MacLean Centre

Opportunities for students who live with a disability to attend school with their peers and receive support.

The MacLean Centre provides an opportunity for students who live with a disability to attend school with their peers and receive support from specialist teachers, learning support assistants and therapists.

The programme is flexible and pathways reassessed every year in consultation with students and parents.

The MacLean Centre offers individualised programmes for all students. Each teacher is responsible for a base class and timetables are designed to suit the nature of the learning needed by each person.

HOD MacLean Centre – Rakesh Lachaiya


Master of Specialist Teaching (Hons) specialising in Autism Spectrum Disorder (Massey, NZ). Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching (Massey, NZ). Graduate Diploma in Teaching English in Schools to Speakers of Other Languages (TESSOL) (Auckland, NZ). Bachelor of Arts (English & Education) (USP, Fiji). Diploma in Education (FNU, Fiji).



I have taught in New Zealand and overseas for the past 19 years. I taught English and Geography in the mainstream setting for 11 years before moving into special education. I have written publications on Autism in Pasifika Communities in New Zealand and Culturally Responsive Pedagogies. I have also provided academic support as a mentor for students doing postgraduate studies in specialist teaching at Massey University. I have also published some of my creative writing pieces, which involved a collection of short stories and poems. I am a member of Autism New Zealand. I work closely with families who have children with physical, learning disabilities and work collaboratively with teachers, and other professionals on the online platform who deal with individuals for whom English is their second language and learners diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Why I teach my subject: 

I am passionate about special education. I have always enjoyed working in a multi-disciplinary team looking after individuals with special needs and disabilities to help them develop their creativity and potential in all aspects of their lives. Through culturally responsive and evidence-based approaches, I am able to take learning beyond the walls of the classroom keeping in mind that I am to prepare them for life ahead and not just achieving set targets for the class for the year. I also teach in ways that enable learners to learn from one another, to collaborate, to self-regulate, and to develop agency over their learning and provide them with the freedom and ways to express themselves confidently through the teaching of necessary social skills so that they feel safe and confident in interacting with the wider community. I am zealous about the collective work, interdependence and integrating ideas and knowledge both cultural and scientific to bring about the best learning recipe for students in my care. It is always rewarding to teach in ways that ensure all my learners are making sufficient progress, monitor the extent and pace of their learning, focusing on equity and excellence for all.


Why I teach at MRGS: 

It is indeed rewarding to be part of the MRGS whanau. Establishing positive relationships among students, staff, parents, families and whanau and the wider community is an important value at MRGS. We also uniquely work with Mount Roskill Intermediate and Primary schools. Through such collaborative teaching and learning environment, we always work to foster and display the Roskill Way values – Manaakitanga, Whanaungatanga and Tūmanakotanga. I lead a team of enthusiastic individuals who brings in their diversity and cultural capital that makes teaching and learning more exciting.  We all work together by keeping the child at the centre of all our planning, teaching and assessments and we always see on the ‘brighter side’ and strive to achieve what the child sees important. More than anything though, it is the success of every child in this school that makes my job as Head of Department such a rewarding one. Finally, when I am not at school…I enjoy travelling, listening to music, reading, cooking and spending time with my family.

Courses and Pathways

Mainstream Pathway Year 9/10

Mainstream classes

MacLean Centre Pathway Year 9/10

Homeroom for English, Maths, Science, SST

  • With MC specialist junior option classes available
  • Mainstream option choice if suitable

Year 11

English, Math, + 1/2/3 other choices

Students who take 3 or more mainstream subjects will be in the MacLean Centre Mainstream group where they will be supported in their learning if required.

Mixed Senior H/R

  • With MC specialist options available
  • 1 Mainstream option choice if suitable

Year 12/13

English +2, 3 or 4 choices

Final Years at MC

  • Transition/work experience class
  • Life skills

Nishith Ghande, Graduating 2021

I’m a student at MacLean Centre

I like the MacLean Centre because it’s a nice place because it’s full of nice people. I feel very safe in the MacLean, it always makes me happy and excited every time when I’m in the centre. The staff really get to know the students, and their parents, help them to grow into the people they know they can be.

School closed due to Covid-19 lockdown updates

    School closed due to Covid-19 lockdown - Please find all information here: Covid-19 updates