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Special Education Review Terms Of Reference

In my capacity as Associate Minister of Education, I 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 these expectations and aspirations 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.

Our current Special Education policy was developed in the 1990s, and a lot has changed since then. The Government is now working to ensure that special needs students receive the support they need – but to do this, I first need to know what's 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.

As part of the Review process, 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.

Terms of Reference for the Special education Review, and FAQs, can be viewed on the Education page of the 'Policy' section of my website: http://www.roy.org.nz/education.

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