Special Needs Philosophy


  • Every student regardless of ability is included in full enrolment at Ōtūmoetai College. Students enrolled with intellectual disabilities will be considered as students of the College first and foremost.
  • In all aspects of the student’s daily life at school the expectations will be that of every other student.


  • To ensure that students will intellectual disabilities are fully included within the school system.
  • To provide equal opportunities for these students to access school programmes with appropriate support.
  • To establish and maintain that the student is part of the corporate life of the school. to provide students and their families with sound professional advice and information.
  • To facilitate full co-operation and co-ordination between home, school and support agencies.
  • To enable the provision of programmes to meet specific identified areas of need.

Guidelines and Principles:

The student will be classified according to age as to the appropriate form level. An exception will be made for those students who have not come under Special Education Services before entering secondary school.

12-13 year old : Year 9
13-14 year old : Year 10
15-16 year old : Year 11
16-17 year old : Year 12
17-18-19 year old : Year 13

(If five years have been completed Year 14 Programmes may be considered.)

It is expected that students complete their schooling at 18-19 years old. It is preferable for students to enrol when they have completed the standard six years primary and two years intermediate regardless of intellectual level. This enables them to participate in the benefits of junior school (Years 9-10) programmes with students of the same age.

Selection of appropriate classes will be based on the regular school programme being offered at each level and on the specific needs of each student and priorities decided by each student’s Individual Education Programme.

Students will have their specific needs programme prepared and managed by Special Education staff and these will be timetabled into the regular school day.

Students with intellectual disabilities will be treated with respect and dignity regardless of ability. These students require advocacy and support to establish and maintain this basic right as they may not be able to achieve this for themselves. This advocacy is part of their special provision and is the role of the specialist staff to uphold this at all times.

Activities and programmes will be age appropriate. Regardless of intellectual ability all students will be treated as regular adolescence and their emotional, physical and social development be acknowledged as normal.


Inclusion for students with high and very high needs at Ōtūmoetai College is as of right and is planned and programmed so that success in every aspect of school life is achieved to benefit the student’s personal growth and well-being.