The tenacity of special schools in an inclusive policy environment: the New Zealand situation 1996–2010

Authors

  • TRISH MCMENAMIN

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Educational Studies and Human Development at the College of Education, Canterbury University, New Zealand
      Trish McMenamin, School of Educational Studies and Human Development, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Email: trish.mcmenamin@canterbury.ac.nz
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Trish McMenamin, School of Educational Studies and Human Development, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Email: trish.mcmenamin@canterbury.ac.nz

Abstract

Special school provision for children and young people with special educational needs is an anomaly that exists in many inclusive education systems; this type of educational provision has proved to be resilient even though, with reference to children and young people with special educational needs, there is almost universal acceptance of the principle of inclusion. This article examines special school provision in New Zealand in the period since the implementation of the country's first official ‘special education policy’ to the present, newly released, special education initiative, Success for All – Every School, Every Child. Possible reasons for the tenacity of this type of provision in New Zealand, and in other jurisdictions, will be discussed. Arguments will be presented to support the proposition that this type of provision is likely to remain a feature of the inclusive education systems of many jurisdictions for some time yet.

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