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The Ministry of Education has announced that they are conducting a review of Special Education in New Zealand.  2ears2hear had requested this in our letter to the Minister of Education on the 23rd March 2015.

The review details are sketchy as we have only heard of the review via an NZEI notice. There is currently no information on the Ministry’s own website outlining how the review will take place.

From the NZEI notice the review will be completed by May 2015. This is incredibly quick. It does raise concerns about the genuineness of the review. However it is important to take any opportunity to communicate to the Ministry the needs of children with cochlear implants.

The NZEI notice says:

The MoE has advised that the Update aims to:

  1. Ensure achievement is the focus of  support for children and young people with special education needs
  2. Simplify funding and access to services
  3. Ensure parents, schools, ECE providers and other key parties are integral to decision-making
  4. Ensure end-to-end management of each child’s education pathway
  5. Make it easy for everyone to play their part in supporting the child’s progress and achievement
  6. Improve information about how the education system is working for children and young people with special education needs.

Four areas have been idenfied by the MoE for improvement:

  1. Improve early identification of the need for additional support and early response.
  2. Place parents and education providers at the centre of making decisions and coordinating additional support the child requires.
  3. Provide a single point of contact, for as long as it’s needed for everyone involved in the child’s education.
  4. Provide a managed education pathway that supports the child to achieve – from assessment of need through to completion of their education.

The MoE wants to engage with stakeholders during April and May to inform the design of future improvements to the Special Education system that will be presented to cabinet in July.

The second area identified for improvement is of particular interest to 2ears2hear.

2ears2hear have a long standing position regarding the provision of special education services for children with cochlear implants. We assert that parents are central to setting the aspirations, goals and direction of the support their child receives. Parents should decide this and resourcing should follow the decisions of parents. Empowered and resourced parents are the single most important input to the success of their children.

2ears2hear would encourage parents of children with cochlear implants to contribute to the review. Currently it is unclear how to do this. It seems the easiest way is to email your region’s Director of Education:

Director of Education for Tai Tokerau: Hira Gage
Email enquiries.whangarei@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (09) 436 8900 | Fax (09) 436 8901

Director of Education for Auckland: Kevin Emery
Email enquiries.auckland@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (09) 632 9400 | Fax (09) 632 9401

Director of Education for Waikato: Paula Rawiri
Email enquiries.hamilton@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (07) 850 8880 | Fax (07) 850 8998

Director of Education for Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupo: Ezra Shuster
Email enquiries.rotorua@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (07) 349 7399 | Fax (07) 349 7398

Director of Education for Hawkes Bay, Gisborne: Marilyn Scott
Email enquiries.napier@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (06) 833 6730 | Fax (06) 833 6731

Director of Education for Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu: Jann Marshall
Email enquiries.whanganui@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (06) 349 6300 | Fax (06) 349 6301

Director of Education for Wellington: Pauline Cleaver
Email enquiries.lowerhutt@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (04) 463 8699 | Fax (04) 463 8698 / (04) 463 8697 (Network Division)

Director of Education for Nelson, Marlborough, West coast: Erika Ross
Email enquiries.nelson@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (03) 546 3470 | Fax (03) 539 1501

Director of Education for Canterbury: Coralanne Child
Email enquiries.christchurch@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (03) 378 7300
Fax (03) 378 7308

Director of Education for Otago, Southland: Julie Anderson
Email enquiries.dunedin@minedu.govt.nz
Phone (03) 471 5200 | Fax (03) 471 5201

We will provide more information when it is available.

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