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More teachers and funding for schools

19 May 2005

Hon Trevor Mallard - Minister of Education

More teachers and funding for schools

The government is investing an additional $169.1 million over four years to put more teachers into schools and increase schools' operational funding, says Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

"This includes $91.3 million to provide schools with more than 420 new teachers and a $77.8 million increase to schools operational funding from 2006," Trevor Mallard said. "The increase to operational funding comes on top of a $24.8 million a year increase provided to schools from 1 January 2005, as a result of a review of decile funding.

"Since 1999 this government has increased school funding by an average of $348 for every child. This equates to an increase of almost 15 per cent in real terms – that is, over and above the rate of inflation.

"Today’s budget builds on significant increases already made to operational funding. Between 1999 and next year an extra $285 million in operational funding will have gone to schools to help them in deliver quality education. New Zealand is now the third highest spender on state schooling in the OECD."

The new funding for teachers is estimated to provide an extra 421 teachers from 2006 for secondary and area schools.

"This increase is in addition to the extra teachers required to meet roll growth," Trevor Mallard said. "It completes the staffing improvements plan for these schools, giving teachers more time to concentrate on the important job of teaching."

The initiative brings the total extra staffing provided since 2001 to about 3040 fulltime teacher equivalents, at a total annual cost of $194.6 million.

In lieu of primary school staffing improvements for 2006, the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement provides for extra staffing for classroom release time to be introduced from Term 4 of 2005, and completing the extension of staffing improvements no later than the beginning of 2008.

ENDS

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