Learning Support

A new way to deliver Learning Support

All children and young people needing support with their learning should get help.

A new way to deliver learning support is being phased in with local offices working with particular schools, providers and communities to strengthen inclusion and modernise how learning support (previously called special education) is delivered across the education sector.

Check with your local Ministry of Education office to find out if these changes are being implemented in your school or early learning service.

We want the best outcomes for all children

We’ve heard from families and educators that the learning support system can be hard to navigate, with too many hurdles to get to the right support. Parents also told us that they don’t always receive support for their child soon enough.

Changing the way learning support is provided is about putting learners who need support at the heart of everything we do, so they receive the right support, when they need it.

A new model for delivering learning support

The new way of delivering learning support reflects feedback from parents, whānau, staff, and disability and education groups. It includes:

  1. Known contact point for family and whānau – someone they know they can go to for information and support.
  2. One plan that provides joined up and tailored support to meet a student’s individual needs.
  3. Schools, kura, early childhood education (ECE) services and ngā kōhanga reo working together with specialists, iwi and providers to identify what their community needs, make decisions about the best use of local resources, and address needs earlier.
  4. Local services and others involved being able to make decisions about tailored support for individual students, rather than sticking to rigid criteria to access a fixed support.
  5. A facilitator to convene local schools and early learning services and connect to wider specialist services and those provided by other agencies.
  6. Sharing data so that providers understand how they are working together to support a student, and so they can plan for needs across the community.

Local Ministry offices are taking a phased approach, starting with groupings of schools, early learning services or Kāhui Ako that have indicated they want to implement the model. Other schools, early learning services, networks and Kāhui Ako will be able to adopt this new way of working if they wish.

This new way of working gives local communities more flexibility to meet the particular needs of the children and young people in their locality. Phasing in these changes means we can learn from our experience, find out more about how it works in different settings, and what works for local schools and early learning services and their communities.

Download more information on the six elements [PDF, 344 KB]

Working with other organisations

We will work with the other government agencies, parent and family organisations, advocacy groups, education sector groups and other organisations as we implement these changes.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the new way of delivering Learning Support email LearningSupport.Model@education.govt.nz or phone 0800 622 222.


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