13 April 2024
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Leading schools that include all learners

Strategies to ensure all students are supported to engage, participate, and achieve in ways that honour and value diversity.

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Understanding inclusive practices

Key concepts, terms and rights relating to inclusion.

Understanding inclusive practices image

Source: Ministry of Education, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Summary of important concepts:

Strategies for action

Three key strategies for developing an inclusive school where all students are supported and diversity is valued

Leading with moral purpose

All educational leaders, including middle and senior leaders, are responsible for leading a school that that values the presence, participation and achievement of every learner.

Leadership in educational organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand is essentially influencing others to act, think, or feel in ways that advance the values, vision and goals of the organisation, and the learning and flourishing of each of its learners.

Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

Five suggestions for implementing this strategy:

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to inclusion


    • Video
    • Resources
  2. Use inclusive language


    • Video
    • Resources
  3. Have high expectations


    • Video
    • Resources
  4. Partner with whānau


    • Video
    • Resources
  5. Partner with external agencies


    • Video
    • Resources

Strategically resourcing for inclusive practices

Principals, with the support of school boards, coordinate time, money, people and actions to maximise the effectiveness of school-wide inclusive practices.

Four suggestions for implementing this strategy:

Leading learning to support inclusive practices

How do we lead learning with a strengths based approach?

Video hosted on Youtube

Leona Morrison, a supervisor in the Inclusive Learning unit, talks about a new district document that spotlights the strengths-based approach.

Four suggestions for implementing this strategy:

Key resources


He Pikorua

He Pikorua is the practice framework for Ministry and RTLB learning support practitioners. He Pikorua brings learning support practitioners together alongside whānau and educators to support the learning and well-being of mokopuna.



Responding to neurodiversity in the education context: An integrative literature review

This report presents findings of an integrative literature review designed as one response to Priority 4: Flexible supports for neurodiverse children and young people, articulated in the New Zealand Learning Support Action Plan 2019 – 2025. The review explored research and other resources to identify new or innovative strategies or approaches to neurodiversity with the potential to be implemented in primary and secondary school contexts in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Publisher: Donald Beasley Institute

Akonga Kanorau a roro cover

Poipoia ngā ākonga kanorau ā-roro

This report provides a Māori-centric view of ākonga kanorau ā-roro, learner neurodiversity. It will help practitioners and educators to work with ākonga kanorau ā-roro and their whānau to provide culturally responsive and effective education and care. It also points to a need to build on the perspectives in the report by sharing oral knowledge and practices that work in today’s education context.

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