Schools provide support for the majority of children with Special Education needs. The Government funds schools directly to provide this support. The Government also funds resource teachers who provide advice and support to clusters of schools.
If a child has high or very high needs, a school can call on additional support from the Ministry of Education. This could be additional funding or help from specialists.
High/very high needs or moderate needs refer to how much help a child will need to join in and learn alongside their peers.
Services and Support for Children with Moderate needs
- The Special Education Grant is paid to all state and state integrated schools according to their school role and decile. It’s up to individual schools as to how they use that money, but they can spend it in a range of ways, including providing resources, additional teacher time and professional development for teachers, or on specialists, such as physiotherapists or occupational therapists.
- Groups or ‘clusters’ of schools can call on specially trained teachers who might provide a classroom teacher with special teaching strategies, introduce class or school-wide programmes, or they might work directly with a child or with small groups of children. There are resource teachers for learning and behaviour, vision,hearing and literacy.
- The Physical Disability service provides support in the form of physiotherapists and occupational therapists for students who are not receiving support through the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme.
Services and Support for Children with High Needs
If your child has high or very high needs, the Ministry of Education directly funds a higher level of support for them through a range of schemes or services.
- The Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) provides support for children with severe needs or multiple needs. This scheme provides support for additional teachers, teachers’ aides, specialists and items a child might need in the classroom.
- The Communication Service provides support for children who have difficulties with talking, listening and understanding language.
- The Severe Behaviour Service provides support for children experiencing severe behaviour difficulties.
- The School High Health Needs Fund provides a teacher’s aide for a child with a medical condition that requires special care in order for them to be able to attend school safely.