Your child might need extra help to learn because of a physical disability, a sensory (hearing or eyesight) impairment, an illness, an emotional problem, a learning disability or other difficulty. Or your child may be gifted and need support to reach their full potential.

The Ministry of Education calls these learning support needs and you may be able to get support or funding to enable your child to access education.

Image showing pencils on school note paper.

If you think your child has learning support needs

The Ministry of Education has a website for parents and carers of children with learning support needs.

Find out about:

  • Where to begin if you think your child has learning support needs.
  • The team that will support your child.
  • Support and services available.
  • Individual Plans (IPs) and Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
  • Groups that can support you.
  • Special Education Transport Assistance.
  • How you can help your child who is dyslexic.
  • Support for gifted and talented students.

Go to Learning Support (external website)

Contact Learning Support Services

You can also phone the learning support information line on 0800 622 222, or contact your local Learning Support Services office.

Contact Learning Support (external website)

Support for children with injury-related learning needs

Both ACC and the Ministry of Education provide support for children with special education needs as a result of an injury. ACC recommends you talk to your child’s support coordinator for more information. Or find out more on ACC’s website.

Go to Education support from ACC (external website)

Distance learning courses for students with special education needs

Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (formerly The Correspondence School) has a special education programme. It teaches early childhood students, primary and secondary school students and adults who:

  • Have special education needs or medical conditions, or
  • Meet the gifted and talented criteria for enrolment.

Te Kura uses online and multimedia learning.

Find out more on Te Kura’s website.

Te Kura's special education programme (external website)

Is my child eligible to enrol at Te Kura?

Go to Who can enrol at Te Kura (external website)

Home educated children with special education needs

If you are home-schooling a child with special education needs you may be able to get some support from the Ministry of Education.  Find out more on the Ministry’s website.

Go to Home education - for Parents (external website)

 More information

Your child’s rights to a high quality education

You might be interested in reading about the Ministry of Education’s special education approach. The Ministry of Education is working with other agencies and organisations to modernise how learning support is delivered and this page outlines Ministry’s next steps to modernise a fully inclusive education system that puts the progress and achievement of all children and young people at its very heart.

Go to Learning Support Update (external website)

Education in New Zealand

Read more about how New Zealand’s education system works. This page also has a small section on special education.

Go to Education in New Zealand (external website)

 Search Firstport

Find education related support groups or organisations on Firstport.

Find support groups in your area