NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes funding for students and education workforce after COVID-19 lockdown

3 July 2020

NZEI Te Riu Roa is welcoming the Government’s funding announcement to support schools and early learning services as they face lower attendance rates after the Covid-19 lockdown.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President, Liam Rutherford, says the $50m fund, which includes extra teacher-aide hours for at risk students, home-visits for students with poor attendance, and social workers to work with refugee families, will support students and their families in their return to schools and early learning centres.

"NZEI Te Riu Roa welcomes this investment as there are strong learning and wellbeing benefits for students when they attend their schools and early learning centres," he says.

The funding also sees a further $16m for workplace assistance and counselling support for the education workforce.

"It's great to see the wellbeing of school and ECE teachers, principals and support staff being made a priority after their incredible work throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. However, this extra boost does not go anywhere near addressing the main issue of teacher workload."

"NZEI Te Riu Roa have been calling for systemic change to address teacher and principal workload and wellbeing for many years and it was a key focus of our collective agreement negotiations. When we fix this larger issue there will be less need for one-off funding injections. Teaching needs to be a sustainable and attractive profession if we are to retain teachers and we look forward to the education sector voice helping shape this scheme through the Accord."

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