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QPEC welcomes wider access to Special Assistance support

QPEC welcomes announcement of wider access to Special Assistance support

QPEC welcomes the recent announcement that hundreds more students will get extra help for NCEA assessments to meet their special learning needs.

“This is a significant development for those students whose parents cannot afford to pay for the specialist assessments required at present to access the funding available through NZQA,” said QPEC Chairperson Bill Courtney.

“QPEC advocates for a more equitable public education system. Removing barriers to students accessing assistance, which will enable them to better achieve to their true potential, is an important move.”

The Special Assessment Conditions funding had previously been available only after parents had paid for specialists’ assessments of their children’s learning requirements.

Technological developments to assist learning and assessment should ensure more opportunities for learning for students with difficulties. The trialling of special headphones model is one such development, but there are others.

More work could also be done on other areas of assistance where there are other special needs affecting exam performance (physical or potentially some mental health needs).

We urge the Ministry of Education to also explore facilitative technologies to ensure cheap, reliable, consistent learning options available to all schools through the internet.

However, QPEC also wants to see an assurance that schools are compensated for any additional costs incurred by them in assessing eligibility for accessing this funding and that sufficient trained staff are available to carry out whatever assessments are required.

ENDS

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