8 Jul 2013

New boarding allowances for far-flung students welcomed

7:15 am on 8 July 2013

Rural Women New Zealand has welcomed new boarding allowances for geographically isolated and disadvantaged students which will come into effect from next year.

Students who live too far from an appropriate school, or where the closest school transport is more than 20 kilometres away, can apply for one of 1300 boarding allowances of more than $3000.

Further travel assistance is available for students living in remote island locations such as the Chathams and Great Barrier Island.

Rural Women education spokesperson Anne Finnie says the geographical isolation allowances have been revamped to reflect changes since they were last reviewed in the 1970s.

The boarding allowance has gone up by $400, but for most students there will no longer be a separate travel allowance.

Ms Finnie says the exception is those students who live on the smaller islands, such as Chatham Islands: they will still get one return travel allowance per term.

Further boarding allowances of up to $7500 are available for students with learning or other difficulties that may require them to move away from home.

Ms Finnie says people who want to apply for the new allowances will need to act quickly because applications close at the end of July.