Moderation process for teacher aide funding

The Ministry of Education: Learning Support is a fund holder for students in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) and the School High Health Needs Fund (SHHNF). Learn about the Ministry-led moderation process for teacher aide funding for students in these schemes.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Learning Support Staff

Moderation is Ministry-led, though schools may need to take actions to cooperate with the process.

When moderation happens

The teacher aide moderation process happens in Terms 3 and 4. This process decides funding for students in ORS and SHNNF for the following year.

School High Health Needs Fund reviews

SHHNF has the dual purpose of providing care and support so that the student can safely attend school, as well as developing plans and strategies to help the student gain skills in the self-management of their health. As a student grows older and develops more skills, the hours will reduce as less support is needed.

We regularly review the support for students in the SHHNF. We will alter this support when a completed Individual Care Plan shows a change in the level of support that is needed.

What happens in moderation

The process is a regional one.

  • All existing allocations of teacher aide funding and all new funding requests are carefully considered.
  • The moderation team (which includes schools and learning support staff) checks to see if students with similar needs across a region have similar levels of resourcing based on the information that’s available.
  • They then decide what funding each student will receive in the coming year.
  • A reference group of representatives of school staff, families and whānau is usually consulted as well.

Schools, families and whānau may apply for a review of the resource allocation at any time during the school year.

Request a review of teacher aide funding for a student

When to complete a rating scale for teacher aide resource

The rating scale helps us to consider a student’s need for support during the moderation process.

Schools need to complete a rating scale for teacher aide resource when:

  • a student is first verified and then again:

by year 3
by year 6
by year 8 
by year 10 (optional)

  • a student receives more hours than the national average for other students with similar needs 
  • there is an agreed request to review teacher aide hours 
  • there is a significant change in a verified student’s circumstances — for example, their verification level changes; they transfer between schools; or they move from primary to intermediate school, intermediate to secondary school, or from secondary school to work experience.

How to complete a new rating scale

Please talk to the student’s family and whānau, and us if you want to complete a new rating scale for a student. You’ll need to arrange a meeting in Term 3 for this.

Using an existing rating scale

If you don’t wish to complete a new rating scale, we’ll automatically use the current one in the moderation process. However, if moderation identifies a need to adjust a student’s hours, you may need to provide us with some updated information.

When an interim rating scale is used

Ministry staff will complete an interim rating scale if an early intervention team knows the student. They’ll discuss an initial teacher aide funding allocation with you and the student’s family and whānau. After that, we’ll meet with you and the student’s family to review the allocation.

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