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Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced the eight secondary schools around New Zealand which have successfully bid to open new Service Academies in 2012.
It follows new funding of $63.1 million in Budget 2011 to expand the number of Service Academies and Trades Academies, to provide more opportunities for young people to access skills training while earning worthwhile qualifications, free of charge.
The military-focused Service Academies, which are operated in association with the New Zealand Defence Force, offer courses such as leadership and outdoor education, while students work towards achieving at least NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy.
“We know that Service Academies are already making a real difference for 16 and 17 year olds who were at risk of dropping out of education,” says Mrs Tolley.
“A recent Education Review Office evaluation found that Service Academies improve student engagement, behaviour, academic achievement, and health and fitness, and I’m delighted that even more young people will now be able to take part around the country.”
The new Service Academies, which are all run out of decile one to three secondary schools, will be based at:
The eight successful schools were selected following 23 expressions of interest. The Government opened eight new Service Academies in 2010, with the additional eight in 2012 bringing the total to 24.
“More students will now be motivated to learn new skills, earn qualifications, and have the opportunity to reach their potential,” says Mrs Tolley.
“The Service Academies will give young people the chance to succeed, and prepare them for employment or further study, and 500 places will now be available around New Zealand in 2012.
“The wider Youth Guarantee, including Trades and Service Academies, will expand next year to involve over 10,000 16 and 17 year olds, increasing to 12,500 by 2014, as we make sure young people stay engaged in education, skills and trade training.”