Children most in need miss out on learning support

The New Zealand National Party

The Government’s announcement of more learning support coordinators has been allocated in a way which is deeply unfair and will see the schools most in need missing out, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“While it’s positive to have additional learning support coordinators, the Government took nine months to sort this out and hasn’t done the work to make sure the coordinators are going where they are most needed.

“It appears the Government was not looking at which schools have the most need but instead has only allocated to schools who are currently implementing the Government’s learning support delivery model.

“I have been contacted by upset and angry principals who have huge need and weren’t offered the opportunity to be part of this and didn’t know this would be the criteria.

“This means a school that may already have huge resource might get one or two people and schools with little or no resource with high needs miss out. Just like the school donation scheme this Government is not targeted and has demonstrated dumb decisions which entrench inequity.

“Nine months ago the Prime Minister committed to 600 learning support coordinators in schools by early 2020. We know the delay means many schools are unlikely to get the person in time for term one.

“We still don’t have the answers to teacher shortages and whether schools will be able to fill those 600 roles.

“The recent learning support action plan is not funded in a number of areas with some criticising it will take six years to deal with the waiting lists.

“This Government promised big in education but time and time again it has broken its promises to New Zealanders and failed to deliver.”

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