There were about 2000 more requests for help for children with special needs last year, but satisfaction with the service fell, the Ministry of Education annual report shows.
Satisfaction with the quality of core special education services provided by the ministry fell from 75 to 71 percent in the 2015-16 year, it said, while satisfaction with the progress made by children with special needs fell from 76 to 69 percent.
The ministry was faced with significantly higher demand and expectations last year and it had made improvements, the report said.
Children waited an average of 73 days to access a special education service after being referred, which was lower than the budget standard of 75 days.
The report said 34,226 children received core special education services in the 2015-16 year, about 2000 more than the previous financial year.