Resources for students in Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

Resources for students in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) may include specialists, additional teachers, teacher aides, and a grant for consumables.

Each student gets a unique mix of resources because:

  • students have access to different levels of other resources depending on the school they attend
  • parents have different levels of involvement with the programme.

Resources are allocated based on individual needs identified through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) (external link) process. All students in the ORS must have a current IEP.

Specialist services for ORS

The Ministry’s list of approved specialists for ORS includes:

  • physiotherapist
  • occupational therapist
  • speech language therapist
  • educational psychologist
  • Maori or cultural adviser
  • conductor in conductive education programme
  • orientation and mobility instructor
  • special education advisor
  • sign language interpreter
  • teacher with additional tertiary qualifications in learning, vision or hearing
  • music therapist (registered)
  • adviser on deaf children.

Note that although these are the approved specialists for ORS, this does not automatically mean they are available across the country.  Access to approved  specialists is  based on individual need.

Specialists must:

  • have appropriate qualifications and/or professional registration
  • abide by their professional Code of Conduct
  • maintain standards through ongoing supervision and professional development.

The Specialist Service Standards for ORS tells you what you can expect from specialist teachers: how they work and what work you can expect them to do.

Additional teachers in ORS

Students in ORS have an allocation of teacher time in addition to the school's staffing entitlements.

How much additional teacher time is available

Additional teaching time is allocated directly to the school for each student at:

  • half a day a week (0.1 full time equivalent) for high needs
  • one day a week (0.2 full time equivalent) for very high needs.

Employing an additional teacher

When employed, an additional teacher becomes a member of school staff responsible to the principal and board of trustees in the usual way.

Schools can employ additional teachers in ways that suit their particular needs. For example:

  • one additional teacher to work with a number of students with similar special needs
  • more than one additional teacher to work with individual students who have different special needs.

Schools should make every effort to employ additional teachers who have qualifications and experience in the area of special education relevant for each student.

Where there are no teachers with the relevant expertise available in a local area, schools should select the most appropriate teacher and arrange for professional support.

Working with an additional teacher

Students in ORS are the responsibility of their class teacher. The class teacher should use the additional teacher time to help meet the student’s special needs.

The Individual Education Plan (IEP) (external link) should make clear what the additional teacher will do to improve the student's achievements and make positive changes to their quality of life.

Additional teachers can help classroom teachers by providing a balance between:

  • direct service, or teaching the student hands-on, and
  • indirect service, such as:
    • releasing the classroom teacher to work hands-on with the student
    • getting specific resources for the student's programme
    • training others working with the student
    • co-supervision of a teacher aide
    • being part of the student's IEP team.

Additional teacher time is not for the overall administration of special needs services in a school, for counseling or guidance, or for reducing overall class sizes.

How teacher aide time is used in ORS

Schools employ teacher aides as aides to the teacher. They carry out duties under a teacher and/or specialist's direction.

Their duties may include support for:

  • academic learning and key competencies
  • engaging the student — for example, by refocusing a student using a planned programme, so the student learns how to work on their own
  • mobility — for example, transferring a student in and out of wheelchairs, exercises to help muscle strength and maintain flexibility
  • communication programmes — for example, practising language concepts, helping a student to use communication devices and special techniques
  • personal care — for example, help with toileting including changing nappies and pads, help with eating programmes.

Working with a teacher aide to support a student in ORS

Making the most of training

If a teacher aide trains in an area of special education, the classroom and additional teachers should find out what they’ve learnt, so that the can help the teacher aide to apply the training effectively in the student's programme.

Encouraging good practice

Teachers should encourage teacher aides to:

  • use each opportunity for a student to make decisions and act independently
  • use each opportunity to encourage the student to relate to other students and teachers
  • allow time for the student to engage and respond on their own
  • withdraw when not needed
  • contribute to the assessment and learning outcomes for the student.

Teachers should also manage the close relationship that may develop between the student and the teacher aide to avoid the development of dependency. ‘Ownership’ between student and aide can hinder the student's development of independence.

What the ORS consumables grant covers

This grant is for the purchase of small items to support a student's needs identified through the IP process. Examples are:

  • disposable gloves
  • materials for visuals and other communication aids
  • CDs or DVDs
  • materials for sensory experiences.

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