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Visits Ranui Primary School's Special Needs Unit

Visits Ranui Primary School's Special Needs Unit

"Why is National so keen to shut the Special Needs Unit at Ranui Primary School" asked MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, "when all reports tell me that the kids need the help, the families are really involved in the classes, and the staff are dedicated high quality people that you just can't get anywhere else?"

Last Thursday Harawira met parents and staff who were fighting to keep the Unit open, "but it seems National is determined to shut it down by cutting funding for the RTLB (Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour) staff.

“Ranui has two RTLB's looking after 18 students (half are Maori) all of whom have a range of learning and behavioural difficulties which make it impossible for them to fit into mainstream schools.

“Parents spoke of the physical, mental and behavioural problems their children had faced and talked about how "soul destroying" it had been to see their children ostracised and forced out of other schools.

"Our children aren't different, they just do things differently" was a common theme. "Ranui helped turn our kids and our families lives around."

"Shutting Ranui will force these kids back into the same mainstream system that had failed them in the first place" said Harawira. "The parents and staff have asked for my help, so I will be taking their case up with the Minister of Education."

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