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BUDGET 2004: Lifting education standards

BUDGET 2004: Investing in lifting education standards

The government is delivering on its commitment to lift education standards for all young New Zealanders by injecting extra funding of $2 billion over four years into education, bringing total spending to $9.2 billion by 2007-08, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"This government is determined to lift education standards, and to ensure that every single New Zealander, regardless of their background, has the chance to reach their full potential through a top quality education system. Our Budget 2004 education package ensures we can maintain our current performance and continue the momentum," Trevor Mallard said.

"Our commitment to the compulsory education sector continues with extra funding of $206 million over four years. This includes an additional $92 million over four years for schools' operational funding.

"The investment builds on the significant increases to school operational funding over the term of this government. Between 1999 and next year an additional $226 million in operational funding alone will have gone to schools to assist them in delivering a quality education for their students. This is a per student funding increase in real terms of 10 per cent.

"The government will be investing an extra $347 million on school and early childhood education property, bringing the total pot of funding for property to $1 billion.

"This money is incredibly important for creating quality and modern learning environments for our students. It is essential our schools, which are important community assets, meet health and safety standards. It is also critical that schools are an attractive and encouraging place in which to learn. The property funding also supports the construction of new schools, and new buildings that are needed to accommodate growth in rolls.

"Extra funding of $17.8 million over four years will further drive our goal of lifting student achievement through the National Qualifications Framework, and the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA).

"The framework and NCEA are proving to be very effective in recognising student achievement and challenging students to lift their sights even higher in education. It works for our top students, and it works for students who need the extra push to succeed.

"This extra funding will strengthen support for the operation of NCEA, including the implementation of the first year of level three NCEA in 2004, and the new scholarship examinations awards. It includes further funding for school relationship managers and help for schools.

"The government continues to support schools with ongoing training and assistance for boards of trustees through funding of $9.7 million over the next four years, including $1.3 million in new money."

Trevor Mallard said that the government's support for teachers would continue. Details would be announced later in the year about the provision of extra teachers over and above those required for roll growth, to meet the demands of non-contact time and ease workloads.

"We want to have a strengthened and stable teacher workforce. We will continue to work with the sector to see we have all staffing improvements, based on the recommendations of the School Staffing Review Group, completed by 2007 at the latest, with an endeavour to complete them by 2006."


Other initiatives include: extra funding of $365 million over the next four years in early childhood education. This will fund free early childhood education and lift quality and participation rates, bringing total annual funding by 2008 to approximately $660 million (see separate announcement).

Extra funding of $40 million to support international education in a package designed to lift our overseas profile, and strengthen the education sector through international exchanges of top students and staff (announced 11 May).

Budget 2004 equates to the following annual increases: $54 million for 2003-04: $319 million for 2004-05, $442 million for 2005-06, $501 million for 2006-07 and $662 million for 2007-08.

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