Labour to support gifted kids and special character schools

A Labour Government will help gifted children reach their full potential by properly funding dedicated and effective programmes outside their regular classes, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“Labour will restore a ring-fenced fund to support these programmes, as well as re-establish the Gifted Advisory Board to identify and share evidence-based best practise. We will also ensure teacher programmes for professional development in this area have sufficient funding.

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“Today we are releasing our full education policy with new initiatives including our commitment to centrally fund support staff salaries.

“In this document, Labour reiterates its determination to scrap National’s charter schools. For those educators who want to use innovative programmes and approaches to target students who are not achieving within the existing school system, there are already provisions in the Education Act to set up schools of special character.

“A Labour Government will make it easier to set up these schools which would be funded fairly and transparently, and would still be required to have registered teachers and teach the national curriculum.

“Labour is also committed to providing proper support for children with special needs. As well as funding 100 more special needs teachers, we will undertake a full review of special education teaching.

“In the past week Labour has announced major initiatives to modernise our education system. Under a Labour Government there will be smaller class sizes with the funding of 2000 more teachers, our outdated school buildings will be renovated and new classrooms built. We will also close the digital divide by making sure parents can afford portable computers and end ‘voluntary’ donations which divide school communities.

 “A Labour Government is committed to a modern, affordable and quality public education system,” Chris Hipkins says.