Special Education

Special education in New Zealand is available for children with physical and/or intellectual impairments; hearing or vision difficulties; for children who struggle with learning, communicating, or getting along with others; or who have an emotional or behavioural difficulty.

Whenever possible, and if it’s their parents’ preference, children with physical or other impairments are enrolled with other children in ordinary classes (mainstreamed).

Special Education, Ministry of Education provides the specialist advice, guidance and support services not usually available in each school.

A range of support is available to early childhood education services and schools to ensure children and young people access the curriculum and take part in education. For example, all schools receive a grant called the special education grant (SEG) and can access school-based resource teachers called Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB).

Schools can also support students, with high or very high needs, or hearing or vision impairments by working with specialists.

For more information about the range of support available, go to the Students with special education needs section of the Ministry of Education’s website. 

In New Zealand, a Special Education teacher obtains an initial teaching qualification before undertaking postgraduate study in special education which qualifies them to be a Special Education teacher. Special schools occasionally have positions for speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and occupational therapists but applicants must be eligible for professional registration in their specialist fields.

For more information on these jobs, see the Vacancies/Central Agencies section of the Education Gazette or view them online at www.edgazette.govt.nz.

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand