Appendix 4: Further information about methodology

Two additional documents were developed – a questionnaire and a review tool – to provide information to be used as the basis for discussion with school staff, and to guide judgements in the synthesis sheet. Completed questionnaires were obtained for 147 schools and the review tool was completed for 141 schools.

Questionnaire for schools

A questionnaire was sent out before the review to gather facts and attitude information from schools. It covered similar information to previous years’ questionnaires. The earlier responses were used to develop pre-coded response categories for most questions. The questionnaire also provided an opportunity for schools to express their views and was used for planning the review.

The questionnaire was in three sections:

  • Context: the number of students with special education needs in various funding and service categories.
  • School systems to support inclusion: such as SENCOs, systems or specialist support.
  • Developing and improving inclusion: the use and usefulness of resources (particularly those newly developed by the Ministry of Education), schools’ confidence about providing a fully inclusive school, strengths, challenges and barriers.

Review tool

A review tool was developed for reviewers and schools to complete together to provide a means of quickly and systematically recording some descriptive information about various aspects of inclusion:

  • Documentation regarding students with special education needs (charter, annual report, policies, procedures).
  • Reporting to the board.
  • PLD to support students with special education needs and develop inclusion.
  • Self review.

Having a complete set of information meant relationships among different aspects of inclusion could be explored in a systematic and reliable way.

Analysis

The systematic collection of data in the questionnaire and review tool meant responses could be compared with evaluative ratings to explore relationships. For example:

  • Are schools that have had more PLD more inclusive and do staff feel more confident?
  • Are schools where the SENCO has special education qualifications or training more focused on improvement?
  • Are schools more likely to review the provisions they make or the outcomes of these?

Schools included in this report

The table below shows that the schools responding were broadly representative of schools nationally, except that the resulting sample had proportionately fewer full primary, composite, rural, small and schools.1

 

Number of schools included (152)

Percentage

National percentage (2306)

School type

Full primary

Contributing

Intermediate, Year 7-10

Composite (Year 1-15, Year 1-10)

Secondary (Year 7-15)

Secondary (Year 9-15; 11-15)

60

59

10

2

2

20

38

38

6

1

1

13

44

33

5

4

4

10

Location of school

Main urban

Secondary urban

Minor urban

Rural

92

15

21

24

60

10

14

16

52

7

12

29

Size of school

Very small

Small

Medium

Large

Very large

3

18

75

38

22

2

12

48

24

14

8

22

39

20

10

Decile

Low decile (deciles 1-3)

Medium decile (deciles 4-7)

High decile (deciles 8-10)

44

66

46

28

42

29

29

41

30

Judgement when there are currently no students with high needs

ERO’s judgement of inclusive practices was primarily based on how schools provided for the students currently enrolled. If there were no students with high needs at the time of the review, the judgement was based on the school’s reported previous experience with high needs students, supported by documentation of school values, systems, and procedures.