Labour: Housing crisis affecting education

  • 30/05/2016

Labour says the Government's failure to get on top of the housing crisis is having a major ripple effect into the education system. 

Chris Hipkins says rising rents and unaffordable house prices have seen children not only move homes, but schools as well.

"They're having to move around houses all the time, they're not settled in their schooling, and they're not going to be doing as well as their peers who are more settled. That's a bad thing."

Labour says the issue is also affecting future employment at schools as potential teachers can't find local housing.

"The average secondary school teacher earns between $46,000 and $75,000 but the median Auckland house price is $812,000," Mr Hipkins says.

"Schools are now resorting to buying houses so that they can rent them at below market prices to fill vacancies."

The Government continued to "bury their heads in the sand" on the issue, he says.

Some school principals have told media more than half the students on their school roll turnover in any given year, causing instability in their learning.

Ministry of Education statistics show almost 3700 students were transient in the 2014 school year, according to the latest available figures on the Education Counts website.

As part of Thursday's budget, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced that over the next four years, just over $43 million of operating funding will be allocated to schools based on the number of students they have who are at risk of underachieving.

It aims to help about 150,000 children.

Using anonymised data from the Ministry of Social Development, schools with children who have spent a significant proportion of their lives in welfare-dependent families will be identified.

Newshub. / NZN