BUDGET: $1.3 billion flagged for students with disabilities - Education Matters Magazine

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BUDGET: $1.3 billion flagged for students with disabilities

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The Federal Government has earmarked a record $1.3 billion in the budget for students with a disability.

The announcement comes as education bodies, schools, teachers and parents continue to put the need for extra disability support in the classroom at the centre of the conversation.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe welcomed Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s confirmation this week that the long-awaited National Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) would be completed this year and used to inform funding for students with disability from 2016.

“We know that there is an urgent crisis in disability funding, with at least 100,000 students missing out on funded support in schools,” she said. “The NCCD should be used to fix this problem and give these children the education they deserve.”

A survey released today by peak body Children with Disability Australia (CDA) has found that one in four children with a disability has been turned away from a school.

Conducted in April 2015 the survey found that of the 1,025 respondents 68% believed that their children are not receiving adequate support at school. One in four children with disability has been refused enrolment at some point, and a further 17% are only offered part-time enrolment.

The survey also showed that 39% of children with disability were regularly excluded from school activities, such as excursions, because the school did not have the resources to enable them to attend.

“These statistics reflect an education system not meeting the needs of students with disability. As a result many are being denied the right to a quality education,” Stephanie Gotlib, CEO of CDA, said in a statement.

“Many respondents cited a lack of resources and lack of funding for the limitations placed on their child’s attendance and meaningful participation, but there are also some instances of blanket refusals to consult and coordinate, for example refused enrolment on the basis of disability.

“These results confirm the reports CDA continues to hear from its members. It is critical that schools are appropriately funded to provide a quality education for all that we rethink our attitudes and approaches to disability.”

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