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Funding cap for children with extra needs unacceptable

Funding cap for children with extra learning needs unacceptable - NZEI

21 November 2016

NZEI Te Riu Roa is backing calls for the Government to lift the unfair cap on funding for children with extra learning needs.

The Education and Science Committee has reported on its inquiry into the identification and support for children with learning challenges including dyslexia, dispraxia and autism spectrum.

"Every child should have the right to an education in New Zealand. The idea that education for children with special needs should be rationed is unacceptable," said NZEI president Louise Green.

"Imagine telling parents that there's only guaranteed funding for the education of children with blue eyes, and other chidlren will have to compete for the resources they need. This is the situation faced by children with needs like autism, who have to compete with other children for funding for their education.

"At the heart of the problem faced by families trying to get critical special learning support for their children, is the lack of funding.

"NZEI members congratulate the committee for recommending each school over a certain size be funded to employ a Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

SENCOs are trained teachers who work to recognise and support children who need extra help.

"We support most of the recommendations in the report, however we share the serious concerns of the Labour, Green and NZ First members of the committee that there were other recommendations made - such as a lifting of the funding cap -which could have been made," Ms Green said.

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