Criteria and definitions for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

We provide definitions and examples of students who may meet the eligibility criteria to assist with applications.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther

Inform

  • Educators, Teachers and Kaiako
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • All Early Learning Services
  • Learning Support Coordinators and SENCOs
  • Learning Support Specialist Staff
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Boards
  • Non-Government Agencies
  • Disability Sector

Students must meet the below criteria for high or very high needs, in order to be eligible for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme. 

Meeting the criteria

To meet ORS criteria, students must have:

  • ongoing extreme or severe difficulty with one or more of the five areas of need, or 
  • ongoing moderate to high difficulty with learning, combined with two other areas of need at a moderate to high level.

ORS criteria overview table

The following table shows which criterion apply to each area and need level. Use the links in the table to find detailed information about each criteria.

Need area

Need level

Very High

High

Learning

Criterion 1

Criterion 5

Hearing

Criterion 2.1 and 2.2

Criterion 6.1

Vision

Criterion 2.3

Criterion 6.2

Physical

Criterion 3

Criterion 7

Language use and appropriate social communication

Criterion 4

Criterion 8

Need area

Learning plus two areas of moderate needs from below:

Combined Moderate Needs Criteria 9

Sub-criterion 9.1

 plus two areas of moderate needs from below:

Hearing

Sub-criterion 9.2

Vision

Sub-criterion 9.3

Physical

Sub-criterion 9.4

Language use and appropriate social communication

Sub-criterion 9.5

ORS criteria with examples

Each criterion page includes a description of the needs covered under this criterion and a fictional profile of a child who may demonstrate these needs.

The Criterion 5 and Criterion 8 pages also have profiles that describe older students who are in ORS and continue to meet those criteria.

Criterion 1-4 – very high needs

ORS This criterion is for students who need:
Criterion 1
Total adaptation of all curriculum content because they have extremely delayed cognitive development
Criterion 2
Significant specialist assistance to engage in all face-to-face communications because they have a severe sensory (hearing and vision) impairment
Criterion 3
Very high levels of specialist support because they have an extremely severe physical disability
Criterion 4
Very high levels of specialist support because they have an extremely severe disorder of both language use and social communication

Criterion 5-8 – high needs

ORS This criterion is for students who need:
Criterion 5
Significant adaptation of almost all curriculum content in order to learn because they have a severe delay in cognitive development
Criterion 6
High levels of specialist teaching because they have a severe hearing or vision impairment
Criterion 7
High levels of specialist support because they have a severe physical disability
Criterion 8
High levels of specialist support for needs arising from a severe disorder of both language use and social communication

Criterion 9 – combined moderate needs

ORS This criterion is for students who need:
Criterion 9
Moderate to high levels of support for their learning needs in combination with 2 other areas at a moderate to high level. The 3 areas of need combined to reduce a student's ability to access learning. Note that Criterion 9 involves needs at a moderate to high level

Definitions of high and very high needs for ORS

The areas of need are:

  • learning
  • hearing
  • vision
  • mobility
  • language use
  • social communication.

Very high needs

A student is considered to have very high needs - if the student needs
  • teaching and learning programmes completely adapted to meet their needs (this is for students who have extremely delayed cognitive development), or
  • specialist help to communicate with other people face-to-face — this is for students who rely totally on signing or Braille for reading and writing or help from a trained person after receiving a cochlear implant, or
  • weekly help from a specialist and/or monthly monitoring by a specialist, and daily support from a teacher aide to help with mobility and positioning or personal care (this is for students who have an extremely severe physical disability), or
  • weekly help from a specialist, or monthly monitoring by a specialist with daily support by others to help with a severe disorder of language use and social communication (for example, for students who have profound autism).
Examples of very high needs - a student
  • has extremely delayed cognitive development and at age 5 their developmental level is similar to that of an infant around 12 months old — for example, they’re learning to wave bye-bye, to take turns at making sounds, to respond to their name, to imitate a simple action, to smile at a familiar person.
  • relies totally on sign language for all communication.
  • relies totally on the help of a trained person to learn how to use the sounds they hear to communicate after having a cochlear implant.
  • relies totally on Braille for reading and writing.
  • has extreme physical disabilities and may be extremely fragile. The student has difficulties with eating, speaking and swallowing, and on their own are unable to move, change position, sit, eat, dress, grasp or release or manipulate objects.
  • has communication and social behaviours that are extremely unusual and inappropriate. They have extreme difficulties with social interaction, communication and imagination, and have rigid, repetitive behaviours that appear to be meaningless to others. The combination and intensity of these characteristics vary but are apparent all of the time.

High needs

A student is considered to have high needs

The description of high needs is similar to that of very high needs, except a student will have less extreme difficulties and will need less support. A student is considered to have high needs if they need:

  • teaching and learning programmes significantly adapted to meet their needs, and additional specialist teacher time of at least half a day a week, or
  • a teacher with specialist skills in deaf education for at least half a day a week to support access to the curriculum, or
  • a teacher with specialist skills in vision education for at least half a day a week to support access to the curriculum, or
  • monthly help from a specialist, and/or monitoring by a specialist once a term together with daily support to help with mobility and positioning or personal care, or
  • monthly help from a specialist, and/or monitoring by a specialist once a term together with daily support to help with a severe disorder when using language and social communication
  • their teaching and learning programmes significantly adapted and they have 2 other needs that require specialist help — such as a moderate hearing or vision or physical impairment, or moderate difficulty when using language and regular help communicating in socially appropriate ways.

Examples of high needs - a student

  • has severe cognitive delay and difficulties with almost all of the key competencies and learning areas in the New Zealand Curriculum. They require specialised teaching strategies to make progress in their learning.
  • has a severe (71—90 decibels) or profound (greater than 91 decibels) bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss and uses hearing aids and/or a cochlear implant full time, usually uses an FM system and uses spoken language as their main form of communication, which might be supplemented by the use of sign language and gestures.
  • has severe vision impairment (acuity of 6/36 or worse after best possible correction) and needs regular help from a teacher with specialist skills in vision education.
  • has a severe physical disability and is unable to stand and walk without support and has poor hand control. They cannot independently dress, eat, hold a cup or remain stable when sitting on the toilet. It’s likely the student uses a manual or power chair, walker and specialised seating and needs a lot of help to get in and out of their equipment. A student might have a deteriorating condition, such as muscular dystrophy, and frequently falls, has difficulty with steps or slopes and uses a wheelchair to move longer distances.
  • finds it difficult to join in almost all learning and social activities, usually distances themselves from social situations and seems to be mostly unaware of people around them, often has trouble understanding people’s facial expressions and body language and gets severely distressed by change. It’s likely the student will have a diagnosis of autism or another similar diagnosis.

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