Appendix 2: Ministry of Education developments in special education since 2010

Success for All – Every School, Every Child

In 2010 the Ministry of Education led a review of special education. More than 2000 people made submissions about the qualities required for inclusive schools, effective transition processes, funding, resources, professional learning and development and system-wide accountability and responsiveness. ERO’s 2010 report, Including Students with High Needs, was one of the documents that informed the review’s overall findings.

Some significant initiatives were set out in the 2010 Success for All policy, or have been introduced subsequently. These include:

  • A performance target that by the end of 2014, 80 percent of schools would be doing a good job of including students with disabilities.
  • Giving 1000 more students access to the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS).
  • Extending the Communications Service to 1,000 more students aged between five and eight who have complex and significant communication needs and don’t qualify for ORS.
  • Publishing and distributing best practice guidelines to schools to help students move from school to post-school life. (The guidelines include 10 best practice principles based on New Zealand and international literature.)
  • Additional support for students with sensory needs. From 2012, students with a sensory impairment (hearing or vision) who receive ORS support have had the teaching component of ORS paid to one of three sensory schools – the Blind and Low Vision Network New Zealand (BLENNZ) or one of two Deaf Education Centres (Van Asch in Christchurch and Kelston in Auckland).
  • The Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour service combined with Supplementary Learning Support.
  • Strengthening complaints and disputes resolution systems within the Ministry of Education (the Ministry).
  • Additional training for boards of trustees – the Ministry has developed and included content in existing board training programmes.

Supported inclusive education practices

Since 2010, the Ministry has strengthened the capability of schools’ to be fully inclusive of children and young people with special education needs in various ways. For instance:

  • Providing resources and messages about what inclusive education looks like.
  • Giving principals and boards clear guidelines about planning their charters and setting targets.
  • Helping principals, teachers and boards of trustees improve their practice by developing targeted resources and tools, such as the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) Inclusive Practices Tools and the Inclusive Education Guides for Schools which went live in February 2015 (
  • Providing in-depth support for some schools to set improvement targets for their inclusive practices. This involves working with certain schools to strengthen inclusive practices and ensure integration with other initiatives in place
  • Creating a team of 20 school leaders, specialist teachers and professional learning and development providers to develop resources for schools. This is part of the Inclusive Education Capability Building project.
  • Initiating projects focused on building our knowledge of inclusive practices in Māori-medium settings and identifying systems, processes and leadership practices in secondary schools that support inclusive practices.
  • Continuing to implement Positive Behaviour for Learning programmes and initiatives to help parents, teachers and schools address problem behaviour, improve children’s wellbeing and increase educational achievement. More than 500 schools are participating.
  • Introducing the Intensive Wraparound Service to provide wraparound support in their local school and community for children and young people in Years 3 to 10 with highly complex and challenging behaviour or social or educational needs, including those associated with an intellectual impairment. In 2012, 114 students received this service, in 2013 there were 220 students, and in 2014 there are 285 students.