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Extra $8.2m for vulnerable students

Extra $8.2m for vulnerable students

Almost 6,000 of New Zealand’s most vulnerable students will benefit from an extra $8.2 million operating funding over the next four years for initiatives designed to increase their participation in the education system and lift achievement levels, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.

“The more at-risk young people who get a good start in education, and the longer they engage in education and training, the better it will be for them and for New Zealand. That’s why we’re focusing more educational resources on this group of young people.”

The extra investment comprises:

• The Gateway Assessment Programme receives $4 million to ensure up to a further 3,800 needy children get access to the early childhood and schooling services that they need.

• $2.2 million to the “Year 9 Plus” trial for assigning educational “champions” to 80 to 100 of the most vulnerable students. The champions will work with the students as they begin secondary school to see if early intervention increases their chances of passing NCEA Level 2. The champions, drawn from local community groups, will develop education plans with the students. The champions will then work with teachers, parents, whānau and principals until the students finish school.

• The “Count Me In” programme will receive $2 million over 2015/16 to 2016/17 to assist around 2,000 Māori and Pasifika 16-18 year olds who have left school, to re-engage with education or begin vocational training that leads to a meaningful qualification at NCEA Level 2 or better.

“These three initiatives will raise educational achievement levels for some of our most vulnerable young people. We want to give them every opportunity to make the best of their lives,” Ms Parata says.

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