Last updated 17 September 2021
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.
Find out about inclusive education in New Zealand schools, including your school's legal obligations.
Awhi Ngā Mātua
This Facebook group is for parents of kids with disabilities or high health needs.
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.
Kia Manawaroa is the Ministry of Education's pānui/newsletter for whānau Māori with children in the education system, and includes information about COVID-19 changes.
Supporting parents during difficult times
SKIP continue to release new information and resources to support whānau and caregivers – particularly those caring for tamariki under five. Follow SKIP on Facebook and visit the SKIP website to see the latest articles, videos and tips for whānau.
All SKIP resources are free to order online. You can also order free packs of Tiny Adventures activity cards to share some quick, fun activity ideas for whānau with tamariki at home. Each pack contains over 80 cards to alleviate boredom.
The Parenting Resource
The Parenting Resource website is designed for use by workers supporting families with young children.
The resource includes parenting and child development information covering pregnancy through to five years of age.