Boost for students with highest learning support needs

Students with high and complex learning needs, including their whānau and teachers, will benefit from a $160 million increase to the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS), providing extra short-term support, as a result of COVID-19.

The ORS COVID-19 One Year Response Fund, has been established, because some ORS verified students, may need additional teacher aide support, after an extended period away from their learning routines, due to lockdown.

Schools and kura will be able to apply for those funds, on behalf of individuals, or groups of students, for sustained attendance improvement, strengthened learning engagement, reduced stress and anxiety, and the overall wellbeing of ākonga with high, and very high needs.

An increase of $128 million over four years, boosts the average, ongoing funded teacher aide hours per week, from 10 to 13 for high needs students, and 17 to 20 for very high needs students.

In addition, an extra $31 million, will be available for schools to employ more teacher aide support for ORS verified students. Many of these learners, need help transitioning back to school, including the re-establishment of routines, and the reduction of stress and anxiety. This funding starts in Term 3, 2020, and finishes at the end of June, 2021.

This extra $31 million is for teacher aide hours only, and means schools can employ up to an additional 1,025 FTE teacher aides for one year. The actual number of teacher aide hours per student, will depend on their individual needs.

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