The way our education system treats children with high learning needs requires an urgent overhaul, the Green Party said today.
It’s been revealed that another special school, Sara Cohen School in Dunedin, is being investigated for the alleged mistreatment of its pupils.
“Special schools, which are for our most high-need children, should have professionally trained and experienced staff, and the funding to match. Unfortunately, once again, this has proven not to be the case,” said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“Mistreating students with high learning needs is widespread across multiple schools. It’s clear that systemic change is needed.
“Hekia Parata needs to tell the public exactly how many schools are under investigation for mistreating high-needs students, and where these investigations are up to.
“If a school is specifically set up to cater to students with special needs, then you would expect a higher standard of care for the kids.
“The Education Select Committee inquiry into learning needs for children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum, initiated by the Green Party, found large holes with the current system.
“One of my main findings from the inquiry was for the need for mandatory training for all teachers on how to teach children with high learning needs. All teachers need to know what inclusion means in practice as well as how to support kids with diverse and complex learning needs.
“The way we treat kids with high learning needs in our education system is overdue for an urgent overhaul,” Ms Delahunty said.