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Positive report on special education schooling


Education Minister Hekia Parata has welcomed a new ERO report showing schools have become significantly more inclusive towards children with special educational needs.

“ERO’s report Inclusive practices for students with special needs in schools, released today, shows a sea change is underway. Schools have become much more welcoming places for children with special educational needs. Schools can be proud of the progress they have made,” says Ms Parata.

Key findings are:

  • 78% schools in 2014 were found to be mostly inclusive, up from 50% in the previous ERO report on inclusiveness in 2010
  • 21% of schools in 2014 were found to have only some inclusive practices, down from 30% 
  • 1% of schools had few inclusive practices, down from 20% 

“Students with special education needs are a priority for this government. In 2010 we set an aspirational target of 100 percent of schools being either mostly inclusive, or having some inclusive practices. This report shows we are just about there, with 99 percent of schools having at least some inclusive practices.

“ERO reports that almost all schools it surveyed are positive and confident about being fully inclusive. And most schools have good systems and practices to support students with special education needs. The report has some great examples of effective practice in schools and ERO tells me that there was no shortage of these examples compared to what was available for the earlier report.

“We know there is still more work to do. There are schools that are absolute exemplars for their colleagues. I look forward to the day when all schools are confident that they offer the best.

“The next step is for schools to improve the use of achievement data to focus on outcomes for students.

“Also, some schools still struggle at times to include a child, and need extra support and expertise. If parents find a school isn’t welcoming towards their child with special educational needs they should get in touch with the Ministry of Education. Where there are difficulties, the Ministry works with schools, parents and others to resolve these issues,” says Ms Parata. 

The report is available at

Hekia Parata

5 MARCH, 2015 2012