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New prototype service for kids at risk of expulsion

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A new service will be trialled in Napier next year to help younger students at risk of disconnection from school because of suspension, expulsion and non-attendance, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today.

"The prototype, the Napier Student Managed Moved Service, is the first in New Zealand to be designed for primary rather than secondary school students," says Tracey Martin.

The service will be run by a consortium of Napier schools and Communities of Learning (Kāhui Ako), with strong whānau support to improve outcomes for Year 3 to 8 (ages 7 to 12) children at risk of being disengaged from education.

Minister Martin said that Cabinet yesterday approved investing $1.086 million to implement and evaluate the service, which will begin operating in 2019.

"I met with a group of people from the consortium in Napier last month and they said that a growing group of primary aged students were at risk of being disengaged from the learning process and even the school environment more generally.

"Persistent themes for Napier include high transience, low attendance, high suspensions and exclusions, and a concerning number of students not enrolled in school.

"What they also said, however, was that they had a solution - and I was very pleased, along with Education Minister Chris Hipkins, to be able to take a proposal to cabinet.

"Learners need support before they become disengaged. That support needs to be relevant and tailored to individual students and I believe this service will achieve these aims."

"We want to help kids stay in school and to take the pressure off classrooms."

The service will act as a support structure that aims to keep students in their school, or alternatively enrol them in another school. It will be a prototype lasting three years and will be fully and independently evaluated.

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