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Learning support needs proper support

This Government has refused to properly quantify need and has not funded additional learning support adequately, the Green Party said today.

The Government has today announced that 30 more Communities of Learning will be able to access additional learning support services (previously described as special education).

“There are thousands of children throughout New Zealand with extra learning needs, like dyslexia and autism, that will not be helped by today’s announcement,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“Currently there is a capped funding pool where parents have to compete for funding against one another but it is not meeting need.

“Learning support has been chronically underfunded under the National Government, and today’s announcement does not have any extra funding.  

“The National Government has not worked out how many children actually need assistance with learning support, they are only interested in band-aid solutions.

“Only schools that are part of a Community of Learning, a controversial Government strategy, will have access to additional learning support.

“Approximately a third of schools are not joined into a Community of Learning and so won’t be able to access this help.

“I initiated a select committee inquiry into extra learning needs where we heard from hundreds of parents of children who are not getting the support that they need.

“Focusing on individual students sounds good, but actually we need to build inclusive schools that mean every student has a place to learn,” Ms Delahunty said.