Learning support 

The Ministry of Education provides learning support for children and students. Learning support refers to the additional support some children and young people need to engage and achieve in education. Children and students can apply for learning support from the Ministry of Education if they:

  • have Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • have vision impairments
  • have speech and language communication needs
  • need adaptive technology 
  • have very high needs because of their disability
  • or can't attend schools because they are unwell.

You can talk to the school's deputy principal who typically looks after special learning needs of students or talk to your local Ministry of Education office to find out more about learning support. You can also visit the Ministry of Education website for more information. 


Special schools for children with high needs

Specialist schools support high needs students, either in day schools or residential schools across New Zealand. There are 13 specialist schools in Auckland. 

Day specialist schools can provide specialist teaching and specialist services to your child if they have high needs. As well as a base school, many specialist schools have satellite classes on site at regular schools, where your child can receive specialist teaching and have the opportunity to integrate in a regular school environment.

Residential specialist schools can support your child if they are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, have low vision, or have severe behaviour needs, or have educational, social, emotional needs. 

Visit the Ministry of Education website for more information about applying to these schools. 


Inclusive education

Find out about inclusive education in New Zealand schools, including your school's legal obligations. 


Education legal issues

Families have often voiced questions regarding disability in the education sector. Disability Connect runs regular seminars for parents/carers who need information on:

  • special education
  • school rules and discipline
  • discussion on whether their legal and reasonable 
  • section 37 and section 47 appeals, stand downs and many more will be covered in this seminar.
  • a list of relevant resources. 



Early learners with learning support needs

Students with learning support needs

Choosing an ECE, school or kura for your child

Leaving secondary school (transition)