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Mallard: New Education Initiative

29 October 2004

New initiative to reward and promote excellence

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced a new policy designed to reward schools that are successfully lifting the education standards of their students, and that are sharing their experiences with other schools.

"From 2006, the government will invest an extra $5.3 million annually to promote excellence in schools and provide schools with an incentive to continually lift their game," Trevor Mallard said.

"The initiative, Extending High Standards in Schools, will recognise and reward schools that are consistently making improvements in the educational achievement of their students.

"We are looking to support schools, across all deciles, that are willing to commit themselves to achieving real improvements in students' education standards. These schools must also develop strategies to show how their own school improvements will be shared with other schools.

"At present there are a number of initiatives in place that assist poorly performing schools, but nothing that recognises and rewards schools that work well to raise the educational standards of all their students.

"It's estimated that up to 270 schools will benefit over four years, with at least a 10 per cent overall increase to their existing operational funding. But the benefits will be wider than that because the excellent schools will be expected to spread the word, and share their best practice with other schools.

"This initiative will act as a catalyst for improving schooling for all students by enabling schools to develop their areas of strength, provide leadership to others and share their knowledge and practice. It will also provide well-deserved recognition for high performing schools," Trevor Mallard said.

Schools which apply will be assessed using a value-added approach to ensure that the schools identified as high performing are increasing the performance of their students over time.

Over the next six to nine months, the Ministry of Education will be working with the school sector to develop appropriate eligibility criteria and frameworks to support this initiative.

ENDS

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