$9m to support educator wellbeing during COVID-19

The Government is committing $8.94 million, over three years, to support the wellbeing of educators in early learning, schools and kura.

This is in direct response to the mental and emotional stresses placed on educators and teachers by the impact of COVID-19, particularly in the Auckland region following the recent Level 3 measures.

The 2020/21 educator wellbeing package is a direct result of the 2019 Accord between NZEI, the PPTA and the Ministry of Education, who are committed to finding solutions together. The Accord partners worked alongside representatives of school trustees, principals, and kindergartens to develop the package.

Specifics include:

  • Up to $1m over three years, for wellbeing in the Māori education workforce, in Māori medium settings.
  • An immediate $4.2m package of counselling and support services for Auckland educators. This package delivers over a three-month period additional free-of-charge Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) advice and group workshops on issues of concern to staff in state and state integrated schools, kura, and early learning services.  These services will be rolled out during Term 4 2020.
  • A further $2m has been set aside to provide additional immediate EAP counselling and support services in locations or regions experiencing a further resurgence. More options to provide nationwide support will be investigated in coming months.
  • $1.5m to develop a nation-wide wellbeing online hub, for the education workforce of 130,000, and their whānau, providing easily accessible advice, peer to peer support, and support materials specific to the education sector   The hub is expected to be up and running before the end of this school year. This is in addition to any other general wellbeing online information provided by the Ministry of Health.

The wellbeing educator package does not replace supports already provided by schools and early learning services.

An additional $7m over three years, from the $16m educator wellbeing fund, will support future teacher and principal wellbeing initiatives. These will be reported back on by the Accord partners working with Māori medium and Pacific peak bodies in early 2021.

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