Learning support

Learning support refers to the additional support some children and young people need to engage and achieve in education.

A new way to deliver learning support

We're phasing in a new way to deliver learning support.

The Learning Support Update is about improving the education system for children and students who need additional learning support.

A new way to deliver learning support


Our learning support team helps schools, kura and early childhood services support the wellbeing of children and young people in their learning environments and communities. We want all children and young people to learn, experience a strong sense of belonging, and develop resilience.

Building positive learning environments that promote wellbeing works when the whole learning community, including families and whānau, is involved.

We use evidence-informed approaches to build capability and understanding amongst the people supporting the child or young person. We use resources and initiatives that help:

  • build social and emotional competency and teach understanding, expression and regulation of the learner’s emotions
  • foster a safe and caring school environment that limits bullying and aggressive behaviours
  • grow positive and respectful relationships, and enable effective responses when things go wrong
  • build student engagement and agency
  • affirm the language culture and identity of ākonga Māori
  • help educators and kaiako recognise and understand the strengths and needs of diverse learners
  • provide guidance on best practice for implementing policies, procedures and systems that support social, emotional and mental wellbeing
  • provide specialist services to schools when extra support is needed.

Health,safety and wellbeing

Wellbeing@school(external link)

New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy

The Government has released the New Zealand Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. Its vision is for New Zealand to be the best place in the world for children and young people. Education will play an essential part in supporting the strategy and everyone in education has an important role in promoting and supporting the wellbeing of children and young people.

Wellbeing in education

Inclusive education

Learning support is provided in the context of inclusive education.

Inclusive education

Practical strategies, suggestions and resources are available to support the diverse needs of all learners.

Guides and teaching strategies — TKI website(external link)

Information for school leaders and teachers is available to help support inclusion and deliver an inclusive classroom curriculum.

Inclusive practices and the curriculum — TKI website(external link)

Teaching strategies

The Inclusive Education website has teaching strategies for supporting children and students with learning support needs.

Inclusive Education — TKI website(external link)

Learning support areas

Learning support is available in your local early childhood centre or school. It's provided to support students, educators families and whānau in a range of different ways.

Attendance services

Alternative Education (AE, activity centre, services academies, study support centres, teen parent units) — TKI website(external link)

Behaviour services to help schools and students

Blind and Low Vision Education Network New Zealand (BLENNZ)(external link)

Supporting students with speech, language and communication needs

Supporting children who are deaf or hard of hearing

Early interventions services

In-class support funding

Physical Disability Service

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) — TKI website(external link)

Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour service (RTLB)

Ongoing resourcing scheme (ORS)

Specialist Teacher Outreach Service

School High Health Needs Fund

Te Kahu Tōī, Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS)

More areas of learning support for students are listed in the Schools section of this website:

Students with learning support needs

Programmes for parents and educators

Programmes — Autism New Zealand(external link)

The Incredible Years Parent programme — TKI website(external link)

The Incredible Years Teacher programme — TKI website(external link)

The Incredible Years Autism programme (for parents) — TKI website(external link)

The Incredible Years Helping Children with Autism programme (for teachers) — TKI website(external link)

PB4L School Wide — TKI website(external link)

Requests for learning support

Talk to your early learning service, school or local Ministry of Education Service Manager to discuss learning support options or to make a request for support (referral).

Local Ministry offices

Early childhood and school enrolment

Students can access services in their local early learning service or school.

Find an early learning centre or service — Education Counts website(external link)

Find a school — Education Counts website(external link)

Other school options are also available.

Day special schools

Regional health schools

Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (formerly known as The Correspondence School)(external link)

Home education(external link)


Assistive technology

Boarding allowances

Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

Entering into a section 9 agreement

School High Health Needs Fund (SHHNF)

Specialised School Transport Assistance (SESTA) 

Learning support property modifications funding 

Learning support study awards and scholarships

Guidelines and resources

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Individual education plans (IEP) — TKI website(external link)

Teachers and teacher aides working together(external link) 

National Transition Guidelines

Special Assessment Conditions (SAC)

Physical restraint 

Resources — Down the Back of the Chair(external link)

Wellbeing at school and Inclusive Practices Tool(external link)

Inclusive education

Contact us

Contact your local office for more information or to make a request for support.

Learning support services

Freecall (NZ only): 0800 622 222

Email: learning.supportmailbox@education.govt.nz

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