Wednesday, 19 June 2024 09:55

Rural schools' staffing crisis

Written by  Jessica Marshall
Lack of funding and access to learning support specialists could leave rural schools in crisis. Lack of funding and access to learning support specialists could leave rural schools in crisis.

Rural schools could face a dual resourcing crisis when it comes to learning support specialists.

That’s according to the education sector union, NZEI. The union says that due to geographical location, many rural schools are struggling to access Ministry of Education learning support specialists like speech language therapists to meet their students’ needs.

On top of this, they are not receiving funding for learning support coordinators based in their schools.

A spokesperson for NZEI told Rural News there has been a long-term underinvestment in the learning support specialist roles, including a hiring freeze on those roles between 2008-2017.

The union adds that without learning support coordinators, rural school principals will have to fulfil the roles and responsibilities of multiple job descriptions.

“This could be making referrals, liaising with agencies, then managing any recommended strategies and taking responsibility for ongoing monitoring and reporting. This is an extra workload on top of their principal duties,” it says.

“Teacher aides are essential to children thriving in the classroom, so their absence can detrimentally impact the child’s social and emotional development, as well as their ability to learn and work independently.

More like this

Not biased

OPINION: Reactions to Budgets are always predictable, following well-worn tracks laid down by political tribalism and ideology.

No frills budget - Feds

Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford says the Coalition Government’s first budget unveiled yesterday has no frills or surprises.

Tough job

OPINION: The Hound reckons school teachers like nothing better than to complain constantly about how tough things are for them and that their generous holidays are all spent ‘marking school work and preparing for next term ahead’.

Rural schools receive over $100,000

Rural primary schools have received more than $109,000 from ANZCO Foods as part of the company’s Sponsor a School Programme, with several recipients located in the South Island.

Featured

Farmers back ACT MP's bill

ACT MP and Northland dairy farmer Mark Cameron is lodging a new member’s bill that would prevent regional and district councils from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Calls for more support for vets, nurses

The animal health sector needs to change to keep up with the times, according to the discussion at a breakfast event hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim at the NZ Vet Association and NZ Veterinary Nursing Association conference in Christchurch recently.

National

Govt unveils climate strategy

The Government has launched its new Climate Strategy, which it says is a comprehensive and ambitious plan to reduce the…

Machinery & Products

More efficient jumbo wagons

In a move that will be welcomed by many, Austrian manufacturer Pottinger appears to be following a trend of bringing…

Fieldays' top young innovator

Growing up on a South Waikato sheep and beef farm, Penny Ranger has firsthand experience on the day-to-day challenges.

Claas completes 500,000th machine

Claas is celebrating half a million combine harvesters built since 1936, marking the occasion by building anniversary machines from the…

Donated tractors welcome news

When Cyclone Gabrielle hit in February 2023, it left an estimated $13.5 billion worth of damage across New Zealand.

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fieldays focused

OPINION: Your old mate had a wee crack at Fieldays recently for the perception it was more focused on quantity…

'Woke madness'

OPINION: Real estate agent Janet Dickson's court case, following her refusal to complete a compulsory Māori culture course, is being watched…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter