Budget 2016: Funding for 'at risk' students welcomed

By Liz Wylie

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Peter Kaua
Peter Kaua

Whanganui school principals Chris Dibben of Tawhero School and Peter Kaua of Whanganui City College say they welcome budget announcements that there will be more funding for "at risk" students.

The Budget allocated more than $40m over the next four years to support 150,000 children at risk of not achieving.

Mr Kaua said any extra money to spend on students who need extra support is good news.

"The concern is whether it will be enough to make a real difference," he said.

There is also allocation in the budget for $42 million for special education over four years, and there will be an increase in the numbers of children who qualify for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding.

Chris Dibben says this is good news but believes it will not be enough to cover all needs. "We have been turned down for ORS funding for three students and that is always a huge disappointment.

"I think this Budget goes some way to addressing the gaps that schools are dealing with, but there are some children with very high needs at a number of Whanganui schools and we all struggle to meet them sometimes," said Mr Dibben.

School operational grants did not receive a boost in the budget and will remain at $1.38 billion, but finance minister Bill English said money would be targeted towards schools where it was most needed.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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