'I'm struggling' - Experienced teacher calls for more funding for special needs children

Emily van Velthooven
Source: 1News

The hearing into an independent review into primary school staffing has begun in Auckland this morning.

Twelve submissions will be made from teachers today, raising their own concerns over staffing and resourcing.

One member from the May Road Primary School’s (in Mt Roskill, Auckland) board of trustees says they need more support in learning specialised skills to help better children with their te reo, physical education classes and arts.

“A lot of children excel in these areas yet we don’t have the resources or skills to help them grow. We have so many talented children but because we can’t help them grow they aren’t building the confidence,” BOT chair Helena Tanuvasa said.

Funding has been a big talking point.

“We are having too many sausage sizzles, we need better and bigger funding,” Tanuvasa said.

One teacher, Kahli Oliviera from Gladstone Primary School in Mt Albert, Auckland has more than 20 years’ experience and she’s worried for new teachers entering in the industry.

“Last year I had a Year 3 class of 32 students. I had three diagnosed autistic children, and four more had educational psychology reports. I had no funding for any of them,” she told the panel.

“If I’m struggling after 20 years’ experience, how will a new teacher cope?”

Former Education Minister Steve Maharey is chairing the panel, and will hear from submissions around the country in the coming weeks.