The Government says it will fund 600 new “learning support coordinators” to work one-on-one with students with complex needs to take the pressure off teachers and other students.
The extra teachers will work in schools to ensure children with diverse learning needs get the support they need to learn, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in her speech to the Labour Party conference in Dunedin.
The first 600 coordinators will be rolled out from 2020 under the scheme, which will cost $217 million over four years. The Government says it will roll out more positions over future years.
The roles are not new though they have been renamed – schools already employ Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCO), but they are usually an existing senior staff member – often teachers or deputy principals – and the work is on top of their other duties.
Ardern said the job of learning coordinators would be to make sure that children with extra needs were identified and work alongside teachers to ensure “kids with high and complex physical needs” get the support they deserve.
I’d much rather the Government spent money on stuff like this than subsidised houses for doctors and free tertiary education for lawyers. This is helping kids and families who really need assistance. It’s good to see them do it.