Senate Inquiry into disability education must deal with resource shortages in schools

18 May 2015

The Australian Education Union has welcomed the call from the Opposition for a Senate Inquiry into the education of students with disability, as a way of highlighting the effect of chronic resource shortages in the area.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said too many students with disability were missing out on an education that let them reach their potential because schools were not getting the funding they needed to support them.

“Children with disability deserve an education which treats them as individuals, includes them in school life and lets them reach their potential,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Schools are simply not getting the resources they need to educate growing numbers of students with disability.

“The current system is underfunded and there are at least 100,000 students with disability who are not receiving any funded support.

“This inquiry will be a chance for teachers to join parents in telling politicians about the huge damage being done by shortages of resources at the frontline.

“The AEU’s recent State of Our Schools survey found that an extraordinary 84 per cent of principals say they have had to divert funds from other parts of school budgets because they do not have the resources for students with disability.

“It is not acceptable that a child with disability misses out on an education because their school cannot afford to provide an in-class assistant, personalised lesson plans, or vital equipment.

“Properly educating students with disability is an investment in their futures because it increases their chances of finding work and becoming financially independent.

“Instituting a disability loading which covered all students with disability was a key recommendation of the Gonski review and a bi-partisan election commitment from Labor and the Coalition.

“We need Education Minister Christopher Pyne, and the States and Territories, to commit to properly fund students with disability from 2016.

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291