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Hon Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

26 May 2016

Extra support for most at-risk students

Budget 2016 uses a Social Investment approach to direct an extra $43.2 million of operating funding over four years to schools educating about 150,000 students most at risk of educational failure, Education Minister Hekia Parata says.

The schools targeted for this new funding have students who have spent a significant proportion of their lives in benefit-dependent households.

“Most of these households do a great job of helping their children do well at school,” Ms Parata says.

“However, we know from our Social Investment research that students from long-term welfare-dependent families are at greater risk of educational under-achievement than their peers.”

“For example, research shows that children aged between six and 14, who have been supported by benefits for three-quarters of their lives, have only a 48 per cent chance of achieving NCEA Level 2 by age 21. By contrast, 73 per cent of the general population will have NCEA Level 2 by that age.

“The targeted funding signals that we want to focus more discretionary education spending on the children at greatest risk of under-achievement. As a result, there will not be a general increase in school operations grants this year, but schools will continue to receive $1.38 billion in operations grants.

“The Government is currently engaging with the education sector about how funding systems for early childhood education and schooling can be better focused to meet the educational needs of all young people. This includes looking at alternatives to the decile funding system.

“Budget 2016 targets new funding at where it will make the greatest difference and where the sector has consistently said it must go.”

Media contacts: Nick Venter 021 803 519, Jasmine Higginson 021 359 076

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