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  • Deaf Children New Zealand | Tamariki Turi O Aotearoa

Primary & Intermediate school

Choosing a school for your child where they will be happy and supported to have the best chance to learn is important to every parent.

Schools in New Zealand cannot turn away any child regardless of their additional needs. Schools are encouraged to be fully inclusive and to find the support, advice and guidance they need to provide for the educational needs of any child that walks through their gate.

Below are tips and resources suitable for parents with children at primary or intermediate schools.

For teachers

The classroom teacher is a key person in your child's first year at school, on the For teachers page is a set of resources that will be useful to the primary classroom teacher and school.

Transition into school

Watch a video from the Parent Hui 2015 series about the move from early childhood education to primary school. In this presentation, Mark Douglas, Practice Leader for deaf and hard of hearing, Ministry of Education talks to families about what is required in terms of the needs of the child, the strengths of the child and what resources might be available, what the team around the child might look like and what are the good practices involved in a good transition into school.

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

An Individual Education Plan is a document that all schools with children with extra educational needs should have in place. The IEP sets goals for the child for the documented period (Normally 6 months, then the IEP should be reviewed again) and it sets strategies and working points for the professionals to ensure the child is able to meet these goals.

This document should be written before the child starts school, and must be written in consultation with all those involved in the child's education. As a parent, you are an integral part of your child's education, and your input into the IEP is essential. You have a unique and complete understanding of your child, and your wants and needs for your child's education must be addressed in the IEP.

Your rights as a parent are...

  • To be present at all IEP meetings. If you are unable to attend then it is up to the school to change it to a time when you can.

  • To be actively involved in the IEP discussion and your goals to be written into the document.

  • To have a support person with you at any and all meetings to ensure that you are heard.

  • To be recognised as the primary source of information on your child.   

If you feel that your rights are not being met, or that you have worries around the process of writing an IEP for your child, contact us and we can forward your information straight to a Ministry of Education liason person. IEPs are incredibly important, and the NZ Federation for Deaf Children and the Ministry of Education take them very seriously.

We have compiled some resources that may help give a little more information around Individual Education Plans and the processes involved.

IEP tips for parents

This resource was written by NZ parents sharing their experiences and advice around IEPs.

IEP Tips for Parents (Powerpoint, 113Kb)

IEP Survival Kit (Hands and Voices)

Please be aware that this IEP Survival Kit is written for American families, but many of the ideas and tips are relevant to us here in New Zealand.


IEP Online

IEP Online is on the TKI education website and has both information and some great stories from students aroung the IEP process and the importance of the Individual Education Plan for children with extra educational needs.


Cochlear Implant School Toolkit

While this is a set of resources aimed at children with cochlear implants, many of the resources work for children with hearing aids. The kit provides information for parents, for teachers and for schools, along with printable resources and DVD's. 


NZSL@School Project

The purpose of the NZSL@School is to support schools so that deaf children, who need New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) achieve educationally and socially at the same level as their hearing peers. See the Download document below for more information.

NZSL@ School Parent Informaton sheet - September 2015

Recommended reading for your primary aged child

Will Wonder and his Robot Ears

A comic released by Medel, aimed at late primary school age through to intermediate boys.

Mrs Wishy Washy - Interactive Story for iPad

iTunes has the Mrs Wishy Washy story for iPad with interactive characters suitable for Deaf or Hard of hearing Children.