Special Education 2000

Wyatt Creech Education

Special Education 2000

Special Education 2000 was
first announced in last year's Budget to help provide resourcing for students
who have special education needs. The aim of the policy is to develop a fair
system to ensure appropriate students receive support wherever they may be and
according to their level of need. Its scope and complexity means it needs to be
implemented gradually over three years.

Phase 1 was introduced at the beginning of this year with the
first instalment of the Special Education Grant. A total of $55 million was
allocated over three years for students with moderate learning and/or behaviour
related special education needs.

Phase 2 was announced in this year's Budget and concentrates
mainly on students with high special education needs. It also contains a review
of the Special Education Grant. Over the past three months the Ministry of
Education has been gathering information to determine which students fit into
the ongoing high and very high needs groups. In addition there are components
for students with severe behaviour difficulties and for students with
speech-language difficulties.

The implementation of Special Education 2000 is going to be
challenging. We want to ensure that there is no disruption to children with
special education needs. The Government has decided to implement the scheme as
allocation decisions are made. This is a change to the original proposal. It
will enable officials to collect further information and ensure that resources
are allocated as effectively as possible. The funding set aside in the 1997
Budget remains intact.

Special Education 2000 has five components:

1. Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

This scheme will provide ongoing guaranteed resources for students with high
and very high special education needs which are expected to continue throughout
their school years. This is for students with intellectual, physical and sensory
special needs. It is being introduced at the beginning of the 1998 school year.
New funding of $17 million will be provided to support these students in 1998.
There are two ways these funds can be managed.

A school or cluster of schools which has 20 or more students, can apply to be
accredited to hold the funds and purchase the services for those students. Where
a school or cluster has fewer than 20 students, they can opt to fundhold for
those students provided they gain the approval of the Ministry to undertake that
task. In all other cases Specialist Education Services (SES) will act as

Applications for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme are made through teachers and
parents submitting an application to an independent panel of verifiers that
defines whether individual students are eligible for the scheme.

For 1998, there will be no change to specialist support, therapy or
specialist teachers. The only change will be in teacher aide hours. These will
be allocated on a formula base to either the Specialist Education Services or
the school that holds the funds. The school, parent and fundholder working
together through the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process will determine how
the funding will be used.

The aims of this scheme are to provide:

  • Guaranteed and predictable resourcing for students with ongoing high and
    very high needs
  • A national framework for ensuring that eligible students throughout New
    Zealand across different settings receive similar resourcing
  • Better learning outcomes.

2. Severe Behaviour Difficulties

    A prototype programme for students with severe behaviour difficulties will
    be established in the Waikato in 1998. Other prototypes trying different
    mechanisms in different areas will be commenced as they are developed. The
    Waikato prototype includes:
    • Resource Teachers: Behaviour and Learning, to provide in-class and in-school
      support for teachers of students with behaviour difficulties and/or learning
    • Behaviour Specialist Support Services that will provide intensive in-school
      and off-site programmes for students with severe behaviour difficulties.

    In 1998 new funds will be allocated for establishing the prototype
    programmes that test the new mechanisms. The funding will include providing
    training for Resource Teachers: Behaviour and Learning, and Behaviour Specialist
    Support Service staff. Similar levels of funding will be allocated for Resource
    Teacher training in other regions.

    This initiative will help schools:

    • Work with students with learning and behaviour difficulties in the classroom
    • Involve parents/caregivers in managing students with behaviour difficulties
    • Manage crisis situations relating to individual students
    • Significantly reduce the inappropriate behaviour of the targeted students
      and enable them to achieve sound learning outcomes in the long-term
    • Co-ordinate support across non-education government and non-government
    • Develop strategies to reduce the number of students with severe behaviour

    Students not eligible for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme
    but who have severe behaviour difficulties will benefit from transition funding
    for the 1998 school year. This funding will reduce in subsequent years as the
    behaviour initiative is implemented in areas outside the prototype regions. For
    those schools outside the prototypes, there will be a discretionary pool of
    funding for students with behaviour difficulties.

3. Speech-Language Difficulties

    An additional $3.48 million will be provided to assist students with
    speech-language difficulties, especially those in the early school years where
    this assistance is likely to have the greatest benefit. This initiative will
    enable students to communicate more effectively and improve their literacy and
    numeracy skills. The new funding will be used to: provide an increase in
    speech-language therapy on average per student; professional development for
    teachers and support and guidance for students with moderate speech-language

4. Special Education Grant

    In 1997 schools received $13 million to help students with moderate special
    education needs in areas such as learning and behaviour.

    This grant has been increased to $29 million for the 1998 school year.
    Additional transitional funding will also be provided to relevant schools as the
    current Special Education Discretionary Assistance (SEDA) is replaced by
    Special Education 2000

    The Special Education Grant will be allocated for 1998 according to the
    following table.

    Special Education Grant (SEG) Funding Rates

    Decile Ranking $ Per Student
    Funding Rate

    5. Early Childhood

    The Government plans to increase the current level of funding for children
    with special education needs in the early childhood sector. This will enable
    these students to receive co-ordinated specialist teaching, other specialist
    services including speech-language therapy, and paraprofessional support.
    Further details are expected to be announced before the end of 1997.

    This programme is to enable:

    • Improved access to early childhood services for children with special education needs
    • A variety of programmes to provide parents with choice
    • A solid foundation for learning during the school years, providing greater long-term benefits.

Professional Development and Training

Special Education 2000 is about the Government, the Ministry of
Education, school boards of trustees, principals, teachers and parents working
together to meet students' special education needs. Professional development and
training will be provided to boards of trustees, principals and teachers in
schools along with supporting information, particularly for parents.
Professional development is critical because it will enable schools to take
greater responsibility for all their students with special education needs.

Accountability, Monitoring and Evaluation

Special Education 2000 is a very large, complex education programme
and the Government is committed to ensuring its success. Clear accountability,
monitoring and evaluation will be achieved through:

  • Evaluation reports from the Education Review Office
  • Accountability procedures with Specialist Education Services and alternative fundholders
  • Independent research of the implementation of Special Education 2000.


An additional $325,000 has been allocated for providing students with equipment where it is needed to improve learning opportunities. This is to cater for:

  • Increasing numbers of students who require access to special equipment
  • Increasing costs of more technologically advanced and specialist equipment for students with disabilities
  • The need to provide for training on the use of equipment.
Stage 1
May to July 1997
Stage 2
November 1997
Stage 3
January 1998
  • Trial run of process for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme
  • Information meetings on Phase 2
  • Budget announcement of funding
  • Announcement of the results of the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme trial
  • Decisions about initiatives for assisting young children and students with
    special education needs for 1998
  • Start of Implementation
  • Ongoing information gathering
  • Monitoring and evaluation
For further information please contact:

Special Education 2000 Information Line: 0800 622 222 (during office hours)

Ministry of Education Management Centres
In Auckland, Hamilton, Wanganui, Lower Hutt, Christchurch and Dunedin

Project Manager, Special Education
Ministry of Education
Box 1666, Wellington
Telephone: (04) 471 6184
Fax: (04) 471