Rural Women New Zealand welcomes the announcement of new boarding allowances for geographically isolated students and others who experience significant barriers to achievement at their local school.
“We have had input into the Ministry of Education Boarding Allowance Project, giving an up-to-date view of the rural perspective,” says Rural Women NZ’s education spokesperson, Anne Finnie.
“We believe the new boarding allowances reflect the changes in barriers to young people’s schooling since boarding bursaries were introduced in the 1940s, particularly for rural.
“Times have changed, and with improved cars and better roads, many rural children can now go to their local secondary or area school, and we would encourage this.
“Well supported local schools help build dynamic rural communities and as the average age of farmers is now well into their 50s, keeping our rural communities dynamic and vibrant is more important than ever.
“However for those who have to travel greater distances on minor unsealed roads, the time and cost involved is a bigger consideration factor, and this is where the new boarding allowances are important.”
From 2014 students who live too far from an appropriate school, (e.g. 60km) or where the closest school transport is over 20km away, can apply for one of 1,300 boarding allowances of $3,200. Further travel assistance is available for students living in remote island locations such as the Chathams and Great Barrier.
Further boarding allowances of up to $7,500 are available for students with multiple barriers to educational success, such as low achievement, poor participation, behavioural and relationship difficulties or who have poor family support or negative role models. Boarding allowances are available for children to board privately.
Applications for the new boarding allowances are now open, and close on 31 July. Guidelines and application forms can be found by clicking here.