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New Funding For Local Schools

New Funding For Local Schools

Maungakiekie MP Mark Gosche is delighted that Bailey Road School is receiving $10,000 for a new study support centre, and several will receive extra teachers next year.

The centre will have around 20 students and the emphasis will be on completing homework, research and recreational reading, and an introduction to computers and the internet.

Mr Gosche said there were now about 140 study support centres or homework centres around New Zealand, funded from $7.5 million allocated in the 2000 budget over four years.

"Study Support Centres are a simple idea and one that I strongly support. They provide a quiet place, resources, a registered teacher, information technology and all the basics necessary to develop good study habits among children at risk of education under-achievement."

"The centres are aimed at assisting senior primary school students (year 5 to year 8) in some of our lower decile schools. It's really important that children gain good study skills and habits before they reach secondary school. These centres have the potential to make a major difference to children most in need.”

Mark Gosche also announced that the Maungakiekie electorate will receive an estimated 5.7 extra (full time equivalent) teachers next year as part of Budget 2003. It has not yet been determined which Maungakiekie schools will be allocated the extra teachers.

"The extra teachers will be provided from the start of next year to help ease workload and staffing pressures. This initiative forms part of the Government’s commitment to improving staffing, and so ensuring better teaching and better learning for students," Mark Gosche said.

The 5.7 new positions are on top of the 11.2 extra full time teacher equivalents in the electorate as a result of changes in the last term of the government.

Almost $167 million is to be spent nationally to provide an extra 774 primary and secondary teaching positions over and above those required for roll growth.

Nationally the increase in teacher numbers will bring the total extra staffing to about 2,090 teachers by 2004. This includes the more than 1,300 full time teacher equivalents (FTTEs) already provided over the last three years. The extra staffing entitlement will reduce the maximum average class size from 27 to 26 for schools with students in years 1 to 8 and with rolls of 175 or fewer.

Budget 2003 will also deliver more than $22 million in new funding for teacher supply initiatives over the next four years, bringing total funding in this area to more than $66 million, said Mr Gosche.

“I welcome these initiatives, which will help increase recruitment and retention of teachers, particularly in hard-to-staff areas or areas of subject shortages.”

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