A call for fairness for students with a disability is the focus of a submission by the IEU to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Support for Students with Disabilities or Other Special Needs in Government and Non Government Schools in NSW.
The submission draws attention to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which says: “Countries are to guarantee that persons with disabilities enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others and protect children with disabilities. States are to ensure equal access to primary and secondary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning. Education is to employ the appropriate materials, techniques and forms of communication. Education of persons with disabilities must foster their participation in society, their sense of dignity and self worth and the development of their personality, abilities and creativity”.
“Input from IEU members, however, reflects their real concern at not always being able to meet these obligations,” the submission said.
“The consistent and strong feedback from IEU members is that the resources and funding arrangements for students with disabilities in non government schools are not adequate and that schools can therefore be vulnerable to being in breach of legislation, as well as their own commitment to high professional standards.
“As previously noted, there has been disappointment in the lack of federal government commitment to full Gonski funding.
“Past and current initiatives involving the federal and NSW governments, including national partnerships, national approaches to curriculum and assessment, and the teacher accreditation agenda have provided significant challenges and opportunities to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities/special needs are recognised and addressed.