Overview of Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

The Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) is for students who have the highest ongoing levels of need for specialist support at school. Only a small number of students (about 1% of the school population) will have this highest level of need.

About ORS

ORS support helps students to join in and learn alongside other students at school. Any student who meets the ORS criteria is included in the scheme.

Once a student is in ORS, their funding and support stays with them throughout their time at school. Around 1 percent of students receive this support at any one time.

ORS funding and resources are considered to be a contribution to supporting a student’s schooling.

Who qualifies for ORS funding

ORS has 2 levels of need: ‘very high needs’ and ‘high needs’. To meet the ORS criteria, students must have either ongoing extreme or severe difficulty in any of the following areas:

  • learning
  • hearing
  • vision
  • physical
  • language use and social communication.

Or they must have a moderate to high difficulty with learning, combined with 2 other areas of need at a moderate to high level. Together the 3 needs inter-relate to significantly reduce a student's ability to access learning. The other areas of difficulty at a moderate to high level are:

  • hearing
  • vision
  • physical
  • language use and social communication.

ORS Eligibility criteria

Students are eligible when they meet 1 of the 9 ORS criteria.

ORS eligibility criteria explains the criteria and how they relate to the level of a student's needs.

Read about the criteria for ORS, how we define the levels, and how the student's needs are verified once an application is made for ORS.

Criteria for ORS(external link)

Definitions of very high and high needs for ORS(external link)

Verification process for ORS(external link)

What ORS funding covers

ORS provides services and support, including:

  • specialists such as speech-language therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, advisers on deaf children, special education advisors, orientation and mobility instructors and others
  • additional or specialist teachers who coordinate the student's learning programme with the class teacher
  • teacher aides to support the student's learning programme in the classroom and to include students in class programmes and activities
  • consumables - small items such as computer software, extra-size pens and pen grips, disposable gloves,  Braille machine paper, laminating pouches, or CDs and DVDs.

Find out more about each of these resources and how to make the best of them.

Resources for students in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme(external link)

When to apply for ORS

For young children, it’s best to apply 3-4 months before they go to school. For school students, you can apply at any time.

If a student's ORS application was unsuccessful and their circumstances change significantly or you have new information relating to their eligibility, if it is:

  • within 6 months of the application being submitted you can request a review
  • over 6 month’s since the application was submitted you can submit a new application

Apply for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme funding(external link)

How ORS is managed

ORS is managed by the Ministry of Education, Learning Support at a regional level, and by a number of delegated schools known as Fundholders or Specialist Service Providers (SSPs).

Management of the ORS resource involves:

  • employing specialists to deliver services to students
  • allocating teacher's aide hours
  • and for schools, using a small proportion of the money to buy consumables to meet a student’s identified needs.

Each student gets a unique mix of resources because all students are different and their education settings may be different.

Management of the ORS resource also involves coordination of specialists, class and additional teachers, teacher-aides, parents/whānau and others to provide a learning support programme for each student.

How to resolve difficulties with ORS

When families/whānau aren’t satisfied with the support received through ORS, everyone involved (parents/whānau or caregivers, teachers, specialists and the specialist service provider) should communicate openly to try and resolve any differences.

Differences might be about:

  • a student's needs and whether the ORS resources are adequate for them
  • programming
  • staff actions or management decisions.

When differences can’t be resolved, the Ministry has a dispute resolution process where a facilitator can work with families/whānau and schools to help resolve differences.

To find a facilitator, contact your local Ministry office.

Local Ministry offices(external link)

Sometimes, a student's Individual Education plan team might seek a review of the student's verification level in ORS (from high to very high needs). Any application for a review must be based on significant changes in the student's circumstances and in their need for specialist support.

Find out when a review is appropriate and what's involved.

Review and appeal process for ORS(external link)

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