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(New Zealand) Increase in students with "highest learning needs"; teachers to vote on natl strike

Aug 7, 2018, Scoop: More education professionals to vote on striking Learning Support specialists employed directly by the Ministry of Education have today begun a secret online vote over whether to strike for a day on Tuesday 21 August. Specialists including psychologists, speech language therapists, early intervention teachers, and other professionals provide specialist, itinerant support to the increasing number of children with the highest learning needs in schools and ECE centres. … “There aren’t enough specialists for the children who need the support, and those of us in the job are pushed to our limits with extreme workloads. We need more front-line specialists so all children get the support they need without delay, and we have to ensure specialist staff are paid enough to both recruit and retain their skills for our children.” Numbers of children with high needs are increasing. The government has increased funding for those children to access support, but now needs to ensure the specialist staff are available and able to manage with reasonable caseloads….

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