New research shows the Government is ripping off children with special needs, who are being denied access to the education they need because specialist teachers are not being adequately funded, the Green Party said.
The NZEI TE Riu Roa survey of Special Education Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) in schools shows 90 percent believe children with special needs are not getting the support they need to learn.
“Every child has the right to an education, at their local school, that meets their individual needs and allows them to fulfil their potential,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.
“The NZEI survey is the latest proof that kids with special needs are being ignored and ripped off by the National Government.
“Government achievement targets are meaningless if kids are being denied the support they need to succeed.
“Concerns over kids missing out on their education led me to initiate a Select Committee inquiry into learning support available for children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in our education system.
“The inquiry has heard appalling stories from all around the country about students who are struggling, and parents struggling to support their children to get the education that is their right.
“My inquiry will make wide ranging recommendations about how to meet children’s needs.
“In the meantime, what’s needed is a major increase in funding for special education.
“The Government says it is budgeting for more to be spent on special needs education, but in the last two years $32 million of special education funding went unspent.
“SENCO roles are important, and should be full time.
“At a minimum, the Government should double the number of children who receive the Ongoing Resource Scheme (ORS) and vastly improve access to pre-school services to identify kids with special needs before they start school,” Ms Delahunty said.