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Focus On Secondary School Literacy

Tuesday 30 April 2002
Budget 2002

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced initiatives to boost literacy in secondary schools.

They include:

- $1 million to offer all secondary schools access to the secondary literacy leadership programme by the end of this year.

- $3 million over four years from the 2002 Budget to fund indepth literacy professional development programmes in secondary schools.

- A National Advisory Group for secondary literacy leadership that includes five secondary principals

Trevor Mallard told the secondary principals conference in Auckland today that while New Zealand secondary schools had high average rates of literacy, and exceptional top students, there were too many students performing at the lower levels.

He said the secondary literacy leadership programme, which was modelled on a successful primary programme, would start next term and focus on principals being literacy leaders in their schools.

“It is the first initiative to be taken with the specific aim of developing professional leadership of literacy in the secondary years, both within schools and within teacher professional associations.

“We want a clear understanding of the current literacy achievement of different groups of students. We want to know what works. And we want to develop ways that let all schools make positive changes and sustain those changes.

“To complement that work this year’s Budget includes $3 million for indepth literacy professional development programmes in secondary schools with identified need. The initiative will target support for school leaders in the schools most in need so that they can manage and lead in-depth whole-school professional development in literacy teaching.

“Over the years high levels of literacy have become more and more essential. The government is committed to programmes throughout the education sector to support high levels of literacy,” Trevor Mallard said.

Ends

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