Special needs at school

If your child has additional needs, be they social, emotional, physical or learning related, there is help available, but you have to make your voice heard.

- make an appointment with the school before your child starts, or as soon as they are diagnosed, to talk about the support they need and what the school can offer

- every school has a SENCO. It is the SENCO's job to work with the families of children with additional needs, from reading recovery through to physical disability, to ensure they are getting the most from school. Make sure you know who it is and how to contact them

- an Individual Education Plan, or IEP, is essential for all children with additional needs. Make sure your school designs one for your child, and that you have the chance to review it and make suggestions

- the Resource Teaching Learning Behaviour service, or RTLB, is available to help support children with additional needs. Ask your school to make a referral. The RTLB will work with your child for a period of 10 to 20 weeks to resolve a set of specific concerns

- Ongoing Resourcing Scheme funding, (ORS), is available to students with a serious disability. Ask your school to apply - this funding will stay with successful students for life

- you may be eligible for a carers allowance. This will help you pay for a friend to assist your child on a school trip or other activity if the school needs an adult carer present, and you are unable to go. Contact the Taikura Trust  for more information 

- the Intensive Wraparound Service is for children who display challenges both at school and in other settings, such as the home

For more information about other services and help available, visit the Ministry of Education, or talk to your social worker.