More evidence that disabled children aren’t getting a fair deal at school

9 February 2016

Media release

IHC welcomes the survey conducted by NZEI TE Riu Roa of Special Education Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) that shows a lack of adequate support for disabled students at school.

NZEI’s survey of Special Education Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) in schools, has revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning.

Trish Grant, IHC Director of Advocacy says, “The information in this survey provides us with another piece in the puzzle, creating an overall picture demonstrating the urgent need for a total transformation of the policy and funding framework for the education of disabled students.

“The results of the NZEI survey mirror IHC’s survey – both provide clear evidence that there’s not enough funding to meet the need and not enough resourcing of teachers who play a critical role in ensuring that disabled students access education on the same basis as their non-disabled peers.

“Clearly the Ministry of Education’s approach of increasing some specific funding priorities is not fixing the problems, rather is adding to the difficulties experienced by teachers, schools and students. Both the NZEI and IHC surveys clearly point to the need for transparency on government funding priorities”.

“IHC calls for an “open the books” exercise. The MOE will be just as concerned as IHC is about the lack of effectiveness of the substantial investments made so far,” says Trish Grant.


To contact Trish Grant please call:

Polly Atkins  – 021 174 1715 or