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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




The New Zealand primary schools accept almost all children who come to them, and teachers, parents, and the community are reluctant to set any groups of children further apart from their fellows than is necessary for their welfare. This attitude has guided the approach to the education of the handicapped, and many children with marked disabilities are encouraged to attend ordinary schools. It is recognised, however, that these pupils often need special attention, perhaps by having the work of the class teacher supported by that of a specialist. If in a particular case this imposes too much strain, the child may be placed in a special class attached to an ordinary school. Only where it is beyond the school's capacity to care effectively for the child, is a separate school provided. But even where the handicap is very severe, the service remains within the education system. Thus children classified as “intellectually handicapped” attend occupation centres and “go to school” like other boys and girls.


Stephen Selwyn Powell Hamilton, M.A., DIP.ED., Officer for Special Education, Department of Education, Wellington.