School children and students with learning support needs

The government gives all schools and kura a Special Education Grant to support students with learning support needs.

Each school can decide how they use the grant. For example, they may use it to employ teacher’s aides or specialist teachers.

Schools and kura can also use this grant to support children who are not receiving any other funding.

Learning support services schools can apply for

If your child needs a specialist assessment or extra support, your school or kura can help you apply for learning support services. 

  • These services are government funded and free.
  • Your child will need to meet the Ministry’s criteria for each service.
  • Some services may not be available in your area. 

The type of support they can apply for includes:

infographic showing types of funding available for schools.

Speech and language support

Speech-language therapy for children aged 5 to 8 years who find it hard to talk, listen and understand language.

Communication Service (external website)

If you have a child with Down syndrome, you can apply for funding for speech and language therapy from UpsideDowns Education Trust.

Apply to the UpsideDowns Education Trust (external website)

Behaviour and learning support

Incredible Years Parenting Programme

For parents of children aged 3 to 8 years old with behaviour problems. 

Incredible Years Parenting Programme (external website)

Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour

For students in years 1 to 10 with learning and behaviour difficulties. 

Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) (external website)

Behaviour Services and Support

For students in years 1 to 10 with extreme and ongoing behaviour difficulties. 

Behaviour Services and Support (external website)

Residential schools

For children with severe behavioural and learning needs or high educational, social and emotional needs. 

Residential special schools (external website)

Disability support

Assistive technology

Specialised equipment and technology for students with extra learning needs to help them take part in activities and learn. 

Assistive technology (external website)

Physical Disability Service

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy to help children with physical disabilities to join in and learn at school. 

Physical Disability Service (external website)

Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

Teacher’s aide, specialist and funding support for children with extreme or severe difficulty with learning, speaking, communicating socially, hearing, seeing or moving about. 

Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) (external website)

Day Special Schools

Specialist teaching for students in Years 1 to 13 who have high needs and are in a regular school. 

Day Special Schools (external website)

Vision and hearing support

Resource Teachers: Vision

Specialist teachers for children or students who are blind or have low vision. 

Resource Teachers: Vision (external website)

Resource Teachers: Deaf

Specialist teachers for children or students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Resource Teachers: Deaf (external website)

Residential Special Schools

For students who are blind or have low vision; or students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Residential special schools (external website)

Sickness support

Regional Health Schools

Teachers for children, at home or in hospital, who are too sick to go to school. 

Regional health schools (external website)

School High Health Needs Fund

Teacher's aide support for children with a serious medical condition and who need help to attend school or kura safely. 

School High Health Needs Fund (SHHNF) (external website)

  More information

Visit the Ministry of Education website to find out about:

Services for students with learning support needs

Learning support — practical information for parents and carers (external website)

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