Education Minister Anne Tolley has welcomed the release of an Education Review Office evaluation of Service Academies, which shows improved engagement, behaviour and academic achievement for the secondary school students enrolled in this important Youth Guarantee initiative.
The evaluation also found improvements in health and fitness levels at the military-focused academies, which offer courses such as leadership and outdoor education, while students work towards achieving at least NCEA Level 1 literacy and numeracy.
“I’m delighted that students are grabbing this opportunity with both hands,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Many of the young people involved, who were at risk of dropping out of education, are Maori and Pasifika and come from low-decile schools.
“With the support of their schools and the New Zealand Defence Force these students are now motivated to learn new skills and earn qualifications, which will give them a real chance to succeed and prepare them for further study or the workplace.
“Many more students around the country will soon have the opportunity to take part, with funding invested in Budget 2011 for eight new Service Academies.
“Following 23 expressions of interest, the location of the successful providers will be announced soon.
“As part of the Youth Guarantee, Service Academies and Trades Academies are making a real difference for 16 and 17 year olds.
“Over 10,000 young people will be involved in the wider Youth Guarantee next year, as we make sure they stay engaged in education, skills and trade training which will lead to worthwhile qualifications and prepare them for the workplace.”
The ERO report can be viewed at http://www.ero.govt.nz/National-Reports/An-Evaluation-of-Service-Academies-October-2011