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Greens’ special needs education plans will benefit children

Greens’ special needs education plans will benefit children

9 September 2014

The Green Party’s plans to provide more support for children with special needs targets education investment to where its needed, says NZEI Te Riu Roa National President Judith Nowotarski.

She said special needs education is shockingly underfunded and as a result many children are missing out on a successful education.

“Parents, teachers, principals and school support staff will welcome the doubling of funding for children with high needs.

“Around 30,000 children (three percent) have high special education needs but funding is rationed to just one percent. That means that 20,000 children miss out on the funding.

“On top of that there are another further 40,000-60,000 learners with moderate special education needs.

“The plan to identify children with special needs before they reach school age is a big step forward. Early intervention is key to ensuring children get help before they reach school and become further disadvantaged."

Ms Nowotarski said that it is interesting to note that the Greens’ policy, costing $345-million over three years is less than the current government plans to spend on pay increases to implement its controversial new management structure within schools.

“Primary teachers and principals have almost unanimously rejected National’s plans because they know that funding that directly addresses the needs of children would have a far bigger impact on students’ learning and their lives.”

Ms Nowotarski also welcomed the proposal to undertake a much-needed comprehensive review of the design, delivery and funding of special needs education.

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