Te Akatea NZ Māori Principals has challenged the Ministry of Education and government to provide a significant funding increase for school support staff.
It wants the government to provide not only a wage increase for support staff but also fund schools for the actual cost of that increase.
Te Akatea Vice President, Myles Ferris says, “We want to acknowledge the valuable contribution in particular of our Māori support staff to the ongoing challenge of raising Māori students achievement across Aotearoa. We also acknowledge the increased demands on support staff to handle increasingly difficult situations in their school and the increased need to be more qualified and skilled in the ever broadening scope of their roles.”
However Ferris believes that increasing pay for support staff with increasing funding for the actual schools is not the answer.
“Schools either have to reduce hours or cut roles completely, seriously putting in jeopardy the education and well-being of our students just to ensure there are no budget blow-outs.”
Special Education and more funding support for these services has also been flagged as an area to focus on.
Te Akatea believes provisions need to be established with any additional funding to ensure special education student’s needs are not further eroded by the wage increase.