Child and youth voice research findings

Thriving at school? Education for disabled learners in schools

AUTHOR: Education Review Office

This 2022 mixed-method study looked at the quality and inclusiveness of education provision for disabled learners in schools. It included survey responses from 355 disabled learners, and feedback from in-depth interviews with disabled learners and their whānau.  The Report explored four key areas:

  1. How well are disabled learners doing?
  2. What is the quality and inclusiveness of education provision (including teaching and learning practice)?
  3. How strong are the system enablers that support more inclusive and higher quality education?
  4. What key actions could lead to improved outcomes for disabled learners

Key findings included:

  • Disabled learners are still experiencing exclusion.
  • Disabled learners are enjoying school, but too many are not progressing sufficiently.
  • A significant proportion of disabled learners do not feel accepted or that they belong.
  • Disabled learners with more complex needs have poorer experiences and outcomes than other disabled learners.
  • Disabled learners in schools serving lower socio-economic communities report better outcomes.
  • Schools with high numbers of Māori students have a stronger culture of inclusion of disabled learners and their whānau.

The Report highlights what areas of education for disabled learners could be strengthened, and includes recommendations.

Read the full report

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