Support for Student Engagement

Student disengagement is complex and has worsened during COVID-19. Budget 2022 funding targets initiatives that make education a place young people want to be, with the support they need, and enable pathways back for those who have disengaged, for whatever reason.

$88 million package

Overall, an $88 million package provides a suite of measures aimed at driving key system shifts to better engage students in their learning and more targeted interventions, and provide ways back into learning for those who have disengaged.

$40 million operating funding over four years to establish a Regional Response Fund

This fund, part of the investment in Supporting All Schools to Succeed(external link), the Government’s response to the Review of Tomorrow’s Schools System, is being established to meet needs at a local level. This fund will be managed through Te Mahau and have an initial focus on student engagement and attendance.

How will the Regional Response Fund operate?

The Regional Response Fund will allocate $10 million per year across the three Ministry regions (Te Tai Raro, Te Tai Whenua, and Te Tai Runga) from 1 July 2022.

The fund will provide frontline staff with the resources they need to deliver responsive frontline support and services, including local initiatives that target attendance and engagement, and support smaller schools facing additional administrative burden due to COVID-19.

How will the Regional Response Fund support local needs?

The Regional Response Fund will provide more timely, responsive and accessible frontline supports that meet the needs of local schools and kura, as well as early learning services. It will address urgent needs, including issues that have no other funding source, and promote learner engagement and improved educational outcomes. This includes initiatives that target attendance and engagement, as well as administrative support for small schools.

$11.2 million operating funding and $0.3 million capital funding to Strengthen Positive Behaviour for Learning School-Wide

PB4L School-Wide is a key initiative in the Positive Behaviour for Learning suite providing support across a whole school to improve learning experiences for all children and young people. This initiative funds a refresh of PB4L School-Wide as well as 14 new School-Wide practitioners so each school using this service receives high quality support tailored to their needs.

An estimated 368,000+ children and young people in schools using the initiative will benefit from improvements to PB4L-SW.

How will a refresh help learners?

School-Wide is a framework being implemented in 42% of primary and 57% of secondary schools that enables schools to create positive environments that promote caring relationships and positive behaviours.

A refresh will strengthen how PB4L School-Wide supports schools to build and sustain safe and inclusive environments. Improvements to PB4L School-Wide through the refresh will include a key focus on cultural responsiveness for Māori. The refresh will focus on making equitable improvements, including to better support Pacific, Rainbow and disabled learners.

The 14 new School-Wide practitioners will help provide more high-quality, tailored implementation support to each school.

$15.5 million operating funding over four years for Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu to support at-risk young people

This funding increase for Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) will be used to reengage at-risk ākonga in school, using its proven ‘Big Picture’ approach. Currently this is limited to 80 students but increased funding will enable Te Kura to progressively implement the approach for more students over the next four years.

Once fully phased in, around 3,500 at-risk students annually will receive improved levels of individual attention and wraparound support, with long-term benefits for the students and those around them. We expect improved student engagement, educational achievement and wellbeing.

How will this help learners?

Increasing Te Kura’s funding will enable them to transform their delivery for at-risk 1akonga. This will include additional teaching staff, pastoral care (kaiawhina and counsellors), and face-to-face learning opportunities for ākonga to meet their more complex educational needs. Improved services will increase the rates at which students re-engage in education, achieve school qualifications (if in Year 10 or above), and transition successfully to a local school or other positive pathways.

Evaluations by the Education Review Office show the benefits from the Big Picture approach. The 2017 Big Picture evaluation points to significant improvements in wellbeing and NCEA achievement.

$7.7 million for targeted and intensive supports for Māori and Pacific learners at risk of disengaging

This funding expands Check & Connect: Te Hononga and Te Mana Tikitiki, which provides targeted and intensive supports for Māori and Pacific learners at risk of disengaging, using kaupapa Māori and bicultural evidence-based approaches.

$7.8 million to address cost pressures in the Incredible Years programmes

The Incredible Years suit of programmes support caregivers, whānau, and school and early childhood educators to improve young children’s communication skills and emotional regulation.

This is initiative increases funding for IY programme contracts to help meet rising costs. This change represents a 19.4% increase in funding in an area which has not seen a change for many years.

$6 million over four years to address Attendance Service cost pressures

This funding will support Attendance Service providers to meet current cost pressures and increase capacity to support schools.

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