Education Minister Hekia Parata is pleased with a recent report showing a programme to address problem behaviour in schools is getting positive results for students across New Zealand.
“In Budget 2013, this Government invested a further $63.5 million over four years to the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiative,” says Ms Parata.
“We were responding to a call from the education sector to help address behavioural issues in schools. In 2009, teachers, principals, early childhood managers and parents all told us that behaviour among young people was getting worse. PB4L helps us address the issues together and allows a settled environment so that teachers can teach, and students can learn,” says Ms Parata.
The recently released Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) School-Wide Indicator Reportpresents an evaluation of the first 86 schools to implement the PB4L School-Wideprogramme. The report has shown that the programme has helped decrease stand-down rates in many schools. Before starting PB4L School-Wide, schools had a 60 per cent higher rate of stand-downs than a matched group of schools not in the programme. Two years later, this gap had narrowed to just 20%,” says Ms Parata.
“It also shows that more kids are staying in school – which means more kids have the opportunity to succeed. Early leaving exemptions fell to 313 last year, from a peak of more than 4,000 applications in 2005 – a 93% decrease under this Government.
“In the successful PB4L schools, retention rates for 17 year olds increased to 74 per cent in 2011, up from 69 per cent in 2009.
“In addition NCEA Level 1 achievement for 15 year olds increased by 6 per cent to 53 per cent. On average, over a three year period, an additional twelve 15 year olds achieved NCEA Level 1 in each secondary school in PB4L School-Wide.”
Naenae Primary School Principal Murray Bootten says before his school started the programme in 2010, its main behaviour issues were aggression, fighting and intimidation of staff and students.
“We’ve gone from a situation where children were looking over their shoulder to see who was going to get them next to now, where we have very few incidences of bad behaviour,” says Mr Bootten.
“I want to congratulate students, parents, whānau, communities, teachers, principals and boards who are working together to address behaviour that puts student achievement at risk,” says Ms Parata.
“This Government is committed to raising educational achievement for five out of five kids. Successful young New Zealanders grow the potential of our country and every young person must have the opportunity to contribute.”