A new national register of student learning support need and resourcing was unveiled today by Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin.
"The standardised Learning Support Register fills a really important hole in our knowledge base," Martin said today.
"For the last three years, we have been announcing significant new programmes and levels of support for students with extra learning needs, but the country hasn't ever had a full picture of what this need is.
"When this programme is fully up and running local schools and communities will know what they need for their children, the Ministry of Education will know how this looks at a national level and the Government will have a far better picture of how programmes are working and how students are being supported."
Martin met principals, staff, learning support co-ordinators and students from the Pūtauaki ki Rangitaiki Kāhui Ako, at Tarawera High School in Kawerau.
This was the first cluster of schools to have access to the register.
"This cluster has assisted in developing the register and as they were already using the Te Rito platform, it seems only fitting that it is the first cluster of schools to have access to it," Martin said.
"The [register] has been developed to help clusters of schools to record and better understand the learning support needs of learners, and to make informed decisions and deliver more effective responses to help learners succeed.
"I wanted to meet with the Kāhui Ako today to hear how the register will help them, their schools, kura and early childhood education centres plan for and support the unique needs of children and young people in their community.
"I also wanted to thank them for supporting the delivery of the [register] in this early stage deployment. They are providing invaluable feedback based on their experiences, to help to shape the further deployment of the [register] across the New Zealand."
The Ministry of Education is rolling out the register in stages.
It would work with schools and clusters to ensure that the delivery of the register could be achieved in a timeframe that met the needs of clusters, and fine-tune the support the ministry provided throughout the deployment.
"A number of schools have contacted the ministry asking for access to the register, or for information about how they can start to prepare in advance of the [register] coming to their school. That's encouraging," Martin said.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the innovative ways teachers utilise the [register] to improve the learning outcomes of our young people."
The register is a key component of the Learning Support Delivery Model that provides an accessible, flexible, child-centred and connected approach to learning support and wider social, disability support and health services. It will be used by the 623 new learning support coordinators who started in January this year to connect students and schools with the extra support they need.
The Pūtauaki ki Rangitaiki Kāhui Ako (Community of Learning) was established in 2016 and includes 12 schools and eight early learning services in Kawerau and Edgecumbe.
Edgecumbe College (secondary Y9-15)
Edgecumbe School (full primary)
Kawerau Pūtauaki School (contributing)
Kawerau South (contributing)
Kawerau Teen Parent Unit (TPU)
Matata Primary (full primary)
Murupara Area School (composite Y1-15)
Otakiri School (full primary)
St Joseph's Catholic School Matata (full primary)
Tarawera High School (secondary Y7-15)
Te Kura o Te Teko (full primary)
Te Mahoe School (full primary)
Central Kids Kindergartens – Pūtauaki
Central Kids Kindergartens – Te Akoranga
Kawerau Preschool Learning Centre
Matata Early Learning Centre
Nga Ririki Early Learning Centre
Te Manaaki Educational Preschool
- Supplied copy