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Here’s an overview of what is included in the draft Disability and Learning Support Action Plan.

Early assessment and intervention

We want to be able to identify children’s needs more quickly and respond earlier. A set of common tools across health, education and other agencies, in both English and te reo Māori would enable us to identify and assess children’s needs in a more joined up way.

By identifying issues earlier, support is likely to be more effective – we can minimise the impact on learning and reduce the need for more intensive intervention later on.

Find out more about improving assessment for learning needs.

More flexibility

We want to fill the current service delivery gaps so there is a range of responses to meet different levels of needs, including for at-risk children and young people.

We plan to continue implementing the Learning Support Delivery Model so we can enable more local collaboration between providers and services. This will allow us to be more flexible, innovative and provide faster support for a wider range of children and young people.

We also want to build on the Learning Support Delivery Model and establish Learning Support Coordinators based in schools and kura. These coordinators will work with parents and whānau, help identify needs earlier, coordinate classroom support, and help the school or kura to build capability and knowledge amongst teachers. This will give more time for other specialists to focus on where they can have the most impact.

Find out more about being more flexible to strengthen the range of support.

More support for those working with students with additional needs

We want to provide more support to teachers so they can recognise and respond to the needs of gifted and neurodiverse students – such as those with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, autism, ADHD, FASD, Tourette’s and others.

To help them do this, we want to give more information to teachers who are working with gifted and neurodiverse children. We want to look at developing tools teachers can use, and look at how we train teachers to see how else we can build their skills and confidence. We also plan to work with experts to design flexible support for neurodiverse and other students who do not qualify for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme.

By working across government agencies we can also provide more joined up guidance on promoting student wellbeing for schools and early learning services.

Find out more about supporting our workforce and improving how we respond to neurodiverse and gifted learners

Ensuring that learning support has the resources to increase support and services.

We want to make sure resources are used where they can be most effective. This will mean we can meet children and young people’s needs more efficiently and quickly. We can also be more flexible in how we put together a mix of services for children and young people that allows professionals to focus on where they can have the most impact.

We will need to use our current resources to balance what support we can provide for teachers in the classroom, with specialist services for children and young people. If we can focus on identifying issues and providing support earlier, we can make a bigger difference to more children and young people.

Read more about the Disability and Learning Support Action Plan.