Learning Support

New Zealand First’s vision for all children in education is for them to receive the support they need, as early as possible, for them to be their personal best. It is a vision based on identifying each child’s strength in the first instance and then resourcing the support they need for their fully rounded success. We acknowledge that success means more than just academic success – soft skills are vital in the society of the future. We know that a flexible model of delivery is required as our children’s needs are diverse. New Zealand First has a strong vision of the future for learning support and we intend to build on the foundation New Zealand First has established over the last three years in the years ahead.


  • Fully fund and implement the second and final tranche of Learning Support Coordinators across the rest of the compulsory sector, then enhance this support into the Early Childhood Education sector
  • Complete the nationwide implementation of the Learning Support Delivery Model and the Learning Needs Register to enhance workforce planning and network support
  • Recalibrate Early Intervention Support so that specialists come to the child rather than the “refer out and wait” current model. Where there are specialist shortages we will pursue a “Specialists Without Regions” policy of sending in teams of specialists one week per month to address children’s needs
  • Complete and roll out the nationwide Universal Screening Tools for the early identification of neurodiverse students with dyslexic, dyscalculic and autism like traits
  • Pursue the concept of a workforce of “health aides” (funded from health) and “teacher aides” (funded from education) to better support both students and teachers 
  • Look  to secure sustainable funding for gifted children and build on the provision of gifted identification and education for Maori and Pacific gifted children
  • Implement and resource the redesign of Alternative Education as developed by the sector in 2019
  • Implement and resource the redesign of the Attendance Service as per the trial in 2020
  • Continue to build on true choice for parents of “differently abled” students through a mix of ORS funding enhancements, learning support units inside local schools and specialist schools
  • Continue the roll out of the Managed Moves model of intervention for younger students with behavioural needs with a goal to have one in every school cluster over time