|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
23 July, 2010
Associate Minister of Education Heather Roy today welcomed the release of the Education Review Office (ERO) report \'Including Students with High Needs\', and agreed with its recommendation that professional learning and development in this area be school-wide rather than solely undertaken for individual teachers.
\"Special Education has come a long way in the past 15 years, but the report shows there is still much to do. While half our schools are doing a great job of providing quality education to students with special needs, 20 percent are not. I expect those schools to deal with these issues,\" Mrs Roy said.
\"We must strive for the situation where all students are welcomed at the school their parents want to take them to. This means better training for student teachers, a whole-of-school approach to professional development and quality leadership - from the Board of Trustees and principal down through the teaching staff and including support staff.
\"In order to achieve quality outcomes for all students - including those with high needs - we need to ensure our teachers have quality training, skills and experience, and are supported by a school culture that enables them to teach any student who comes through their classroom door.
\"Quality teaching and leadership also play an important part in providing parents and students with choice - the key to achievement in all fields, including education. Ensuring that all teachers and schools are able and confident to cater for these students means parents will be better able to send their child to a school that best suits individual students\' learning styles and needs.
\"The timing of the recommendations in the ERO evaluation are important, as the findings from the Review of Special Education are due to be presented to the Government next month,\" Mrs Roy said.
For more information on the Government\'s Review of Special Education, visit: www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/Consultation/ReviewOfSpecialEducation.aspx.