How New Zealand schools manage the transition of disabled students leaving secondary education: A multiple-case study
The transition from secondary education to post-secondary life is a difficult one for students with intellectual disabilities. Schools are key to the preparation and management of this transition. There is little New Zealand (NZ) research on the transition of disabled students and lack of examples of effective practice. A multiple-case study was used to investigate the transition practices of three schools teaching disabled students with ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme) funding. Qualitative data was collected through interviews and observations of staff members. Findings were that the schools began the process by no later than the students being 16-years-old and ensured the student and family were at the centre of the planning. Schools taught a combination of functional life skills and self-determination skills. Community inclusion was practiced through work experience and visits to potential future environments. Common post-school barriers in transition included reduced support and few opportunities. A forthcoming government review of ORS funding for disabled students aged 18-21, highlights the need for future research to investigate these post-school barriers.