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Greens Call for Better Support for Students with Disabilities

Media Release - Monday, 10 April 2017, Andrea Dawkins


Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Education spokesperson

In Greens’ Private Members Time this week, we’ll move to affirm the rights of all Tasmanian students to a quality education, and the responsibility of the State Government to provide it.

The Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby's 2017 School Experience Snapshot, a survey of parents of students with disabilities, findings are confronting.   The State education system is clearly failing too many students with a disability.

The Snapshot found that more than a quarter of parents believed the education their child was receiving was worse in the past year than it has been previously.  It's leading to increased suspensions, part-time schooling, poor retention rates and parents being forced to school their children at home.  

Tasmania, per capita, spends the least on students with a disability.  We can do far better by these students. 

Schools are being allocated needs based funding, as a result of Gonski.  The fact remains, many students with a disability are missing out.  It's impacting on the prospects of students with a disability, and placing huge stresses on their families.  

Students with cerebral palsy or hearing impairment are heading into the mainstream school system without any support at all, limiting the prospects of those students. 

While many schools are better off as a result of Gonski, it's children living with a disability who too often miss out. 

Some schools have a fantastic approach to making sure that kids with disabilities get a quality education, and others don't have the resources to do that.  We can't blame the schools, it's the system that's letting them down. 

Ultimately, it's up to Minister Rockliff and the Education Department to provide the resources for teacher training and extra supports for students.  If the resourcing required is an issue, the Minister needs to make a representation to the Federal Government.