Development of a New Intensive Wrap-around Special Education Service and Consultation on the Future Role of Residential Special Schools

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1 Development of a New Intensive Wrap-around Special Education Service and Consultation on the Future Role of Residential Special Schools a consultation document May, 2012

2 Contents Introduction... 3 Section 1: Developing a new intensive wrap-around service the context... 4 Background... 4 Government approval... 5 Impact of the new intensive wrap-around service... 5 Rationale for change... 5 Section 2: Developing a new intensive wrap-around service the proposed new model... 7 Current service model... 7 New intensive wrap-around service model... 8 Section 3: Appendices... 10

3 Introduction The Ministry of Education (the Ministry) is developing a new intensive wrap-around special education service for students with complex behaviour, social and education needs following the 2010 Review of Special Education. To date, a small group of students with complex behaviour, social and education needs have had the opportunity to spend a maximum of two years living and learning within the country s four Residential Special Schools. Right now, the Ministry is consulting on the future of Residential Special Schools (McKenzie Residential School, Halswell Residential College, Westbridge Residential School, Salisbury School) focusing on their role within the new service. The Ministry wants to hear from Residential Special Schools, their communities and the New Zealand public. The key points for consultation are set out in a separate document called the consultation discussion sheet. Read it, share and discuss the discussion sheet with others and let the Ministry know what you think. Give feedback Have your say by responding (in writing) to the key points set out in the consultation discussion sheet by 5pm, Friday 15 June All feedback will be logged, analysed and considered by a team at the Ministry s national office in Wellington. It will be summarised and published online in a summary report 1 and used to inform the future of Residential Special Schools. Contact us Contact the Ministry with any questions about the topics covered in this document or to get extra copies of this document and the consultation discussion sheet by: visiting the Ministry s website at ing the Ministry at calling The Ministry will seek to remove all personal or identifying information from the online summary report.

4 Section 1: Developing a new intensive wrap-around service the context In this section, you will read about the development of a new intensive wrap-around special education service and how it is likely to affect Residential Special Schools. Background For decades, students with complex behaviour, social and education needs have had the opportunity to live away from home and attend one of the country s four Residential Special Schools 2 for up to two years. Residential Special Schools have played a valuable and important role by providing students (who met the criteria) with the kind of specialist help and support they needed to learn and achieve. Today, approximately 225 staff are employed by four Residential Special Schools to work with and support 116 students 3. Two Residential Special Schools also provide an outreach service 4. Salisbury s service caters for a minimum of 30 students, while Halswell School caters to a maximum of 36 students. Figures from 2010 show the Government invested approximately $84,200 in each student who attended a Residential Special School in the year. This figure contrasts with an annual investment of approximately $7,700 in each student who attends a state and integrated (or non-residential) school or approximately $29,000 for each student who meets the criteria to receive support through an intensive wrap-around service. Intensive wrap-around and outreach service trials Over the past few years, trials of intensive, wrap-around services and outreach services have begun to show promising results. An intensive wrap-around service trialled by the Ministry since 2010, for example, has effectively improved a range of student outcomes from increasing school attendance through to improving student participation and engagement within the classroom. The intensive wrap-around service was initially developed for students with complex behaviour, social and education needs who needed transition and support following the Waimokoia School (formerly a Residential Special School) closure. In addition, Christchurch students who were transitioned home 5 and to their local schools from their Residential Special Schools following the recent earthquakes have reported positively on their experience of outreach services (as have their families). 2 Three Residential Special Schools are located in the South Island (two in Christchurch and one in Nelson), with one in Auckland. 3 Each school has a notional roll. The total number for the four schools is for 223 students. 4 Outreach services are services currently provided from two of the Residential Special Schools to students who live at home and attend their local school. 5 The majority of students who attend Residential Special Schools live in the North Island.

5 Meanwhile, the Ministry s updated Specialist Teacher Outreach Service (formerly the Specialist Education Itinerant Teacher service) and the new outreach services provided by two Residential Special Schools (Halswell and Salisbury Schools) are providing the sector with new ways to: share the expertise, skills and knowledge of special school staff with teachers, schools and communities of regular schools use existing staffing and funding in new ways, achieving better value for money and more efficient use of resources. Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan The Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan and evidence from the Interagency Group on Conduct Disorders has the potential to complement the new intensive wrap-around special education service. The Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan features a range of evidence-based programmes and initiatives for parents, teachers and schools across the country to improve problem behaviour in students and encourage pro-social behaviour. Government approval In 2012, the Minister of Education, Hon. Hekia Parata gave the Ministry approval to develop a new intensive wrap-around service for students with complex behaviour, social and education needs. The Minister agreed to start a consultation process for Residential Special Schools to determine the nature of their role within the new wrap-around service and conclude with the roll-out of a new service at the start of the 2013 school year. Impact of the new intensive wrap-around service It is important to note the new service: is focused on giving all students (receiving a service) the opportunity and support they need to live at home and learn and achieve at their local school provides an opportunity to improve the skills, knowledge and expertise of schools and communities who help and support students with complex behaviour, social and education needs provides an opportunity to use existing funding in new ways, achieving better value for money and more efficient use of resources has the potential to provide for twice as many students than are currently provided for through residential schools may result in the closure of one or more Residential Special Schools at the end of the 2012 school year, with funding reallocated to the new intensive wrap-around service. Rationale for change The Minister s decision to approve the development of a new intensive wrap-around service is underpinned by international evidence 6 and evidence and anecdotal feedback showing 6 Joined Up: A comprehensive model for working with children with complex needs and their families/whanau, Prof. David Mitchell, March 2012.

6 positive student outcomes from trial intensive wrap-around services for students with complex behaviour, social and education needs. It also reflects the Ministry s overall strategic direction, reflected by Success for All, Ka Hikitia and the Pasifika Education Plan. Evidence provided through the Interagency Group on Conduct Disorders.

7 Section 2: Developing a new intensive wrap-around service the proposed new model This section summarises the current service model, outlines the Ministry s proposal for developing a new intensive wrap-around service and reflects on the future of Residential Special Schools. Current service model Here is an overview of the current service model as it looks today. Service description The service is provided by four Residential Special Schools to a small group of students with complex behaviour, social and education needs. Two Residential Special Schools focus on students with complex behaviour needs and two focus on students with disability needs that impact on their wellbeing, school, home and community lives. Students who meet the criteria for the service leave their homes and schools and live and learn within a Residential Special School for a maximum of two years before transitioning back to their homes and local schools. Practice model The current practice model focuses on supporting students to learn and achieve in a Residential Special School in preparation for a return to their home and community. Residential Special Schools support students by working closely with students local schools, families and local communities and by tailoring their teaching approach, using individual education plans. Transitioning students to and from Residential Special Schools is one of the primary challenges of the existing practice model. Another challenge is in generally sustaining any gains made by the student, while in the residential schools, once they return home. Funding and staffing Funding and staffing is allocated to a student s Residential Special School based on a notional roll 7. Residential Special Schools use the money to employ additional staff and to cover costs associated with running the schools. 7 A notional roll is used in lieu of an actual roll when the actual roll is too variable to be used to calculate resourcing entitlements. It is based on the expected average number of enrolment for a specified period.

8 Workforce A range of staff work in Residential Special Schools, these include teachers, teacher s aides, support staff and residential social workers. Role of Residential Special Schools In this model, Residential Special Schools are service providers and employers and provide a physical residence where students live and learn. They also foster and develop the knowledge, skills and expertise related to supporting students with complex behaviour, social and education needs. New intensive wrap-around service model Here is an overview of the proposed new intensive wrap-around service model. The proposed new service reflects what the research has shown to be effective. It will be developed further over time in response to ongoing evaluation as well as people s views and experience of the service. Service description The new intensive wrap-around service is for the same group of students 8 with complex behaviour, social and education needs who currently meet the criteria for attending a Residential Special School. The service is likely to be provided by a single, national provider. It gives students access to the service for the duration of time set out in individual education plans (probably a maximum of three years). Students are referred to the service through a regional committee of Ministry and school representatives. The committee is responsible for looking at and making referrals based on the needs and past support requirements of students. In this model, students live at home and have their complex behaviour, social and education needs met by specialist services through the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan with funding to implement the plan in the students school, home and local community. As a result, there is no need to transition students back home or back into their school communities. In this model, a range of other agencies play a key role in the service. Their involvement is initiated by a student s lead worker and focuses on developing the expertise, skills and knowledge of a student s school and community, as well as providing support to students families. 8 It is anticipated more students will get access to the proposed new service, as funding and resources are used more efficiently and as the expertise, skills and knowledge of local schools and their communities improves over time.

9 Practice model This model focuses on aligning practice with the latest evidence on inclusive education and best practice programmes. It gives students access to the service for up to three years depending on the timeframe set out in individual education plans. It aims to share expertise, skills and knowledge among students local schools and the communities in which they live and build on the range of community support they may access through other agencies. Funding and staffing Funding is reallocated from Residential Special Schools to a national fund that will support programmes locally for a student with the Ministry providing (and funding) some specialist support. In this model, lead workers are responsible for assessing the support requirements of students, schools and families within a local area and setting up funding agreements that allocate funding to students local schools. This includes funding other specialist services locally that are relevant to the needs of the student. Lead workers make sure intensive wrap-around service funding is used to support a student s individual education plan. They are specialists whose role is to ensure an effective plan is developed for the student. Workforce A wide range of staff continue to work with and support students with complex behaviour, social and education needs. The intensive wraparound service builds on the work of others already involved with the student. They include a psychologist (usually a student s lead worker) and specialist support staff such as specialist teachers and teacher s aides. Specialist support staff are identified according to a student s individual needs, as well as those of the local school. In this model, staff travel to eligible students in their homes and schools. They work closely with specialists and staff from other agencies. Role of Residential Special Schools In this model, Residential Special Schools are no longer service providers or employers. They no longer provide a physical residence where students live and learn. Their role changes, which may result in the closure of one or more Residential Special Schools. The future role of Residential Special Schools is the key focus of the consultation discussion sheet.

10 Section 3: Appendices Glossary Education Review Office Also called ERO. The Government agency responsible for reporting on public schools. Inclusive education system An inclusive education system has schools that enable all children and young people to successfully enrol, participate and achieve in the academic, extra-curricular and social life of their school. Intensive wrap-around service A service model giving students with complex behaviour, social and education needs access to a range of support that means they can live at home and learn and achieve within their local schools. Ka Hikitia Managing for Success Ministry of Education strategy that seeks a shift in education system performance for and with Māori students, their families, whānau and iwi. Lead worker A trained and qualified specialist who takes a lead role in coordinating all the people responsible for supporting a student with complex behaviour, social and education needs. The lead worker will have the ability to forge strong links with other agencies, have good professional practice as well as funding management capability. Often a psychologist. Māori medium Education settings such as kura kaupapa Māori where te reo Māori is the primary language of teaching and learning. Model of practice An effective, nationally-consistent, evidence-based way of working. Official Information Act Law governing the request and receipt of information held by government officials and bodies. Outreach services Outreach services are services traditionally provided within Residential Special Schools to students who live at home and attend their local school. Pasifika Education Plan Ministry of Education plan for improving the education system for Pasifika students. Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan features a range of evidence-based programmes and initiatives for parents, teachers and schools across the country to improve problem behaviour in students and encourage pro-social behaviour.

11 Psychologist A trained and qualified specialist who works with students with complex behaviour, social and education needs. Often a student s lead worker. Residential Special Schools Schools that students with complex behaviour, social and education needs attend for a maximum of two years. Review of Special Education 2010 A year-long Government review of special education that sought feedback on a range of issues and has resulted in Success for All. 2,000 public submissions were received. Success for All Every School, Every Child (Success for All) Success for All is the Government s four-year commitment to achieve a fully-inclusive education system by References Index for Inclusion: developing learning and participation in schools. Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow. Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE), 3 rd ed., May Ka Hikitia Managing for Success: The Māori Education Strategy ( ). Ministry of Education, Pasifika Education Plan Ministry of Education, Positive Behaviour for Learning Action Plan. Ministry of Education, Quality Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES). Adrienne Alton-Lee. Ministry of Education. June, The Child the Heart of the Matter, Including Students with High Needs. Education Review Office (ERO). June, The Interagency Plan on Conduct Disorder,

12 Special education framework The Ministry s special education framework lists the range of support available from the education system (eg, Regional Health/Hospital Schools). It also describes the students (eg, students with moderate to high level needs, representing 4% of school-aged children) each initiative, programme or fund intends to support. For more information about the framework and the support listed in the triangle below, refer to the Ministry s website: Development of a New Intensive Wrap-around Special Education Service and the Future Role of Residential Special Schools a consultation document Published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand, May ISBN (print) ISBN (online).

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