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$28.5 million fund to promote excellence in school

$28.5 million fund to promote excellence in schools

A new multi-million dollar fund has been established to promote excellence across the school system and improve student outcomes, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

The initiative, called Extending High Standards Across Schools, will inject an additional $28.5 million of funding into clusters of collaborating schools over four years from 2006.

“Extending High Standards Across Schools will bring significant additional resourcing and support to schools that are consistently making improvements in the educational outcomes of their students and are willing to extend and further develop their strategies for success,” said Trevor Mallard.

Part of the process involves identifying an initiating school. Such schools will show both a strong sense of strategy delivering improved student outcomes and a record of working with other schools.

Trevor Mallard invited schools to nominate themselves for 2006 funding when he officially launched Extending High Standards Across Schools at Parliament in Wellington in the presence of representatives from education sector organisations, principals and boards of trustees.

“The three-phase application process will be fair and transparent. Schools will not have to prepare elaborate proposals, but will use readily available information.”

The programme is open to high-performing schools at all deciles. For a school or cluster of schools to be eligible, they must demonstrate significant improvements in their students’ achievement; a commitment to further developing the strategies that have led to their success; and a willingness to collaborate with other schools.

By participating in the initiative, schools will benefit from reflecting on current practice and developing leading practice in collaboration with others,” said Trevor Mallard.

Initial nominations for 2006 funding are due by 30 September. Schools will be selected according to their effectiveness in improving learning outcomes for students and on their strategies for the future. Successful nominees will then be invited by the Ministry of Education to submit an expression of interest by 21 November.

More information about the Extending High Standards Across Schools is available on the Ministry of Education website at www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/extending.

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