Learning Support – Informing and understanding the new role to better meet learning support needs in kura/schools.

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Ministry of Education

Informing and understanding the new role to better meet learning support needs in kura/schools

“The LSC are one of the most valuable resources that have been put into schools for a very long time.“– School leadership

The New Zealand Ministry of Education introduced the new Learning Support Coordinator role (LSC) in 2020 to better meet the learning support needs of one in five students needing additional

The role was launched following Treasury funding of $312 million and 623 full-time roles were shared across 1052 kura/schools in 124 clusters (around one in three schools across Aotearoa).

LSC are designed to add capacity and capability to kura/schools and clusters of kura/schools (clusters) to better meet mild to moderate, neurodiverse, or high and-complex learning support needs.

Synergia worked in partnership with the Ministry of Education to evaluate this new and unique learning support role in over three years (2020-22). The evaluation was underpinned by a programme theory approach and used mixed methodology to explore the causal chain between programme inputs and activities and intended outcomes.

Large scale LSC and school survey data across three time points, interviews and observations in selected clusters of schools, and multiple mini focused studies were used to collect evidence. Data was analysed (included multiple regression analysis and factor analysis of quantitative data), integrated and woven through a rubric to make transparent evaluative judgements on the value creation of this role explicit.

Synergia’s initial phase of formative evaluation informed the Ministry’s implementation support work
programme for 2021 and developed a monitoring and evaluation framework for ongoing

The evaluation found that:

  • Kaiako and teachers rated this investment as high value.
  • The LSC role worked well, but differently, in individual kura/school settings.
  • Overall, the role met or exceeded expectations in individual kura/schools, but did not function as expected at the cluster level because the mechanisms to involve them were weak.
  • The design of role did not reflect te ao Māori and Māori medium kura felt a people other than registered teachers would be more suitable for the role.

The full report can be found here: https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/learning-support/learning-support-coordinators-evaluation-phase-3