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New Zealand's Investment in Special Education

Discuss about the International Education Policy.

New Zealand has invested more than $500 million per year for special education (education.govt.nz, 2016). The ministry of education has ensured the fact that special children have equal rights in order to maintain their education system like a normal child. Physical disabilities and barriers can never be the serious hindrance in maintaining higher education. Therefore, the ministry of education (New Zealand) has decided to provide 40,000 to 60,000 physically disable learners in order to continue their education from special schools per year. As per the education act of 1989, every child has the equal right to for further education. Special children are not exceptional to that. It has been observed that society intends to keep the special children aloof from the rhythmic flow of social affairs. Those sorts of children cannot participate in any kind of social ceremony due to their physical disability. Therefore, a huge communication gap is created between the children and the society. Most of the schools tend to show their reluctance in order to take admission to those children who are disable physically.

As per the current review held in the year 2010, another turning point has been rendered for the special children of New Zealand. The primary purpose of bringing special education is as follows:

  • To enhance the inclusive practices in various schools of New Zealand
  • To create the craze on the mind of special children for maintaining further education in order to be a backbone of the society
  • To convince those parents for encouraging their children for being educated

New Zealand education ministry has decided to make special children education compulsory. In the normal institutions, those special children have to face innumerable difficulties for maintaining their education process properly (Ballard, 1990). The teachers have to put extra effort for dealing with these kinds of special children. Therefore, the education ministry of New Zealand has decided to open some of the new schools for those special children. The primary mission of the teachers would be rendering those children in the main wave of education. The teacher should not make those students understand that they are special to some extent (Fortune, 2013). Special children include physically disable, sensory, cognitive, psychological and behavioral issues. In many cases, it has been noticed that these kinds of children do not get appreciation from their near and dears. As a result, they start to think themselves worthless and unsuitable for the society.

Recently, the education administration of New Zealand has rendered a massive change in their education system by implementing some of the innovative teaching models for the special children (Selvaraj, 2015). As per social and cultural beliefs, New Zealand government has decided to provide equal opportunities and respect to the people of every culture and background. Individual education plan believes that the education minster should focus on every individual child in order to make the children literate. People who are suffering from any disability should get the opportunity to maintain their further education.

Importance of Special Education

Some of the major important reasons of providing special educational platform to those disable students are as follows:

  • Delay in development
  • Delay in learning
  • Disability
  • Behavioral challenges
  • Communication difficulties


Special children need a homely atmosphere for maintaining their learning process effectively. Teachers have to put extra efforts in order to develop the mental growth and feasibility (Cook & Odom, 2013). Therefore, most of the educational institutions intend to avoid those special children for taking admission in their institutions with normal children. Having faced this, the New Zealand government has decided to provide special educational centers for those students based on which those children can develop their mental skill and ability. As already discussed, development delay is the ultimate cause of delayed learning (Davis, 2014). “If your child has some special education needs, it is important to know what support is available to you through the ministry of education’s special education team and how to get that support”, this particular article is highlighted on behalf of (education.govt.nz, 2016).

Due to the physical disability, the special children have to suffer immensely in order to adjust themselves with the changing forms of learning process. Consequently, teachers have to tolerate their abusive behaviors for sometimes. In order to deal with these kinds of children teachers should never lose their patients. As a result, communication barriers occur between the children and the teachers (Hornby, 2012). However, in order to overcome this kind of situation, the education ministry has decided to appoint those teachers in the special children education school who are well trained to deal with these kinds of children. The primary mission of those teachers would be maintaining an effective communication with those children, be it verbal or non-verbal. If one particular child has to face difficulties in order to make a verbal interaction with the teachers, the teachers should co-operate this specific child by making a non-verbal communication with them. Communication can be conducted either though expression or through writer (Joshi & Aaron, 2013). Conveying the message to the receiver should be the first priority of the students.

Individual Education Plan has been considered as compulsory for learning programs that is set by the New Zealand government.  They have taken a major initiative regarding individual education plan. The volunteers have decided to convince the parents of those children for making their child educated (McMenamin, 2014). At the very first stage, parents should be convinced about the value of education for those special children. In comparison to the overall population, very small group of students are disable either physically or psychologically.

Individual Education Plan

The initiative of IEP helps to guide both the teachers and the parents on how to deal with an individual child who is accepted as special from the society. As per the instruction of IEP, the teachers should apply different teaching models and approaches in order to make them more understandable approachable (McMenamin, 2011). Interactive approach is one of the most effective approaches based on which the teachers tend to interact with the students effectively. Only lecture method is not suitable for communicating with the special students. Interactive method helps the teachers for making a direct feedback from the children.


Interactive approach helps to understand the needs and desires of the students. If the teachers get a positive feedback from the students, the purpose of using interactive approaches is successful (Rizvi & Lingard, 2009). In case, if the result comes as just the opposite the communication process between sender and the receiver becomes failed. Individual Education Plan of New Zealand has decided to use interactive approaches at the time of teaching those special children in order to reach the mind those students successfully. The parents are advised to follow the same procedure.   

In order to promote special education in New Zealand, the role of education ministry is immense. The primary strategies and policies that the ministry of education has taken into consideration are as follows:

  • Raising funds for the for supporting the special education children
  • Establishing as well as implementing new policies and strategies
  • Enhancing the number of workforces in the special education centers
  • Analyzing data on how to monitor and evaluate the special children at the time of interaction
  • Keeping a direct contact with the parents of those children in order to take an immediate feedback from them


New Zealand ministry intends to support the special learners either by providing sufficient resources to the institutions or by providing the services directly to the learners. Resources include necessary teaching kids to the teachers, providing money to the students for purchasing the relevant materials for continuing their studies and so on. Raising fund is not the only solution for implementing special education in New Zealand effectively (Mitchell & Brown, 2013). In addition, some of the major strategies and policies should also be taken into consideration. Among the strategies and policies New Zealand Individual Education Plan, New Zealand Curriculum are most prominent.

More than two third of special education learning has been delivered directly to the students of special education centers. With the help of implementing those above mentioned strategies and policies, Newzealand government has rendered a success in convincing the parents of those special children. In earlier, the parents showed their reluctance in order to educate their children as well as to represent their children in front of the society. After the initiatives taken on behalf of the New Zealand government, the parents tend to show their courage and interest to educate their children and to motivate their children for leading a normal lifestyle.

It has been observed that professional teachers do not tend to show their interest for involving themselves in the special educational centers due to several reasons. Teachers have to put additional efforts for dealing with this kind of special children. Therefore, government has taken an initiative in this regard. The professionals who would be associated with special education centers would get more facilities and benefits more than the normal institutions. In addition, necessary data and information would be collected in order to know how many special children got motivated after taking these initiatives. 

Reference List:

Ballard, K. D. (1990). Special education in New Zealand: Disability, politics and empowerment. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education,37(2), 109-124.‏ 

Fortune, K. (2013). The impact of policy and legislation on Maori children with special needs in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Support for Learning, 28(1), 41-46.‏ 

Selvaraj, J. (2015). Inclusive education in New Zealand: policies, politics and contradictions. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(1), 86-101.‏ 

Cook, B. G., & Odom, S. L. (2013). Evidence-based practices and implementation science in special education. Exceptional Children, 79(2), 135-144.

Davis, N. (2014, March). Equitable evaluation of teacher preparation to develop culturally sensitive adaptive expertise in collaboration with 21st century networked schools in New Zealand. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2014, No. 1, pp. 1394-1397).

Education.govt.nz, (2016). Retrieved 16 September 2016, from https://education.govt.nz, 2016

Hornby, G. (2012). Inclusive Education for Children with Special Education Needs: A Critique of Policy and Practice in New Zealand. Journal of International and Comparative Education, 1(1).

Joshi, R. M., & Aaron, P. G. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of orthography and literacy. Routledge.

McMenamin, T. (2014). Neither confirmed nor denied: special school provision in New Zealand's Special Education 2000 policy. British Journal of Special Education, 41(1), 25-41.‏ 

McMenamin, T. (2011). The tenacity of special schools in an inclusive policy environment: The New Zealand situation 1996–2010. Support for learning,26(3), 97-102.‏ 

Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2009). Globalizing education policy. Routledge.‏ 

Mitchell, D. R., & Brown, R. I. (2013). Early intervention studies for young children with special needs. Springer.

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