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(New Zealand) 20% of students "have a disability"; 600 more aides are needed by 2020

Nov 4, 2018, Newshub: 600 learning support coordinators in schools by 2020 - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern [Kiwi (/kiːwiː/) is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand.]

Approximately 600 learning support staff will be employed in schools by 2020, in a move the Government is labelling as a "game-changer for students, parents and teachers". Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement at the Labour Party's annual conference in Dunedin on Sunday. Ms Ardern said learning support coordinators will work alongside teachers and parents to provide individualised support and "free up teachers so all children get more quality classroom time". Associate Minister for Education Tracey Martin said it's "designed to allow schools as much time as possible to prepare for the new role". … The Prime Minister's office confirmed to Newshub every school should have access to at least one of the new coordinators. Ms Ardern said learning support in schools has been neglected for the last decade, and since one-in-five Kiwi children have a disability or other learning or behavioural need, support is necessary. "The Coalition Government has listened to the parents and students who've asked for more support, and teachers who have been calling for this new fully-funded role." … While chief executive of Austism New Zealand Dane Dougan said the 600 coordinators were a step in the right direction, he believes more than double that amount is needed. He would also like to see autism training integrated into teacher training, as one in every 59 child is now diagnosed with autism. … Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said on Sunday that the 600 coordinators would assist teachers who are "stretch beyond capacity trying to teach curriculum whilst juggling the diverse and complex needs of students". …

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