Learning support pilot for Waiariki-Bay of Plenty

A new service to improve the way families access learning support for their child will be piloted in the Waiariki-Bay of Plenty region, says the local Director of Education Ezra Schuster.

The pilot was announced by Education Minister Hekia Parata today at the Special Education Principals Association New Zealand conference in Wellington, as part of a progress update on the Learning Support (formerly Special Education) Update.

The pilot involves a new service delivery model that will provide for a single point of access to liaise with families and schools, through an 0800 number, email or online tool, and help them get the support they need promptly.

“When we consulted families and schools in Waiariki-Bay of Plenty last year on their experiences they told us the current system for learning support was too complex to navigate. We want to make the services easier to access,” Mr Schuster says.

“The pilot will also include local learning support teams to triage services. Learning support plans will be developed in collaboration with schools and families and a Lead Practitioner will be assigned to each child accessing learning support for the first time to ensure support plans are delivered and reviewed. 

“Waiariki-Bay of Plenty Communities of Learning have identified learning support as a focus to help them address existing achievement challenges.  This will include better collaboration between schools,” Mr Schuster says.

“About 80% of the region’s schools are now in Communities of Learning and this will make it much easier for schools to work together to ensure children get the right services.  It will also make it easier to ensure that when children move schools, their development plans move with them.

“The Ministry will work with the Communities of Learning, the sector and stakeholders to develop the changes and pilot the new approach in the Waiariki-Bay of Plenty region from the start of the 2017 school year.”

The pilot will test, measure and evaluate the changes to inform national implementation decisions later next year.


Media contact: media@education.govt.nz

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