The rights of disabled ākonga: Bridging the gap between law and practice


  • Nicola Leete Massey University



education law, human rights, legal literacy, principals


All children in Aotearoa New Zealand have the right to enrol in and receive a quality, inclusive education. Despite this, a recent report by the Education Review Office ([ERO] 2022), the government’s external education evaluation agency, identified numerous ways in which disabled ākonga are excluded from and within the education system. This article explores one of ERO’s key findings; principals lack understanding of their legal obligations with respect to disabled ākonga. Through contextualising this finding within national and international literature on principals’ legal literacy, the urgent need for professional development (PD) to develop principals’ understanding of the relevant law is highlighted. Recommendations for the content and delivery of this PD are outlined along with regulatory measures to safeguard the rights of disabled ākonga.

Watch the interview with Nicola Leete.






Vol 24 Iss 1

How to Cite

The rights of disabled ākonga: Bridging the gap between law and practice. (2023). Kairaranga, 24(1), 1-18.