Targeting learning support for better student achievement

The Government is developing a work programme to strengthen learning support so that the education system meets the needs of all learners and their families.

Prioritising stronger learning support 

In April 2024, the Minister of Education, Hon Erica Stanford announced 6 priorities for education. One of these priorities is targeting effective learning support interventions for students with additional needs. 

The purpose of this priority is to strengthen the learning support system so we can respond better to the needs of learners and their families through evidence-based approaches and targeted investment for equitable educational outcomes 

How we will deliver this priority 

The Ministry of Education is developing a work programme to deliver on this priority. Key features of this work programme include: 

  • Operational changes to make the system easier to navigate and to improve data collection.  
  • Creating a data-driven funding model that is focused on delivering high-quality interventions, programmes, and supports.  
  • Optimising the learning support workforce.  
  • Building teacher capability to meet diverse learning needs. 
  • Developing a network plan for specialist and alternative provision. 

We will publish a webpage with more details as the work programme is developed. 


Several recent reviews and inquiries have found that, despite significant investment in learning support, many disabled learners and children and young people with learning support needs are not having their needs adequately met by the education system. So, many of these children and young people are not achieving equitable educational outcomes.

The Government is pursuing a combined response to these reviews and inquiries, focused on strengthening the learning support system through practical changes and effective targeted investment. The work programme for strengthening learning support will bring together the Government’s response to, for example: 

  • direct feedback from the education sector and disability community 
  • the Highest Needs Review (2021 – 2022) 
  • the Māori Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into learning support for ākonga Māori (2022) 
  • ERO’s recent reviews of classroom behaviour (2024), Alternative Education (2023), teacher aides (2022), and education for disabled learners in early learning and schooling (2022) 
  • the Concluding Observations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2022). 

More information

The Highest Needs Review

1320715 - Briefing Note: Improving education for children and young people with learning support needs [PDF, 1.2 MB]

1322534 - Education Report: Engaging on moving towards a more inclusive education system [PDF, 5.6 MB]

1323872 – Briefing Note: Information for a deep dive on education for children and young people with learning support needs [PDF, 2.2 MB]

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