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Newsletter Term Two 2016


Marie Petersen (Cluster Manager)


Kia ora

We currently have 34 RTLB across the Western Bay of Plenty, with one staff vacancy to be advertised and filled.


2016 Data to date



We currently have RTLB providing support to 58 / 64 BoP schools,  with 72% of this work to provide support for individual students and teachers,  1% around groups of teachers and 21% around whole school systems, groups of teachers, whole syndicates and classes. 28% of our current referrals are for Learning,  33% are for Behaviour and a further 37% are for both Learning and Behaviour concerns. 80% of our referrals are for males,  19% for female 1% ‘undisclosed’.


Analysis of our closed cases show that 77% have closed because teachers felt the goals had been met,  6% of cases were transferred through to MOE, Special Education and  12% closed because the child moved from the school or area. We have 311 cases allocated in primary schools,  42 in Intermediates, 62 in Secondary schools and 14 in Kura.  We have 35 students on our current waitlist with an average wait time of 3 weeks. Our waitlist time continues to be one of the shortest of any agency in the Western BoP.   



Cluster Review

This is now underway in the cluster.  Principals and SENCO’s can expect to receive an email outlining the review and a second email to link you to the on-line survey.   We appreciate your feedback. 


Cluster Professional Development for Schools



Very successful PD has been offered to schools, teachers and teacher aides through our SENCO days, TA workshops, Incredible Years Teacher.


SENCO Professional Development

Our next SENCO day is 7 June at Arataki Community Centre. These days have proven to be excellent professional development and support for our SENCO’s across the WBoP. 


Students with High Learning Needs (HLN) and In Class Support (ICS)

We have continued changes at a Ministry level to  High Learning Needs (HLN) and In Class Support (ICS).  The Ministry has recently increased the number of HLN places for our RTLB cluster from 53 places at the beginning of 2016 to 81 and we are in the process of identifying and prioritising these additional students.  We will notify schools where additional students have been identified for ICS  as soon as we can.


Myth Busting

“RTLB need to work more with parents” -  we are specialist teachers.  The MOE clearly outlines to us that our work is alongside teachers and schools, whilst informing parents.  If work is needed in the home, we support schools to find the correct agency.

“RTLB work with students for 30 weeks”. We stay involved on a needs basis,  and in many cases this is far longer than 30 weeks.   We do, as you will appreciate, need to close cases to allow us to pick up new cases. 

“RTLB should carry all the relevant application forms (eg: ORS, Public Health, Speech and Language,  Te Puna Hauora etc).  We do not carry application forms for the wide range of angencies that schools can access.  Each agency updates form regularly and it is best to go directly to the agency for their correct form.  We can, however, support schools to identify the agency that will best meet their needs. 

“RTLB no longer use Learning Support Funding for TA’s” – This is incorrect, currently 98% of Cluster LSF is used to fund TA in schools. Current research would support a more pro-active approach and so we encourage schools to address students needs by considering pro-active projects.  We have a number of positive projects in place across many schools,  with wonderful results.



Something to think about:  No programme, by itself, will solve the variety of problems presented by human behaviour.  The programme is an attempt to bring some balance, and bring clarity to an often complex situation.  It is within relationships that the difficult task of teaching new behaviours occurs.   Relationships are the key.


When students are greeted by an adult in morning, it takes less time to complete morning routines & get the first lesson started, and reduces challenging behaviour in up to 90% of students. George Sugai  (see also Effective Teacher Profile Te Kotahitanga