Enhancing curriculum a key focus of Budget 2021

Issue: Volume 100, Number 7

Posted: 10 June 2021
Reference #: 1HALi9

A significant chunk of the Education Budget 2021 has been allocated to enhancing curriculum support for teachers and learners. Other Budget highlights include more funding for learning support, school property, and early learning.

Strengthening curriculum support is a key focus of this year’s Education Budget.

This curriculum support will be delivered through a new curriculum centre, enabling teachers to have the best supports available to them in a modern and accessible way, says Pauline Cleaver, Associate Deputy Secretary, Curriculum, Pathways & Progress. “The changes required to strengthen our education system are significant and will need ongoing investment of both time and resources to design, implement and embed,” she says.

The work programme for the curriculum centre will have an initial focus on:

  • refresh of The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa
  • continuing to implement the Early Learning Action Plan
  • developing new resources and supports for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories
  • new Online Curriculum Hub to replace Te Kete Ipurangi and host Kauwhata Reo
  • digital records of learning in schools and kura
  • improving learning resources through the NCEA Change Programme. 
  • The curriculum centre will be front facing and will work with schools, kura and early learning services via Curriculum Leads and a blend of face to face and online professional support.

The reforms also include a focus on strengthening the Māori medium pathway and meeting the needs, aspirations and learning pathways of whānau, iwi and Māori communities.

Learning Support

Learning support was another key area of the Education Budget with $67.4 million invested over the next four years to fund a range of supports and services for students with additional learning needs, including intensive wraparound support for vulnerable young learners at risk of disengaging with their learning, and young learners with wellbeing and behavioural needs that may be challenging to others. It also includes 7,500 more student places for the Attendance Service, and support for alternative education services and schools where these students are enrolled.

Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti says she understands the challenges many teachers are facing in the area of learning support.

“As a teacher and principal for nearly 30 years, I know how tough this job is for teachers and for children. This Government is committed to reducing longstanding inequalities so that all children and young people – including those with learning support needs – get the world class education they deserve. I am proud of the good progress we are making, but I acknowledge there is more work to do.

“This is all built on the foundations of our Learning Support Action Plan, and will be refined over time as we review how our Curriculum, our Learning Support and Attendance Services are structured, to more clearly put the learner and their needs in the centre,” says Minister Tinetti.

School property

School property was a key focus in this year’s education Budget with $634.1 million of new capital funding, which includes investment into building new schools and growing existing schools to meet demand. It will also help a number of school property redevelopment projects enter construction sooner and keep the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme on track.

The Ministry’s Head of Education Infrastructure Service Kim Shannon says the $634.1 million investment will help achieve the Ministry’s goals for school property.

 “We want to create quality learning environments that serve generations of ākonga and teachers. It’s our job to make sure we have the right number of student spaces where and when we need them, and that they’re safe, dry and comfortable. This requires some carefully thought-through investment to ensure that we deliver the right amount of money in the right place at the right time.”

Early learning

The Budget has allocated $100.7 million for all early learning services to receive a cost adjustment to their funding rates, and more than $170 million for Moving Towards Pay Parity for Teachers in Education and Care services. Funding has also been set aside to improve pay in kōhanga reo.

Over $9 million has been allocated to develop an early learning network function for the sector. This new function is about making sure the network is sustainable in a given area, and that young people are in quality care and education. The first step will be getting better information about the current network, including population trends and current services. 

Education Budget 2021: At a glance

Budget 2021 provides additional operating investment of $1.4 billion and capital investment of $746.8 million over four years for Vote Education, which includes:

  • $634.1 million of new capital funding for school property.

    This includes:
    a capital injection of $150 million for 25 planned school property redevelopment projects so that they can enter construction sooner

    $428.1 million to build new schools and grow existing schools to meet demand

    $56 million to keep the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme on track.

  • $169.9 million of new operating funding over the next four years to help certificated teachers in education and care centres continue to move towards pay parity with their equivalents in kindergartens. Money set aside to improve pay in kōhanga reo and departmental spending to support the transition.

  • $185.3 million of operating funding and $53.8 million of capital funding over the next four years to begin the work to reform our system of support for schools and early learning.

  • 100.7 million increase for Early Childhood Education subsidies over the next four years to fund a 1.2 per cent increase to the universal subsidies and targeted subsidies, to maintain quality and affordability.

  • $92.5 million of operating funding and $8.1 million of capital funding to complete the NCEA Change Programme.

  • $90.0 million boost for Schools’ Operational Grant over the next four years to fund a 1.6 per cent universal increase. This will help state and state-integrated schools meet increased operational costs.

  • $67.4 million over the next four years to meet growth and fund investment in a range of supports and services for students with additional learning needs.

    These include:
    $24.3 million to provide intensive support for our most vulnerable young learners at risk of disengaging with their learning.

    $20.9 million to provide an additional 7,500 student places that can be reached by the Attendance Service.

    $17.7 million of reprioritised funding to support young learners with wellbeing and behavioural needs that may be challenging to others.

    $4.4 million to support alternative education services.
  • $52.8 million operating funding package for property upgrades and maintenance at state-integrated schools.

  • $20.2 million supporting Pacific bilingual and immersion education in the schooling system, this includes $12.4 million of new operating funding from Budget 2021 and $7.8 million of reprioritised funding from Vote Education.

  • $18.1 million of new operating funding and $4.9 million capital funding for system changes and other implementation costs to support replacing the decile system with the Equity Index.

  • $11.6 million to expand Reading Together Te Pānui Ngātahi Partnerships and Duffy Books in Homes.

  • $10.0 million to deliver targeted initiatives to support ākonga success in NCEA Pāngarau Te Reo Matatini, Numeracy and Literacy.

  • $5 million to deliver sustained professional learning and development to embed Tapasā as a tool to address social inclusion in the education sector.

  • $4.2 million to provide ongoing funding for the Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Award established in 2019.

For more information about the initiatives, visit
education.govt.nz(external link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:32 am, 10 June 2021

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