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Minister Releases TOR For Special Education Review

Posted on 19 Aug 2009

Associate Minister of Education Heather Roy today released the Terms of Reference for the Government's Review of Special Education. This reflects the Government's expectations and aspirations for Special Education.

"With this in mind we aim to ensure that Special Education policies and processes are fair and consistent, reach those most in need, make the best use of existing Government funding - such as the Ongoing and Reviewable Resourcing Schemes (ORRS) funding - and make the best use of the expertise needed to support children with Special Education needs," Mrs Roy said

"Much has changed since Special Education policy was developed in the 1990s, and the Government is working to ensure that special needs students receive the support they require. To do this, I need to know what is working well and what needs improvement.

"The Review will cover services provided by the Ministry of Education, and what happens in all schools to support children with Special Education needs. It will consist of two phases:

* Phase One - to commence immediately: access to, and allocation of, Special Education funding and services for children with Special Education needs and how to implement the additional $51 million funding allocated in Budget 2009..

* Phase Two - to commence in late 2009: issues relating to workforce; transitions; service development; integration and collaboration between agencies.

"The Government remains committed to the current policy platform that underpins Special Education provision, including: the Education Act 1989; the New Zealand Disability Strategy; and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by New Zealand last year. I intend to consult with the Education sector, parents and the disability community regarding the Review.

"ACT and National in Government are committed to widening choice in education for all students and their families, and dedicated to providing them with the opportunities and tools they need to and fulfil their potential," Mrs Roy said.

ENDS

Music Therapy New Zealand

Music Therapy New Zealand would like to receive information relating to the special education review and to participate as appropriate. We will be requesting an appointment with the Minister to inform her about the service Registered Music Therapists can provide to students who have special education needs, and to determine how we can assist in the review process.
Daphne Rickson, President.

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