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New Zealand's education system must provide every young New Zealander with the opportunities they need to reach their potential - that's the law.

The Education Act 1989 REQUIRES school boards to enrol students in their schools irrespective of the students' needs or abilities. Schools MUST identify students with special education needs. They are REQUIRED to develop teaching and learning strategies to meet their needs.

It's that simple.

The Government’s Inclusive Education agenda is all about ensuring that the education system works for all students. The school board's role is to monitor their school's progress towards achieving these goals. The principal is required to report regularly on what is happening in the area of inclusive education and what results are being achieved.

Students should, as a result of their rights being met, feel confident, feel like they belong, enjoy school, want to go to school, have friends, have a say in what goes on for them, feel challenged at school, and feel proud of the things they have learned and achieved.

Your child has these rights – your child has the right to be dyslexic. Because the education system does not always recognise and respond automatically to this right, dyslexic students will require strong advocacy by parents and others who wish to see them succeed and reach their potential.

It’s not rocket science!

Need a document that spells this all out? Click here to download "Building Inclusive Schools".

Under New Zealand and International law, equality of educational opportunity means that a school must identify and remove barriers to achievement.

Parents, as well as teachers, often assume that they can’t do what they truly believe is in the best interests of the student. Parents can advocate, and teachers can act.

Working as a partnership is critical – Parent | Student | Teacher

Where it is in the students' educational best interest;

Students have the right NOT to:
- be tested
- be timed
- be humiliated because of their difference
- read aloud in class
- show what they know [assessment] only through written work
- do homework
- present their writing to the class

Students HAVE the right to:
- be dyslexic
- participate in decision-making
- make mistakes
- the necessary amount of time to process the information / situation
- be respected and valued for their strengths
- classroom adjustments that allow greater access to learning
- special Assessment Conditions to level the playing field, like extra time,
  a reader, a writer, use of a computer, or a quiet space
- to be listened to, and their needs met and supported
- explicit teaching
- access the curriculum in ways that best suit their learning profile
- an Individual Education Programme [IEP]
- question

Teachers and schools HAVE permission to:
- identify students who learn differently and take all necessary action to support & allow participation
- meet with and talk openly to students, parents and caregivers
- make changes to the way the classroom environment is set up
- make changes to the way that they present lessons
- allow alternatives to writing, like mind maps and audio / video recordings, to be used as forms of learning evidence and participation
- give extra time or remove time as a barrier
- let their students give them feedback
- teach part of the curriculum well, rather than the whole curriculum poorly
- seek more funds from the Ministry to allow students’ rights to be met

There are simply no barriers to making the necessary changes other than a willingness
to do so – attitude is everything!




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