The Special Education Principals' Association of New Zealand (SEPANZ) (formerly NZASSP) was formed in 1989 to advocate on behalf of people with special educational needs and to ensure provision of, and access to, quality education services for all students with special needs. Parents and others expressed the need for the provision of a continuum of services and a range of educational options for their children. Teachers and other professionals recognised the importance of retaining the rich bank of specialist knowledge accumulated in special schools. It was considered imperative that special schools develop a national voice and that other school-based providers are represented.
The Association aims are:
- Dissemination of knowledge and information through communication, training opportunities, and the exchange of ideas.
- To promote and encourage research and other special projects.
- To promote excellence in special education national conferences.
- To invite prominent educationalists from around the world.
- To be a professional association for special educationalists.
- To provide a network of support for special schools, units and associated membership.
- To co-ordinate and advise on the development of policies and procedures in our schools which are required as part of the changes resulting from the promulgation of new policies.
- To provide representation for other forums and organisations such as NZEI.
- To be available for consultation with the Ministry as needed.