(New Zealand) SPED 'crisis' because of lack of resources/money; more complex needs/violence

Feb 7, 2018, New Zealand's learning support services 'in crisis', says NZ Principals' Federation Waiting lists for learning support services in schools are too long, with the average delay on early intervention services running to almost three months, the Ministry of Education admits. The education sector says "special education is in crisis", causing major stress on teachers, schools and students due to lack of resource and money. Students across the country still wait an average of 47.37 days for any support…. High demand and difficulties to contact families were some of the reasons wait times continued, Casey said. … NZEI Te Riu Rua spokesperson and Berhampore School principal Mark Potter said extended wait lists added stress on schools but those average times did not show the full-extent of the problem in the country. "It's becoming more prevalent. We do have escalating issues with children with complex needs, and presenting violence at schools." He said that, individually, schools such as Berhampore were on lists that extended six months and longer. "We're a good example. We have here at the school a boy with extreme violence and anger-management issues who has hurt other children and staff. "He has been on the wait list since June last year [2017]." Potter said the boy was flagged as the highest priority. … New Zealand Principals' Federation president and spokesman Whetu Cormick said it was widely known "special education is in crisis" which was in particular need of more phycologists and speech therapists. "We have an increasing number of children presenting with special education and behavioural needs. "Children who need the support are unable to get it in a timely manner and that impacts on teachers' stress." That caused a flow-on effect where students did not receive the best education they could, he said.