Education Minister Hekia Parata continues to focus on
the Government's $359 million policy to improve teaching
quality and leadership in schools but special needs teaching
will get a boost if National is re-elected.
The leadership policy is vehemently opposed by the primary
teachers union, the New Zealand Education Institute, but
provisionally supported by the Post Primary Teachers
In the policy announcement yesterday, National said it would
spend up to $89 million per year over four years to provide
an additional 800,000 teaching aide hours to support children
who had symptoms affecting their learning such as dyslexia,
ADHD and Asperger syndrome.
''These students do not always meet the threshold for
intensive special needs support but National recognises they
also need assistance to learn and make the most of the
opportunities they have at school.''
The plan to boost teacher aide hours meant pupils needing
more individual time were given the help they needed and the
teacher in the classroom felt more supported to teach, Ms
There were 15,000 teacher aides in New Zealand. The policy
would increase teacher aide hours, not necessarily the number
of teacher aides.
It was expected many schools would increase the hours of the
teacher aides they now employed.
The bulk of the funding would be new money but a small
portion would come from within existing education funding.
The policy was planned to start in the first term next year,
Other policies announced yesterday include. -
• Support deaf and hearing-impaired children, their families
and schools by providing more sign language resources.
• Grow Asian languages in schools through a new $10 million
• Continue to invest in early childhood education.
• Invest $350 million over four years to build up to nine new
schools and additional classrooms in the Auckland region.