Background information to the Learning Support Update
In 2015, we asked for feedback on special education services and the changes needed. Over 3650 parents, whānau, schools and local communities responded.
A summary of the consultation findings [PDF, 276 KB] is also available.
From 2016, in response to this feedback, work began on what was known as the Learning Support Update. Twenty two small local improvement projects were run nationwide in a variety of schooling and early learning settings. These trialled a range of new ways to plan and deliver learning support services to children, their parents and whānau in a faster, simpler and more coordinated way.
The responses from this and earlier feedback from the disability and parent representatives helped us prepare the July 2016 Cabinet paper: Strengthening Inclusion and Modernising Learning Support [PDF, 895 KB].
Local improvement projects
Local improvement projects have resulted in new ways of tailoring support to meet needs within a local community. Many of the projects focused on simpler and more co-ordinated transitions between early childhood services to school. Highlights include:
- education services, parents and whānau report quicker response times and earlier support
- better transitions from early learning to schooling for children, as early learning services, Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour, teachers and schools work together to tailor and coordinate services for children
- reports from parents that they feel more empowered to make decisions and more involved in the transition process
- more proactive and earlier responses to meeting children’s individual needs.
Many of those involved in local improvement projects are already benefiting from the new approaches. For example:
- In Franklin, an early childhood teacher now responds to requests for support from all early learning services in the local improvement project, enabling earlier access to learning support services and more flexible responses.
- In Taranaki, Ministry teams, schools, early learning services and Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour are actively collaborating to agree on support needs and to better match services to improve students’ outcomes.
The Learning support local improvement projects report provides a snap shot of key features of the projects including strengths and lessons learned. There are also examples of projects that have since moved into a business-as-usual approach to service.
The projects benefited from a commitment to ongoing learning and quality improvement from those involved.
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