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NZEI welcomes physical activity education

Tuesday October 4th, 2004

NZEI welcomes physical activity education initiative

The education union NZEI Te Riu Roa today welcomed the announcement of a further development in the "Active Schools" initiative by Minister of Education Trevor Mallard.

Mr Mallard has said he will regulate so that every child participates in at least one hour of physical activity a week from the beginning of 2006. The activity would be facilitated by a physical activity education specialist or a teacher with extra training, supported by additional resources and professional development.

“NZEI welcomes greater emphasis on the health and physical well-being of Kiwi children to supplement the already successful programmes in schools such as Push Play, Kiwi Sport and daily fitness approaches,” Mr Tarr said.

“However, the recently negotiated paid classroom release time for teachers should not become a compulsory route to resourcing more physical education. Schools need to be able to determine their own priorities for the use of the classroom release time resource in line with the needs of their students. For example, those with extensive phys.ed programmes already may wish to do other things, such as developing arts programmes."

He said that while over time many schools might elect to utilise the additional staffing they would receive due to the release time agreement to implement the “Active Schools" initiatives, compelling them to do this would be counter-productive.

ENDS

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