Getting help for students with special needs from the Specialist Teacher Outreach Service

Teachers from the Specialist Teacher Outreach Service (Outreach Service) can travel to schools in their local areas to support students on the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS). To get support, the students must be enrolled in their local school and in the Outreach Service.

The specialist teacher works as part of the student’s support team, which includes their class teachers, Special Education staff, support staff and family or whānau.

How the Outreach Service works

The Outreach Service has provider schools. These are schools with special expertise to support students with high needs. The provider schools employ specialist teachers who travel to local schools.

How schools work with the Outreach Service

When schools have an Outreach Service teacher, they transfer their ORS staffing to the Outreach Service provider school. The provider school can then employ the specialist teacher.

The Ministry of Education supports the Outreach Service provider with funding for administration and travel.

When a local school has a specialist teacher, the provider school draws up an agreement with the local school. This explains the roles and responsibilities of each school. The specialist teacher also uses a practice framework to guide them.

What specialist teachers do

The teachers work with students and also support the class teacher, the local school support staff and the student’s family or whānau.

They may do a range of activities, such as:

  • teaching students in class or in small groups
  • assessing a student’s learning needs
  • putting together programmes for a student
  • monitoring the student’s progress and planning their next steps
  • modelling different strategies for teachers and teacher aides
  • helping teachers to work with the curriculum
  • reworking materials so they meet a student’s needs
  • asking for support from the Ministry of Education
  • contributing to a student’s Individual Education Plan.

How to get a specialist teacher

Contact the Outreach Service provider school in your area to enrol in the service. If you don’t know where that school is, contact your local Ministry of Education office to find out.

How to become an Outreach Service provider school

Contact your local Ministry of Education office to find out.

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