns, this fund means that support is in place and ready to go if there are,” he said.

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