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United Education Policy: Supporting Learning


United Future Education Policy: Supporting Learning

Any credible education system needs to support those who face barriers to learning, United Future education spokesman Bernie Ogilvy said today in announcing his party’s Supporting Learning policy.

“We need to ensure that children with special needs are supported with high quality early interventions and resources by allocating them on the basis of need rather than current decile-based funding,” he said.

Research has shown that teachers can make a real difference for children from lower socio-economic groups, and United Future believes that valuing education professionals is also crucial in helping children with behavioural and learning difficulties.

“We will provide these kids with better access to help from teacher aides, speech and language therapists, behavioural experts and remedial reading teachers, with the possibility of contracting more of these services out.

“When combined with smaller classes and greater parental engagement, this kind of intensive intervention early on can make a big difference.”

Mr Ogilvy added that special education assistance needs to take into account all barriers to learning, so that even if a child’s health problems improve, they may still need support if they are to make up ground academically.

“Learners also need to be supported in much more basic ways.”

In light of a study at Wanganui’s Castlecliff School which showed that up to 40% of children who passed the national vision screening programme needed glasses, United Future will review both the vision and hearing screening programmes, and expand the frequency of testing to include years 1, 3, 5 and 7.

“We’ll also expand the network of study support centres that provide after-school supervision and homework support in schools and municipal libraries,” he said.

“United Future will increase awareness among parents of the importance of an adequate and balanced diet for their child’s ability to learn, and assist schools to provide healthy foods including milk and fruit.”

United Future will also:

• Fund extra reading tuition for children who show difficulty with literacy by the time they have reached the third year of primary school.

• Increase resources for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programmes, to ensure that our newest residents can participate fully in education and integrate into our society as soon as possible after their arrival

• Expand the provision of training and resources for all teachers working with children with behavioural and learning needs.

• Support the decisions of parents of special needs children who wish to enrol them in regular settings, units attached to schools or special schools.

Ends.


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