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The Action Plan sets out the first steps towards improving learning support to ensure that every child and young person who needs it will get the right support at the right time.

Our goal is to build a more inclusive education system, where all children and young people with additional learning needs, including disabilities, are welcome. Where their achievement, progress, wellbeing and participation is valued and supported.

The draft Action Plan aims to build on current work, such as the Learning Support Delivery Model and the Ministry of Health-led Disability System Transformation.

The outcomes and actions in the draft Action Plan have been developed in response to feedback from parents and whānau, and the disability and education sectors. It has been informed by the 2015 Learning Support Update and the Select Committee inquiry into the identification and support for students with the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism spectrum disorders in primary and secondary schools.

Over the next few years, there are four main areas we want to focus on, with a range of actions we want to phase in. Actions will need to be achieved within available funding, and sequenced and phased in over time. Decisions on funding will need to be made before any new actions are implemented.

We need to balance providing support in the classroom and increasing specialist services within available resources. Focusing on assessing and targeting support earlier means we can be more effective and make a bigger difference to more children and young people. We will work to ensure that services and supports are responsive to the cultural needs of children and their whānau.

The Action Plan will also connect with other Education Work Programme priorities such as the Tomorrow’s Schools Review, NCEA Review, Early Learning Strategy, Māori and Pacific education strategies, and the cross-government Child Wellbeing Strategy.