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Ed Sheeran

Special education aides to boost schools

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A Māori education unionist is welcoming a $217 million boost in funding for special education.

The funding over four years from 2020 will pay for 600 learning support coordinators.

Jack Boyle, the president of the Post Primary Teachers Association, says credit must go to former Green MP Catherine Delahunty, who pushed such a policy while in opposition, and to Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Minister Tracey Martin.

He says they have listened to the concerns of teachers ands the wider community about those learners who have been under-served.

"New Zealand has not got a good history of meeting the needs of children who may have neuro-diversity, physical diversity, may come from less socio-economically advantaged backgrounds, and being able to meet their learning needs at school level has always been difficult, and because of a lack of resourcing, a lack of structure, and kind of a threshhold approach so you have to be a certain level of bad to get additional support, too many young people have missed out," Mr Boyle says.

Most of the country’s 400 secondary schools already allocate money to pay for special education needs coordinators, and the new funding will allow some of that pūtea to go to other areas that have missed out.


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