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Pātaka scraps fees for school art classes

LEOTC Classes Pātaka

Making sure every Porirua school student has access to the arts is the drive behind a new initiative from Pātaka Art + Museum.

From the start of the new school year all Learning Experiences Outside The Classroom (LEOTC), hosted for Porirua school students at Pātaka, will be completely free.

Pātaka Education Officer Linda Fordyce said they had already been doing their bit to make classes as accessible as possible by keeping the charge per student to 50 cents for most of the last 20 years.

Fordyce said the next logical step was to abolish the fee completely. 

“The removal of the charge for our education programme is a further step towards reducing the financial barriers faced by local schools to access their local arts facility.

“We have tried to keep our fees down to one of the cheapest in the country but the removal of the fee is now an even better way to welcome and encourage our young people into a great neighbourhood learning space.”

The free LEOTC classes also include students being ferried to and from Pātaka on the free Porirua City Council bus, Te Pahi.

“We are aware that transportation costs are still a concern for some schools, especially when the Te Pahi, bus is booked up, so this new step will eliminate an extra hurdle.

“School principals have repeatedly told us how important a role the arts play in the educational life of their students, broadening their horizons and imaginations and enhancing their learning experiences.”

Fordyce said providing free access to the arts helped to ensure that every school child in Porirua had the same learning opportunities, regardless of who they were or where they were from.

The decision reflected Pātaka’s commitment to live up to the Strategic Framework for Children and Young People, introduced by Porirua City Council late last year.

Through the framework council was dedicated to supporting children and young people to achieve academic success at school, so they could successfully transition to a future they aspired to.

The decision to make LEOTC classes free had already proved popular with Porirua schools.

Rangikura School Special Education Needs Coordinator, Ondine Suter, said the classes were of real value to their students.

“Having quality hands-on learning experiences at Pātaka has motivated and developed our students inquiry learning. 

“Nothing beats authentic learning experiences, delivered by expert facilitators to enhance learning. 

“Whether its classes visiting Pātaka, facilitators coming to school or on field trips, lessons are tailored to learners needs.

“Our Rangikura students love Pātaka.”

Pātaka was also working with other institutions around the Wellington region to provide full-day LEOTC experiences, to take the classes to an even bigger audience.

4 Feb 2019