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Successful transitions from early intervention to school-age special-education services

Jacky Burgon and Helena Barwick


Inclusive practice in schools for children with special-education needs is an explicit government priority. How children are transitioned from early childhood services can help or hinder a child’s inclusion into school. This research was designed to explore the transitions to school of children who mostly had high and very high special-education needs. Fifteen children across three districts of the North Island were the subject of case studies in which the researchers interviewed a range of people involved with the child’s transition. Case-study participants included families, early childhood educators, teachers, principals, and Ministry of Education specialist staff. The research found that strong relationships, clear communications, good systems and processes, and good use of resources all helped to make effective transitions.

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