Another Labour delivery failure

Stuff reports:

A Government scheme to get counsellors in schools is on track to achieve less than 10% of the 100,000 hours of mental health support it was expected to deliver.

This scheme was announced in July 2020. They said it would see 210 schools accessing the scheme from the beginning of 2021.

The Government allocated $44 million to fund counselling at primary, intermediate and small secondary schools for four years. The Ministry of Education said it would deliver 100,000 hours of counselling each year, but going by actual delivery it looks set to provide just 9600 hours this year.

So two years after they announced it, and 18 months after they said it would start, and it is delivering 90% less than what they promised. This would normally be a huge scandal, but for this Government that is business as usual.

Again in November last year, Tinetti released a statement about the Counselling in Schools Programme saying it would help 24,000 students who needed urgent help due to the pandemic.

But it’s unclear how many students have received counselling. In responses to National Party mental health spokesperson Matt Doocey, Tinetti said the programme had averaged 800 hours of counselling a month since November.

This was meant to give them urgent help, yet they have had to wait two years!

And 800 hours a month is miniscule. That is 200 hours a week or 40 hours a day. So basically they have managed the equivalent of hiring five extra school counsellors!

Doocey said it was also concerning how much had been spent per counselling session. He said, given the 800 hours a month, it appeared the Government was spending north of $500 per session.

“Normally counsellors charge about $150, so you’d have to ask: Where is this money going?”

You are meant to get economy of scale, but this Government achieves the opposite – the bigger the buy, the less they get for it. They have managed a scheme that is costing $500 an hour!

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