Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour and Social Workers in schools

Boards of trustees may provide space for Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLBs) and/or Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) to work in schools. Ministry funding is available to build new space or modify existing buildings where needed, and to pay for ongoing property costs associated with hosting an RTLB or SWiS.

Planning RTLB and SWiS services

Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) and Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) provide support for students.

RTLB are specially trained resource teachers who work with students and teachers to improve educational outcomes for students with learning or behavioural difficulties. Learn more about RTLB and the services they offer on the TKI website.

The SWiS programme is led by Oranga Tamariki. It provides social services to low decile primary and intermediate schools. See the Oranga Tamariki website for more information about the SWiS programme.

If your school is chosen to host an RTLB or SWiS, and you already have suitable space for them, this space will be ‘legitimate space’. This means that the space:

  • doesn't count against your School Property Guide (SPG) entitlement
  • does get 5 Year Agreement (5YA) capital funding and Property Maintenance Grant (PMG) funding. 

Ministry funding for new space or modifications

If you don’t have existing suitable space, we may provide funding to build new space or modify existing buildings so that each RTLB or SWiS worker has access to an office with interview space at the school.

We provide a specific project budget when funding is approved. You must include this work in your 10 Year Property Plan (10YPP).

This funding calculation is based on the standard size of an office, including storage space, of 15m(net) per full-time teacher equivalent (FTTE), using the current classroom construction rate. A school needing to refurbish existing space receives half this amount.

Construction rates

As a host school, you can use this funding for:

  • extensions
  • alterations
  • joinery repairs
  • painting
  • partitions
  • curtains
  • fixed floor coverings
  • light fittings
  • fixed shelving and cupboards.

You keep these improvements if the service finishes.

Limits to Ministry funding

We only provide funding for newly establishing RTLB or SWiS services. We won’t pay retrospectively for existing arrangements, or provide additional funding if the RTLB or SWiS:

  • moves office within your school
  • moves from the host school. 

In some circumstances, relocating RTLB to different schools within a cluster may create efficiencies or help to foster a better community of practice. The cluster lead school must talk to the Ministry about the possibility of relocating staff.

Supplying and servicing RTLB and SWiS services

Any RTLB or SWiS workers you host count as third parties on your site. You must have an appropriate third party agreement with the cluster lead school (RTLB) or Oranga Tamariki contract manager (SWiS) regarding the space the workers occupy. Find out more on leasing or hiring school land and buildings to third parties.

As part of this agreement, you must state any expenses you expect the RTLB or SWiS service to contribute towards, for example, stationery and photocopying.

As the host school, you're provided funding related to RTLB/SWiS for:

  • heating, lighting and water costs (part of operational funding)
  • cleaning (also part of operational funding)
  • property maintenance and upgrades using your property maintenance grant and 5 Year Agreement funding
  • furniture and equipment.

It's not appropriate to charge the RTLB or SWiS service for these costs when you receive funding for them from the Ministry.

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