New Zealand Labour Party

Labour’s positive education plan

Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. 

“We have a positive vision for a better, fairer New Zealand and that means our most vulnerable young people get the support they need.

“The Education Minister’s roll out of additional support to 30 Communities of Learning just goes to show there’s not enough in the system to expand support across the country. 

“It’s disappointing that the roll out is targeted to exclude schools not participating in communities of learning. They shouldn’t be punished for choosing a different path. 

“The reality is that demand for learning support services is rising and this Government refuses to invest in the resources to meet it. For instance, more than 500 applications for the Ongoing Resource Scheme are being declined each year, yet the Government has reduced forecast funding for ORS by 50 student places. 

“The Intensive Wraparound Service is also straining, with 115 applications ‘not prioritised’ in recent years due to the service being at full capacity. 

“National has also slashed the number of education support workers, who work with the youngest and most vulnerable, at the Ministry of Education from 276 in 2008 to 134 in 2015. 

“Labour has a plan to invest an additional $4b in education by cancelling National’s poorly targeted tax cut to ensure these services are properly funded,” says Chris Hipkins.