Tag Archives: Inclusion

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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Guest Post on the Deeper Meaning of Exclusion

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Today I am honoured to share a guest post by a friend and fellow mother of a child with a disability. Antonia is mother to three children, including Max who has Down syndrome. Antonia’s experience of rejection in non-inclusive school … 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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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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How inclusive do NZ schools think they are? Looking at a 2012 ERO progress report

Back in 2010, the ERO (the New Zealand Government’s Education Review Office) released a Report that found only half of New Zealand schools demonstrated “mostly inclusive practices for students with high needs.” Subsequently, the Government came up with a policy … Continue reading

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NZ National Standards and Special Needs (with a particular focus on Autism)

One of the hot topics in education over the past few years, is that of National Standards; introduced into New Zealand schools as of 2010. Or, at least, it was meant to be introduced in 2010; many schools continue to … Continue reading

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“NurtureShock”: Book review from the perspective of a parent of an autistic child

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As a general rule I now steer clear of “normal” parenting books. I read a few before the birth of my first son, but they quickly became irrelevant in the face of his challenges. Indeed, not just irrelevant, but also … Continue reading

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Reflection on his first term at a special needs school

At the end of my son’s first term of school, I am now in a position to reflect on whether we made the right decision to send him to a special needs school, instead of a mainstream one. I’ve also … Continue reading

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A Right to the Wrong Education?

I am told that my son has not only the right to a free education, but the right to an inclusive education: I am told that I may – and should – insist that he be educated within the mainstream … Continue reading

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