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Budget 2021: No Silver Bullet, But A Good Start To Creating A Climate For Success

School boards around the country will be gratified to know that many more of their students are having their basic needs for food, shelter and clothing met by the time Budget 2021 initiatives are implemented. The increased support for student wellbeing and learning support will also be welcomed

While Budget 2021 is not going to resolve all the issues school boards are facing, NZSTA President Lorraine Kerr says it will go a long way towards creating a climate where schools can return to focussing on success rather than just survival.

Initial funding for the implementation phase of the Tomorrow’s Schools to provide more comprehensive and targeted front line support to schools through the proposed Education Service Agency (ESA)with a view to creating "a more networked and supported system that is more responsive to the needs of learners/ākonga and their whānau" is of particular interest to school boards. NZSTA will continue to work constructively with the Ministry of Education to ensure that these changes deliver identifiable benefits to school boards in their governing role.

When we’re lifting the bar for the schooling system as a whole, it is important that support for school boards keeps pace with the changes we’re making elsewhere in the system, Lorraine says. NZSTA looks forward to seeing how this plays out as the Education Service Agency takes shape.

"School boards are the glue that holds the system together," she says.

Funding to progress pay equity and Holidays Act remediation is more welcome news for school boards in terms of their good employer obligations. NZSTA will be checking in with officials to confirm that this funding covers both Ministry-funded and board-funded positions.

NZSTA also acknowledges the cost adjustment for schools’ operating grant funding. While this is a small incremental amount year on year, it is essential to maintain the baseline of services that schools provide.

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