Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Minister: Ruru school to stay open

14 April 2005
Media Statement

Minister: Ruru school to stay open

Ruru Special School and Waihopai School Park Unit in Invercargill will remain open as a result of a review into special education in Southland, Associate Education Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

However the report, which focuses on special education provision for the approximately 150 students with high and very high needs who attend schools across Southland, calls for the development of a more collaborative and complementary approach to services.

"There are a number of key recommendations within the report, which I have accepted either in full or in part, that will assist in achieving improved outcomes for children and young people with special education needs and their families in Southland schools," said Mr Benson-Pope.

The key recommendations include:
- That the Ministry of Education's Group Special Education (GSE) takes the responsibility for the service coordination of specialist services and therapies as the one provider for Southland.

- That the future role of Ruru Special School should evolve and develop within the network of schools and specialist provision in Southland. In particular, it is recommended that Ruru Special School should be supported by other schools to develop Ruru as a provider of specialist teaching across Invercargill schools.

- That Ruru Special School continue as a base site for some children and young people who meet the newly agreed national criterion for special school enrolments.

- That Ruru Special School’s satellite classes in regular schools should remain as an option so long as there are sufficient enrolments and where classrooms are available.

- Students who are currently enrolled at Ruru Special School and who don’t meet the newly agreed national criterion for special school enrolment will have their current enrolments “grandparented” with their enrolment reviewed at natural transition points in their schooling.

- That a small and well focussed Implementation Advisory Group be set up by the Ministry of Education's Group Special Education, to advise and support the Ministry, Ruru and Waihopai schools and other schools to implement the recommendations of the report.

- That the Southland District accesses the new funding made available by the government in 2004 for the development of special education and resource networks. This funding will support the consolidation of the .1/.2 specialist teacher resource allocated to students who are verified under the Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing Scheme (ORRS) and the cost of funding the itineration of specialist teachers when aggregation of the .1/.2 ORRS teacher support is achieved.

- That there is the continued provision of units in regular schools for some children and young people with high and very high needs (e.g. the Waihopai School Park Unit and secondary school units).

"I acknowledge that these recommendations may present new ways of thinking and working for all those involved closely in special education and the education sector in general in Southland," said Mr Benson-Pope.

"However, I am convinced that the sincere commitment to developing welcoming schools, improved educational outcomes and the positive participation in schooling for all children in Southland will provide the motivation for all those involved to work positively together.

“This report and recommendations provides exciting opportunities for schools, specialist providers and in particular children and young people with special education needs and their families.”

“I want to acknowledge the involvement of the many people across Southland who attended meetings last year to provide their views on what should be achieved for children and young people with special education needs in Southland schools.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election