Hands Up!


Under the Education Act (1989),  all children have the right to attend their local school regardless of ability or special needs. This is also supported by the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons.

If when enrolling a child (with special needs of any kind) at your local school and they are unwelcoming or reluctant to enroll your child because of their special needs, then inform the Ministry – 0800 662 222

Schools Must make sure that students have a safe physical and emotional environment. If enrolling your child means changes to the buildings at the school i.e ramps then the Ministry will work with the school to achieve this.

If you have an issue with the way in which your child is being treated within the school/classroom environment and are having no luck with simply talking to the Teacher or Principals, then contact the Ministry and they can organise a Special Education Facilitator to work with you and the school to resolve the issue.

Your child has the right to be attend school fulltime and if the school decides to send your child home because the Teacher Aide is not there or only allow them to attend school for the funded allocation of Teacher Aide Hrs and you have not agreed to this, then inform the Ministry as the School maybe in breach of the Education Act (1989).

For more information:

Ministry of Education: Who can Help….

Ministry of Education: Choices, Rights and Obligations

Ministry of Education: Resolving Problems at School

Education Review Office: Appropriate pieces of legislation

Office for Disability Issues: NZ Disability Strategy

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


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