New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 269–274 | Cite as

Targeted Social Investment as an Equity Strategy

  • John O’Neill

This brief commentary focuses on recent special education policy announcements in terms of their official rationality. In essence, the commentary considers the substantive claims made by the authors of key policy texts prepared for the Minister of Education to present to Cabinet colleagues, and their logic as a policy intervention designed to promote greater equity in education. The policy texts are located within an overall discourse of education ‘modernisation’ (Ball and Junemann 2012) through a ‘social investment’ approach (New Zealand Treasury 2015) of the kind that has been actively pursued by the current government since 2008.

Modernising Learning Support

In August 2016, two pieces of official information, with significant potential implications for school students with special education support needs, were released. The first was a Cabinet Social Committee paper prepared by the Office of the Minister of Education (OME) entitled Strengthening Inclusion and Modernising Learning...


Learn Support Social Investment United Nation Convention Learning Support Model Policy Text 
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  1. Ball, S., & Junemann, C. (2012). Networks, new governance and education. Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ministry of Education. (2016). Briefing note: Cabinet paper—strengthening inclusion and modernizing learning support.
  3. Ministry of Education. (nd). Strengthening inclusion by modernising learning support (previously Special Education).
  4. New Zealand Treasury. (2015). How social investment works.
  5. O’Neill, J., with Duffy, C., & Fernando, S. (2016). Charities, philanthropists, policy entrepreneurs, international companies and state schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand. Final report to the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa, New Zealand Post Primary Teachers’ Association Te Wehengarua, and New Zealand Primary Principals’ Federation Ngā Tumuaki o Aotearoa. Palmerston North: Massey University Institute of Education.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© New Zealand Association for Research in Education 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massey University, Institute of EducationPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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