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Special education: Supplementary learning support

Supplementary learning support in special education

The number of students with special education needs receiving additional specialist teacher and support time is to increase from 550 to 1000 per year from 2005, Associate Education Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"The government is committing $18.306 million in funding over the next four years to support this initiative. By providing the students with dedicated specialist teacher time and extra specialist support, the teachers will be able to develop and provide a meaningful learning programme," Marian Hobbs said.

While funded for 550 students, referrals during 2004 indicated that up to 1,000 would qualify for the specialist support.

"By increasing the number of students covered we are continuing to address the longstanding issue of students who are not adequately supported through existing initiatives," Marian Hobbs said.

These students require a high level of support to learn, but do not qualify for the Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing Schemes (ORRS). While the students are eligible for other special education support, that is often inadequate to meet their learning needs.

Ministry of Education specialists and Resource Teachers Learning and Behaviour identify the eligible students and work together with other providers, teachers and parents to ensure a high quality learning programme for the students.

"The new initiative will supplement existing special education support, with the students generally continuing to access the specialist support they were already receiving," Marian Hobbs said.

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