Category Archives: Schooling

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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What Rachel Smalley, and the public, doesn’t understand about mainstreaming special needs children.

Today a reader of my blog asked if I’d read a recent article written by Rachel Smalley, up on the Newstalk ZB website. The reader was not happy about what she read there, and having read it myself I also … Continue reading

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Disability Representation on School Boards of Trustees.

Here in New Zealand, legislation and the New Zealand School Trustees Association, (“NZSTA”) both encourage school boards of trustees to be representative of their community. Specifically, they advise that when a school board is seeking to co-opt or appoint new … Continue reading

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Why mainstreaming my son is exhausting me.

My eight year-old son has completed his first year of mainstream education at the local school, after having being in a Special School for his first two years. There are so many good and bad aspects of mainstreaming him, in … Continue reading

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Protecting the Privacy of Special Students (a case study of a fight won).

The summary of the story I’m about to tell you, goes like this: You will no longer find the National Standards data for Special Schools on either the Ministry of Education or Fairfax’s websites, because of a successful argument that … Continue reading

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Understanding and Reacting to “Non-Compliance:” A Letter to Teachers.

The following is a letter I have just written that I shall be giving to my son’s teaching team next week. He has attended a mainstream school since the start of this year, prior to that he spent two years … Continue reading

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Report on Inclusive Schools, and what to look for in a school.

The Education Review Office (ERO) has now published a follow-up report on the inclusiveness of mainstream schools in New Zealand. The original study back in 2010 did not return good outcomes about how inclusive our schools are, with only 50% … Continue reading

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Low Decile Paradise?

Private, public, mainstream, special, high decile, low decile: Between my son’s and my own education, I’ve seen all these types of schools in action. I attended a private school, then high decile public schools. My son attended a mid-decile Special … Continue reading

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