Highest Needs Review

The purpose of the Highest Needs Review is to ensure that children and young people with the highest needs for learning support achieve their full potential through positive education outcomes.

To achieve this full potential, we need to ensure that they receive the learning supports they need, when they need it, and for as long as they need it.

This is a commitment outlined in Priority 4 in the Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025: Learning Support Action Plan – conversation.education.govt.nz(external link)

The Review will take a whole child and their family/whānau/aiga approach and will not define children and young people by specific diagnosis, disability, disorder or learning difference. 

Work on quantitative data analysis and a literature review were progressed alongside Phase Two’s wider public engagement phase from November 2021 to March 2022. 

Detailed analysis of stakeholder voice gathered through that engagement is in process. 

Phase one engagement

Initial targeted engagement from 27 May to 9 July 2021 with approximately 80 stakeholders sought to co-develop the Review’s Scope and Terms of Reference.

More information on the Terms of Reference and the initial engagement can be found in the Highest Needs Review Cabinet Paper [PDF, 2 MB].

Phase two engagement

Wider public engagement started after the Minister’s announcement on 27 October 2021.

More support for learners with highest needs – beehive.govt.nz(external link)

An online submissions portal was open from 31 January to 31 March 2022.

  • 717 submissions received through the portal from individuals and organisations.
  • 224 submissions through Phase One (66) and Phase Two (158) which included meeting notes and transcripts and feedback received through the Review’s shared mailbox

152 individual submissions within one spreadsheet received via the Review’s shared mailbox.

Timeline of the Review

Now that the information gathering phases of the Review have been completed, detailed analysis of stakeholder voice is in process.

NZCER is supporting the Ministry of Education with insights from analysis as we work to develop policy, process and practice options and solutions for change.

A Cabinet paper for Minister Tinetti with recommendations from the Review will be provided in October 2022.

Ministry of Education Advisory Group

The Ministry of Education Advisory Group has been working with the Review Team to provide their advice, expertise, subject matter knowledge, lived experience and perspectives across Scope areas. They have also been testing and challenging the Review Team’s thinking as work on the development of options and solutions progresses.

Highest Needs Review: Advisory Group Terms of Reference [PDF, 130 KB] 

Members of the Advisory Group are:

  • John Bangma
  • Wairemana Campbell       
  • Saane Faaofo Oldehaver
  • Lisa Foster   
  • Rebekah Graham    
  • Bruce Jepsen
  • Shirley Jones
  • Te Rina Leonard     
  • Featuna’i Liua’ana
  • Thecla Moffat         
  • Missy Morton
  • Nigel Ngahiwi
  • Bernette Peters      
  • Caroline Samson    
  • Colin Tarr
  • Frian Wadia  
  • Hannah Winter.

More information about the HNR Advisory Group members

Third and final phase of the Review

The final phase of the Review will be to develop options and solutions for change. The Review team will develop a report for the Minister with recommendations for Cabinet in October 2022.

Government decisions

Key documents translated

The Executive Summary of the Cabinet paper, Summary of Engagement, and Terms of Reference have been translated from English to Te Reo, Pasific languages and for communities that have English as second language.

Executive Summary

Appendix One

Appendix Two

Contact the Review team

The Review team can be contacted directly through highestneeds.review@education.govt.nz

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback