Overview of the 2018 Budget for Education

Overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about the Budget? Here’s a quick summary of how it affects education.

ECE funding

  • The $104.8 m increase in services' base funding (a 1.6 percent increase) is welcome after a freeze since 2009, however this is still short of the $218m NZEI identified it would cost to restore funding to 2010 rates.
  • $590 m more in operational funding. $483 m of this is for new places.
  • No reinstatement of the 100% qualified teaching funding nor a commitment to reinstate the 100% target.


  • Funding increase was put into building classrooms and making more places for students, which is essential to keep pace with demographic growth
  • The Budget hasn't done much to attract teachers as it is unclear there is any contingency for teacher salary increases given that we already have a teaching shortage.
  • The 1.6 per cent cost adjustment to operational funding is unfortunately essentially a freeze or even cut in real terms for schools.

Learning Support

  • The Budget funds 250 additional children a year. NZEI thinks ORS should be extended from 1% to 3% of the population - that's something like 20,000 more children so the funding of 250 additional children is more like a small step rather than the leap that is needed.
  • There is no provision for SENCOs and the teacher aide component of $59m in Learning Support is a welcome increase which will allow schools to fully pay teacher aides.

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