Category Archives: Schooling

Funding Teacher Aides

Who is responsible for funding teacher aides? The Ministry of Education here in New Zealand, claims they provide adequate funding and support for children with special needs, and so parents shouldn’t be paying for teacher aide hours. The schools say they … Continue reading

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New School; Same Ministry.

It was no easy task finding my children a new school. I researched our options carefully, and chose my local top preference. The visit to that potential new school went worse than I could have imagined – the principal told … Continue reading

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From Fight to Flight; How I lost a school discrimination battle, and almost lost myself

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I’m going to share with you the story of how I lost a battle I never thought someone like me could lose, and how it almost ruined me in the process. It’s hard to share because I’m still living the … Continue reading

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Naming and Shaming Schools that Mistreat the Disabled

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There is a story and radio interview out today about a local school – that goes unnamed – where disabled students are treated awfully and actively discouraged from enrolling. The school is a public school, and for some people in the … Continue reading

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Private Versus Public Schools, for Special Needs: The example of the Mt Hobson Middle School controversy

It was with a sad sense of deja vu that I read a story today on Stuff.co.nz, about the treatment of an autistic child at a high decile private school here in New Zealand. The story is one of miscommunication, … Continue reading

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Disability Representation on School Boards – Update, Progress, and Frustrations.

On the 25th of February 2014 I sent an email to the President of the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA). This is the organisation here in New Zealand that advises and trains trustees, who in turn govern each of … Continue reading

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Should Special Schools Be Shut Down? (Includes Poll)

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Should all special schools – schools that specifically and exclusively cater to children with special needs – be shut down? My personal experiences, and a look at the reality of what the two types of schooling have to offer, once made me … Continue reading

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Shame on Green Bay High School

I have been following the case of Green Bay High School excluding a student who has Aspergers and other special needs, a case that the school lost in the High Court. The school lost that case for very convincing reasons. … Continue reading

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Stand-down, Suspension, Exclusion, Expulsion; what do they mean and what are your rights?

A reader (and friend) recently asked me what rights someone has in New Zealand when they want to challenge a school’s decision about what to do about a student’s behaviour. In particular, she wanted to know about the processes and … Continue reading

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The “S” Word: Attacking and Defending “Special Needs.”

Lately when I use the term “special needs” – whether in my writing or my speech – I’ve been coming up against people who attack my use of the phrase. The arguments I encounter don’t come from a singular line … Continue reading

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