Hundreds of primary school principals say they need more help with children who have difficult behaviour or high learning needs.
More than 400 of about 500 respondents to a Principals Federation survey said they wanted more funding or more support for special education.
Of the 500, about 270 said their school could not include all students with "moderate to severe learning needs", and 360 said the school could not include all students with "moderate to severe behaviour needs".
About 300 disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were well supported by the Education Ministry for high learning and behaviour needs.
Most said they could include all students with "low to moderate behaviour or learning needs" in their school.
Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said it was improving the special education system.
"We know we still have much work to do to ensure that our services help schools provide an inclusive education for all children, irrespective of disability," she said.
Ms Casey said a ministry survey last year showed 63 percent of educators and 78 percent of parents were satisfied with its service.
She said the ministry was providing specialist services to more children and funding to the sector had increased, including to the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme for children with the highest learning and behaviour needs.