AEU welcomes Labor announcement of $300 million for Students with Disability

20 February 2019

The Australian Education Union (AEU) has welcomed Labor’s announcement committing an extra $300 million in funding if it wins government to ensure Students with Disability get the support they need at school.

The funding will help ensure that schools can provide more individualised learning for additional teachers, education support staff, teacher training, updated technology, or upgrades to school facilities to improve access for Students with Disability.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that public schools work hard to ensure that students with disability can learn in a safe, inclusive environment, but they need more resources to account for the extra costs involved.

“Labor’s commitment for an extra $300 million for Students with Disability is warmly welcomed by the AEU,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Students with disability have a fundamental right to a high-quality and fully-resourced education.”

This is critically important for students with disabilities, who face challenges that others do not” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Many of these students will experience compound disadvantage, as they may also live in rural and remote locations, be indigenous, or come from a low socio-economic background.”

“Almost 75 per cent of students with disabilities attend public schools, however their needs have being ignored by Prime Minister Scott Morrison,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“The Morrison government slashed millions of dollars of funding for students with disability in public schools and moved on.”

“The Morrison Government’s Student with Disability funding cuts have impacted on the resources needed for public schools to support all students to access a high-quality education. Every child, regardless of age, gender, race or ability, has the fundamental human right to education,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“It is unacceptable that Australia, a nation which prides itself on the notion of a fair go, currently has a federal government that does not consider these students and their needs as a high priority.”

Ms Haythorpe called on all parties to commit to address the underfunding of students with disability in public schools.

“Our schools work hard to ensure that issues such as access, specialist support, staffing and health and wellbeing are appropriate for their students so that they can learn in a safe environment. However, this comes with extra costs for schools and must be fully resourced,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Students with disability have been largely invisible in the school funding debate to date, and this must change in the lead up to the federal election.”

“We are very pleased that Labor has today recognised the importance of increased school funding for students with disability,” Ms Haythorpe said.