Learning Support Gets Bold Boost
The seven building blocks announced today to support a new model for learning support is warmly welcomed by the New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF).
"NZPF has been advocating for years for an equitable, responsive, quality learning support service for our highest needs students," said Cherie Taylor-Patel, President of NZPF.
"Special education services have been in chaos for decades. It is heartening that finally we have an approach that is practical, based on reality and makes sense," she said.
"The mixed model approach creating partnership between student, whanau and school is exactly the right approach for our students with highest needs," she said.
A new funding model is promised but it will be of no use unless it funds dedicated Learning Support Coordinators or SENCOs for every school and funds specialist psychologists physiotherapists and speech language therapists for all regions. This means a rethink of the training options currently offered teachers and trainee teachers.
"We have a shortage of these experts and need to consider those teachers and trainee teachers who have a special interest in learning support, and provide them with training opportunities so that we can have the necessary experts available in our schools," said Taylor-Patel.