Schools need backing to support children

Schools need resources and support to get the best out of children with learning differences and disabilities rather than be told not to bother, the Green Party says.

Green Party Education Spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty was responding to Secondary Principals Association President Tom Parsons who claimed children were being misdiagnosed and students who were simply quirky were being wrongly labelled.

“The New Zealand education system has come a long way from the dark old days when children who needed help were told off for being naughty or bad and left to fall behind,” Mrs Delahunty said.

“For the association president to have such negative views about supporting kids with learning is disappointing. He should talk to the mums and dads of some of these ‘quirky’ kids who just want them to have the same opportunity to learn as others.

“What schools need is proper resourcing, good training for teachers and a systematic approach for schools to identify and support children with learning differences and disabilities.

“No child should miss out on reaching their full potential because it’s harder to teach them, teachers need resources so that every kiwi kid has the same chance to learn and thrive.

Ms Delahunty will be seeking a Parliamentary inquiry into resourcing for teaching children with dyslexia at the Education Select Committee on Wednesday.

“Rather than pretend there isn’t a problem let’s look at what needs to be done and do it,” Mrs Delahunty said.