Criterion 7 for ORS: High physical needs

Learn about ORS Criterion 7. The students that meet this criterion have high needs for help with mobility, positioning and personal care. Students need specialist one-to-one intervention on average once per month and/or specialist monitoring on average once per school term together with daily learning support provided by others.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


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

This guidance provides assistance for schools and parents/caregivers/whānau wishing to apply for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme to support a child with high or very high ongoing needs. To be eligible for ORS funding, a child must meet one or more of the ORS criteria.

A description of ORS Criterion 7 physical needs

This criterion is for students who have a severe physical disability and are unable to stand and walk without support. They're often able to move themselves independently at floor level, for example, by crawling. They usually have poor hand control and can't independently dress, eat, hold a cup or maintain their stability when sitting on the toilet.

These students need considerable personal support for mobility, positioning, changing direction in their wheelchairs or walkers and for meeting personal care needs. Most of these students have manual or power wheelchairs, walkers and specialised seating equipment. They're likely to require considerable help to get in and out of their equipment and to manoeuvre their wheelchairs or walkers.

They require a high level of continuing intervention and monitoring from specialists, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists or conductors. Specialist involvement is critical for the development of physical skills and to maintain physical wellbeing, so the students have access to the curriculum. They may also require specialist support from a speech-language therapist because of eating and communication needs.

In addition, a student with a deteriorating condition, such as Muscular Dystrophy, who's having frequent falls and difficulty with steps or slopes and is using a wheelchair for distances, will meet the criterion.

A brief profile: At 4 years 9 months, Rosie meets Criterion 7

Rosie has low tone in her trunk and high tone in her limbs. She can roll on the floor and commando crawl slowly in an asymmetrical pattern. Rosie can maintain her balance for short periods when sitting on the mat.

Rosie can stand up from the floor with full support and maintain her balance when standing at a ladder. Rosie is able to push the ladder forward for a few steps with an adult lifting and placing her legs in position. Rosie requires assistance to transfer to and from her wheelchair. She can propel her wheelchair for short distances on flat ground.

Rosie indicates her toileting needs but requires assistance with undressing, positioning on the toilet and for hygiene. She can finger feed cut-up sandwiches and is able to drink from a single-handled mug.

Rosie has age-appropriate cognitive and communication skills and, although her speech is unclear, her peers can understand her. Rosie holds a felt pen in a fist grip using her whole hand. With physical guidance, she's able to copy basic shapes and attempts to copy her name. Her early intervention team at kindergarten has a computer on trial to assess her need for assistive equipment.

Students may meet other criteria instead

Students who need physical support may meet other criteria instead. Check to see which you should apply under.

Criterion Applies to students who:
Criterion 3 Are considered to have a very high level of need for help with physical support, requiring more intervention
Criterion 9.4  Have moderate to high physical difficulties with gross and fine motor skills, together with moderate to high learning needs and 1 other area of need at a moderate to high level

Apply for ORS

Find out how to Apply for ORS and download our application forms.

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