Supporting those ākonga who need it the most

Budget 2023 targets a range of support to those ākonga who need it most, whether for reasons of poverty, particular learning need or other factors that keep them from achieving to their full potential. 

$323 million to continue the school lunches programme Ka Ora, Ka Ako

Ensuring children who experience the greatest socioeconomic barriers to education are fed is a top priority. Being hungry is a major impediment to learning. So, the Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunch Programme is being continued until the end of 2024. 

How many students does the programme help?

Ka Ora, Ka Ako provides daily school lunches to approximately 222,000 learners at 987 schools.

What other benefits does the programme deliver?

This programme also contributes to reducing food insecurity and financial hardship for families and whānau. It supports child development, health, and wellbeing and removes barriers to participation in education. Having lunches provided at school has also been estimated to save a family with two ākonga, on average, around $60 per week or $2,000 per year. This estimate is as at May 2023 and is subject to change due to changes in the cost of lunches.

Why is the funding only for one more year?

The Ministry of Education will continue to provide advice to Ministers on funding options and the future of the programme after 2024. 

$41 million for Alternative Education programmes

There is a significant boost in funding for Alternative Education. This funding will improve and maintain education provision for young people at risk of disengagement or already disengaged from education.

What is the money going towards?

Within the $41 million, $25.2 million is to increase the ‘per place rate’ by 30%, to better support over 2,000 ākonga each year to stay engaged and re-engage in learning. $15.5 million is to develop and implement options for localised responses to support primary and intermediate aged learners to re-engage in learning. 

When will the increased funding be available?

The rate increase for alternative education will take effect from 1 January 2024. The other funding will take effect from 1 July 2023. 

$147 million for the purchase and installation of modifications in schools to allow access for all

Budget 2023 provides $147 million for the purchase and installation of learning support modifications such as automatic doors, lifts, fencing, hoists, and bathroom modifications.

The Ministry has an obligation to ensure that equitable access is available to all ākonga.  

Why is the extra funding needed?

This is required to meet the increased volume in demand for such modifications (an increase of 190 percent from 2016 to 2021). We expect this to fund Learning Support Property Modification projects in approximately 350 schools per annum.  

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