Labour would give school pupils laptops

A Labour-led Government would invest $75m over four years to put laptops into the hands of 31,000 year 7 to year 13 students in low-decile schools.

E-learning was at the centre of its education policy, announced today at Crawshaw School in Hamilton.

"We know technology is one of the most important tools in developing 21st century schools", education spokeswoman Sue Moroney said.

Mobile devices are now part of the stationary requirements at some high-decile schools.

"This initiative will be partly funded by savings of $14.1m a year as we won't be continuing with programmes like the private school scholarships for students from low-decile schools. Labour would rather resource the low-decile schools well than send just a few students off to private schools."

Labour would extend this to all Year 7 to Year 13 students over time, as funding allowed.

Labour would also:

* Protect and retain existing subsidies and fee controls for 20 hours free ECE;

* Provide free high-quality ECE and parent support from 18 months to 3 years for the most vulnerable 5 per cent of our children;

* Restore the funding and target of 100 per cent qualified teachers in early childhood education;

* Support and resource schools to use the NZ curriculum so students have the competencies and knowledge needed to thrive in the 21st century;

* Consolidate the role of school support staff by providing training and working on the viability of centralised funding;

* Establish parent advocates to work alongside parents to engage with teachers, principals and boards of trustees to ensure their needs are being met;

* Support better identification and programme adaptation for gifted children;

* Increase support for the effective implementation of individual plans for students with disabilities;

* Amend guidelines to ensure all schools have an effective anti-bullying programme and provide external multi-agency support for schools in dealing with these issues;

* Boost placements for work-ready students.

- The New Zealand Herald

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