Inclusive Education Planning Tool


Welcome to the ASD in NZ Schools Planning Tool. This tool is designed for a small team working collaboratively to develop a detailed plan for improving inclusion in their school.

This tool was developed alongside the Ministry of Education’s Inclusive Practices Tools, which support schools to self-review the inclusiveness of their practices, policies, and culture. The two tools are designed to complement each other.

How you plan, and then implement and review your plan, will have a major influence on the outcomes of your planning. Your approach and processes should model inclusion, with planning conducted openly and information shared regularly with stakeholders and the school community.

There are eight steps to using the planning tool:

1. Deciding on roles

Decide who will lead the planning, and identify the other members of the planning team. Ensure the team represents the important stakeholder groups – school leadership and others who play a major role in meeting the needs of students with ASD. It could include:

  • the SENCO
  • a board of trustees member
  • the principal or another senior leader
  • a parent of a student with ASD (or a member of their whānau).

2. Linking with what you already know

Before you begin using this tool or the Ministry’s Inclusive Practices Tools, try to obtain a full picture of your school’s current policies, practices, and culture in relation to inclusion. Sources of information could include:

  • your current strategic and action plans
  • your most recent ERO report
  • discussions with staff and with parents and whānau of students with ASD
  • specific documentation and policies on inclusion and students with ASD in your school.

3. Registering and logging in to the planning tool

The first time you enter the planning tool, you will need to register. Your school administrator will be sent user IDs and passwords for those who require access – for example, the principal and members of the planning team. Each time a user returns to the tool, he or she will need to log in again.

4. Creating a new plan

Once you have logged in, you can start creating your plan. As the planning team, you will work collaboratively on this plan over several sessions, saving your work during and at the end of each session.

Use the second tab at the top of the planning tool screen to identify the leader and the other members of the planning team.

We also recommend that you identify the students with ASD in your school. This will help ensure that your planning is based on the real strengths and needs of individual students.

Each time you come back to your plan, you enter via the Overview tab, which shows you how far through you are in your planning.

5. Selecting focuses

The third tab at the top of the planning tool screen requires you to select up to three focuses for your planning. Before you do so, you should work through the self-review process in the Ministry of Education’s Inclusive Practices Tools. This may take you several weeks, but it will provide you with a very strong understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your school in terms of its inclusiveness. (Note that the resulting data remains confidential to, and the property of, the school.)

When you have completed your self-review, return to the planning tool and select up to three focuses. Choose areas that your self-review revealed as weak or areas that are particularly relevant to your school's context.

6. Working through your chosen focuses

Click on the remaining tabs in the planning tool for support to complete a detailed plan for improvement in each of the selected focuses. Take the time to explore the readings, as this will help to ensure your planning is informed by the latest thinking and research. And do consider the questions and prompts under ‘i’ for each heading.

Save your work regularly, but don’t select “Save and complete plan” (on the Overview page) until you have completely finished – once this option has been selected, no further changes are possible.

7. Integrating your planning with your regular school processes

Reference your plan in your charter or annual plan, linking it to other inclusion-related initiatives.

Use data obtained when monitoring and reviewing your plan in your reporting to the board, staff, and parents and whānau.

8. Conducting subsequent reviews and planning

When you have put your plan into practice, return to the Ministry of Education’s Inclusive Practices Tools to assess your progress and identify new priorities for improvement. 

To access the tool, you'll need to login using the User ID and password given to you by your school administrator. If you don't have these details, contact your school administrator or register your school using the registration feature provided on the Login screen.

Login to the Planning tool

If you need help with the planning tool, please contact the our help desk on 0800 571000 or email:

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