School Planning – Supporting Learners with Special Education
Needs/planning & reporting
(Version: October 2012: Ministry of Education)
This resource is for Boards of Trustees to help
them prioritise their aspirations for learners with
special education needs, including setting strategic
goals and aims, and annual targets in their charters
to support the presence, engagement and
achievement of these learners in their school.
Boards can use this resource to:
Support their planning for a fully-inclusive school
Build confidence in providing ethical, inclusive
Meet the community’s expectations for learners
with special education needs
Meet the board’s legal responsibilities.
Setting the Scene
•National Administration Guidelines
•The Planning & Reporting Cycle
•Special Education Context
•Learners With Special Education Needs
•Special Education Needs Register
•Defining Special Needs
National Administration Guidelines
The National Administration Guidelines (NAG1) require all
boards to identify learners with special education needs
and ensure teaching and learning strategies are developed
and implemented to meet those needs.
Each Board, through the principal and staff, is required
(c) on the basis of good quality assessment information,
identify students and groups of students:
•who are not achieving;
•who are at risk of not achieving;
•Who have special needs (including gifted and talented
students); and aspects of the curriculum which require
(d) Develop and implement teaching and learning
strategies to address the needs of students and aspects
of the curriculum identified in (c) above.
Inclusive schools ensure ALL learners, including those
with special education needs, come to school (attend),
enjoy school (engage), participate and achieve.
Inclusive schools provide high-quality education tailored
to suit the individual needs of learners. They are safe,
respectful learning environments.
Boards of inclusive schools lead by example and set high
standards for themselves and their school community.
Trustees work together and with their principals and
staff to understand and use inclusive practices. They are
skilled at developing school cultures of continuous
improvement through ongoing self review.
Boards of inclusive schools are prepared to develop their
confidence and understanding of inclusive schools in
inclusive practices – and show ethical leadership in this
The charter is the board’s key planning document
and the basis for all board activity. It is a document
for the school and its parents’ families and whanau
which reflects the school’s and community’s goals
and aspirations for the learners at the school.
The charter should reflect the Government
priorities as set out in the National Education
Guidelines and the National Administration Guideline
and is the basis of the board’s interaction with the
The Planning and Reporting Cycle
interaction with the Ministry.
Learners with special education needs are a key priority group and should be reflected in a
school’s charter. In this way the school community, including teachers, learners, parents,
d whānau will know:
what the board wants to achieve for learners with special education needs
how the board intends to achieve the outcomes for these learners, e.g., planned actions
what success will look like for learners
how the board will evaluate and assess its progress towards meeting its charter aims
The planning and reporting cycle
The school charter is an important document in a school’s planning and reporting cycle. The
diagram below outlines this cycle and shows how the different parts fit together.
The annual charter update, AoV and NAG2A
(Years 1-8) reporting
To be submitted to the Ministry by 1 March
The annual report
To be submitted to the Ministry by 31 May
It is important that the school
community is involved in the
planning stage to ensure that
the charter reflects their
aspirations for their learners.
Boards of Trustees have overall
responsibility for charter
development. It is the board’s
plan for the year and the board
must sign it off. The board should
ensure that it provides a clear
focus for improvement,
particularly in teaching and
learning for all learners,
particularly the priority groups of
It is the role of Boards of Trustees to
monitor the school’s progress ag ainst th e
school’s charter ai ms and to submit an
Special Education Context
All Boards of Trustees are responsible for helping achieve
the goal of 80% fully inclusive schools by 2014.
Boards are expected to welcome and include all learners in
their schools, irrespective of learners’ needs and abilities.
The Education Review Office also evaluates and reports
on schools’ progress towards full inclusiveness.
Learners with Special Education
Boards of Trustees know that every learner enrolled at
their school is different and comes to school with
different needs, strengths and abilities and different
challenges and sensitivities.
Special Education Needs Register
All Boards of Trustees are responsible for
ensuring their school has a special education
needs register. The board and principal need
to decide who will be on it and identify the
resources the board will use to support each
child or young person on the register.
Describing Special Education Needs
Learners working at or above the curriculum level
for their age
Learners who need teaching adaptations and /or need individualised
support to access the curriculum and achieve at or above the
curriculum level. These learners may use Braille or NZ Sign to access
the curriculum or they may use assistive equipment and need the
classroom adapted to support their learning.They are also likely to have
access to a range of special education services and resources.
Learners struggling to work at their curriculum
level for their age
These learners need effective teaching and accelerated teaching
programmes to access the curriculum and achieve at the curriculum
level for their age. These learners are likely to need short term access
to some special education services and resources.
Learners working at level one of the curriculum for
most (possibly all) of their schooling
These learners are likely to have IEPS or similar plans and work within
level 1 of curriculum throughout their schooling. They are also likely to
have access to ORS or extended RTLB service.
(Were referred to SLS now HLN – High Learning Needs)
Prioritising Special Education in a School
Setting Targets for Special Education
Reporting Back to the Community
Analysis of Variance
Support and Information
What is needed to ensure all
schools in the Cluster are more
Know what the schools aims are
Be supported by SENCO
Including the development of Special Needs
RTLB Liaison to support and collaborate with schools