Money needed to make learning support work

Establishing a single point of access for schools and families to obtain learning support needs is a good idea, but need to be matched with increased funding for services, the Green Party said today.

A new service delivery model, which would see an 0800 number, email, or online tool set up, was announced today by Education Minister Hekia Parata. The new model is limited to a pilot run for the Waiariki/Bay of Plenty region.

“Far too many kids miss out on their education due to the current dysfunctional learning support network that is underfunded and difficult to navigate. If the new model is only easier to navigate, rather than bigger and better-funded, it may just result in longer waiting lists,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said today.

“When the funding for learning support is capped, and parents have to compete against each other to gain funding, no one gets the assistance they need. This proposal today does nothing to help alleviate this.

“The Education Select Committee inquiry into learning needs for children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum, initiated by the Green Party, found large holes in the current system.

“The inquiry heard from hundreds of parents and children about how hard it is to access resources for kids who need learning support.

“Teachers who take on the responsibility of running the single point of access to learning support will inevitably need more resources to do that job.

“It is gratifying to see progress finally being made on ensuring all children can access the education that they need,” Ms Delahunty said. 

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