New education funding to address wellbeing needs as a result of COVID-19
Urgent Response Fund (URF) and Educator Wellbeing
The Government has announced a $66 million package in new funding to support the immediate wellbeing of our learners and educators as a result of COVID-19.
The package includes a $50 million Urgent Response Fund. This will provide immediate support to centre-based early learning services, schools and kura to improve attendance, and to help manage any learning, social, emotional, mental, or other child and youth wellbeing needs directly related to COVID-19.
Another $16 million is to support educator wellbeing for the employees of publicly funded early learning services, kōhanga reo, school and kura and their families.
The Government has also announced $25 million in new funding to expand front line mental health and wellbeing services for tertiary students.
This funding will be used to meet the ongoing wellbeing needs of tertiary students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new services will be embedded within tertiary settings to ensure ease of access. They will include access to counselling and other treatments as well as peer support, self-management support and links to social and wellbeing supports.
The Ministry of Education will work closely with the Ministry of Health to facilitate the accelerated rollout of the youth-specific services of the Ministry of Health’s mental health, wellbeing and addiction initiatives to tertiary providers.
The initiative will be implemented via a Request for Proposals (RFP) process led by the Ministry of Health. The RFP process will get underway in November. We expect that students will notice an expansion in services and increased choices from 2021.
The Ministry has a range of resources and information for early learning services and schools, and for families, caregivers and whānau, to help them support children and young people’s wellbeing through the COVID-19 emergency.
The strategy’s vision is for New Zealand to be the best place in the world for children and young people.
The strategy uses six outcomes to describe what wellbeing means for children and young people.
Having access to quality education, health and social services, housing and food, as well as feeling loved, safe and secure within your whānau, family and community are all essential to the wellbeing of every child and young person in Aotearoa.
The Government is implementing a programme, Free and Healthy Lunches in Schools, to test different ways of delivering a free and healthy daily school lunch to primary and intermediate aged students in schools with high levels of disadvantage.
We will be providing a nutritious lunch to every student in Years 1–8 in participating schools until the beginning of 2021. Up to 21,000 students in around 120 schools will eventually benefit from this prototype and a decision will be made after this about whether to continue or extend the programme.
A culturally responsive inclusive local curriculum or marau ā-kura that supports the identities, languages, cultures of all ākonga also supports ākonga wellbeing. Wellbeing weaves across all curricula.
We have established new Curriculum Lead positions to provide frontline support to schools, kura, early learning services and ngā kōhanga reo.
Wellbeing resources – supporting our children and young people
Useful resources and links to further information.
Wellbeing and mental health teaching resource for teachers
A mental health education and wellbeing resource for teachers has gone out nationwide, to schools whose students are Year 7 and up, including Teen Parent Units, Activity Centres, Alternative Education providers and RTLB Clusters.
'Mental Health Education and Hauora: Teaching interpersonal skills, resilience, and wellbeing' is a practical resource for teaching about mental health, including lesson ideas and activities.
To find out more, here’s Kat Wells, co-author and health teacher from Lynfield College in Tāmaki Makaurau:
Mental Health Education and Hauora
Nau mai, afio mai, welcome!
Kia ora, ko Kat Wells tāku ingoa and I teach at Lynfield College in Tāmaki Makaurau.
We’ve been using this book with our students ‘mental health education and hauora, teaching interpersonal skills, resilience and wellbeing’. We know that young people who are happy, healthy, feel safe and confident in themselves, learn better. However, current research tells us that young people in New Zealand are experiencing unprecedented levels of loneliness and stress.
Schools can’t solve the mental health crisis alone but they do have an important role to play by checking in with students and supporting them through difficult times. As teachers, we can empower and equip young people with the skills and knowledge to navigate through challenges, changes and relationships.
This book can help support you and your school with this work. It’s a resource for teaching about mental health, including lesson ideas and activities, in areas such as hauora, resilience, identity, interpersonal skills, and wellbeing. The feedback I’ve received is that students really valued and enjoyed exploring these concepts.
Schools from Year 7 and up will all receive a hard copy along with two ideas for teaching units, it’s also available online.
Nō reira, kia kaha, mauri ora!
The Ministry of Education has delivered hard copies of the book to schools, working alongside the New Zealand Health Education Association (NZHEA) to provide additional resources supporting its use.
Teachers can download their free version of Mental Health Education and Hauora and supporting resources from NZHEA.
Melon manual(external link): supporting teenagers’ emotional wellbeing. A kete of mental health resources for 13–18-year-olds. Supported by the Ministry of Health, the website provides downloadable videos and worksheets and shareable social media illustrations that secondary teacher can use.
Supporting children in care guide: a guide to help educators understand and respond to the challenges that children and young people in care may present with because of their possibly traumatic early experiences.
Bullying free NZ(external link): information, resources and tools to help support students, parents and whānau affected by bullying, understand what they can do about it and how to help build a safe, bullying free environment.