Transforming how our children learn to read

Budget 24 has $67 million to help teachers deliver structured approaches to literacy | te reo matatini in kura kaupapa Māori, state and state-integrated schools.

The funding provides:

  • $54 million for professional learning and development (PLD) for 21,000 primary teachers and kaiako over the next 4 years:
    • Years 0-3 teachers and kaiako will be the initial focus for the PLD
    • the PLD will be delivered in 8 cohorts of between 2,000 and 3,000 teachers per cohort, starting in Term 1 2025
    • the Ministry will pivot its existing work programme to deliver PLD in structured literacy approaches to some schools from Term 3 2024
  • $8 million to support schools with purchasing classroom resources
  • $5 million for supplementary online supports, administration and evaluation of the programme. This support includes evaluation activities, IT systems changes, and Māori medium PLD facilitator training. These supports are designed to teach children to read using science of learning principles. They connect the letters and sounds together in a structured way, so children can build their reading knowledge sequentially.

Structured approaches to literacy

  • There is a strong body of evidence supporting the use of explicit, systematic and well-structured teaching approaches.
  • Many schools are already teaching this way with great success, but to ensure national consistency, the Government is providing additional resources so all schools can teach using evidence-based structured teaching approaches.
  • For those using Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, a structured approach for te reo matatini will provide explicit, systematic and sequential teaching. This will help ensure ākonga are learning the essential components of te reo Māori.
  • Early reading instruction is essential for achievement in education, because as all learning is built on a foundation of good literacy - reading is the key to unlocking the rest of the school curriculum. However, New Zealand’s literacy rates have been steadily declining in recent decades. According to the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement, after 8 years of schooling, 56% of students currently meet expectations for their age in reading. Students in low decile schools are almost 2 years behind their high decile counterparts.
  • Significant improvements in literacy measured by CIPS are anticipated after 4 years.
  • In addition to new funding provided in Budget 24, existing funding will be reprioritised towards targeted Tier 2 and 3 supports for kaiako that align with structured approaches to teaching and learning.

Structured approaches to literacy resources – state and state integrated schools

  • $67 million

This initiative funds Professional Learning and Development (PLD) (first for all Year 0-3 teachers, then Year 4-6), supplementary online training, decodable texts and resources to help teachers use a structured approach to literacy | te reo matatini in kura kaupapa Māori, state and state-integrated schools. Schools will have a choice of approved provider.

How is this being funded?

Vote Education investment is funded through a mix of new Crown funding and reprioritisation of existing Vote Education baseline.

In total Vote Education savings are around $429 million.

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