2013 Client Satisfaction Survey

Publication Details

This report presents findings from the Special Education Services 2013 Client Satisfaction Survey.

Author(s): Research Division, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: September 2014

Executive Summary

Every year, the Ministry of Education carries out a Special Education Client Satisfaction Survey with parents and educators to learn what aspects of service delivery it is doing well, and the areas for improvement.

Key findings

Parents' and educators' satisfaction with the overall quality of service delivery

The Special Education Client Satisfaction Survey found that overall, 76% of parents and 67% of educators were satisfied with the overall quality of service delivery.

Aspects of service delivery that parents and educators reported the most satisfaction with

Overall, the aspects of service delivery that parents and educators reported the highest level of satisfaction with were that:

  • they were treated fairly (86% of parents and 81%  of educators agreed)
  • staff were competent (84% of parents and 79% of educators agreed).
Aspects of service delivery that parents and educators reported the lowest levels of satisfaction with

The aspects of service delivery that parents and educators had the lowest levels of satisfaction with were:

  • the time it took to get the service (61% of parents and 62% of educators were satisfied)
  • the statement that 'I was satisfied with my child's/the learner's progress after the service from Special Education' (75% of parents and 63% of educators agreed).
Performance relative to the Special Education Service Promise 

The Special Education Client Satisfaction Survey allows the different aspects of the Special Education Service Promise to be measured. Findings show that Special Education is doing reasonably well on the five components of the Service Promise. The service promise to: 'do what we say we will do in a timely manner' and to 'together find what works' are areas for most improvement.

Parents and educators of Māori and Pasifika learners are as satisfied with the service as other parents and educators

There were no significant differences in the overall satisfaction with the quality of service delivery between parents and educators of learners who were Māori or Pasifika and learners of other ethnicities.

Trends in satisfaction over time

Both parents' and educators' levels of satisfaction have remained stable over the last three years that the survey has been running.  There has also been little change in the level of agreement with aspects of service delivery between 2011 and 2013.

Ways Special Education could improve the service to increase parents' and educators' satisfaction

Parents and educators were asked how Special Education could improve services to get a rating of '5' (very satisfied). The areas for improvement that parents reported were:

  • Increase the number of funded hours.
  • Be in more regular contact.
  • Better communication.
  • Decrease waiting times.
  • More assistance and support.

The main areas that educators commonly mentioned could improve to increase the rating they would give were:

  • Increase resourcing (funding, staff numbers, time receiving a service).
  • Better assistance and support.
  • Better and more regular communication.

Implications of findings

Overall, the findings highlight the areas that Special Education is delivering well on, and most importantly provides useful feedback on the areas where Special Education service delivery could improve. The findings show that overall parents and educators report satisfaction with special education services. However, educator satisfaction in particular is below the Ministry's target of at least 75% satisfaction. In addition, overall satisfaction, as well as satisfaction with aspects of service delivery, has not changed over the past three years, indicating little change in the delivery of special education services.

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