Inquiry on disability student resourcing

Claudia Vera

An unmissable opportunity to present evidence on inequity in schools for children with disability

The establishment of the NSW parliamentary inquiry examining the provision of education to students with disability provides a welcome opportunity to publicly denounce the inequity and discrimination experienced by students with disability.

Federation is asking every member and Federation workplace to lodge a submission to the inquiry and has created resources to develop individual and school submissions. These materials will be sent to Federation Representatives in Week 4 and are available on Federation’s website. Submissions to the inquiry close on February 26, 2017.

The inquiry is a necessary boost to our existing efforts to call the NSW Department of Education to account over the failure to invest in adequate specialist provisions to support students and teachers alike. The inadequate levels of targeted funding, specialist placements, expertise and resources for support settings, together with broken, inconsistent and untimely processes to access these provisions, cannot continue.

The cost-capping mechanism introduced under Every Student, Every School and cemented via the Resource Allocation Model has forced schools to work with insufficient resources. Under a Gonski model, together with funds to be injected via the Students with Disability loading, this strategy to reduce expenditure on students with disability is completely unnecessary.

The Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling confirmed that it costs more to deliver on equity and excellence for students with disability. The Department’s refusal to discuss quantum and call for additional investment sits in complete contradiction to the principles of equity and the acknowledgement of disadvantage upon which Gonski is based.

Given the NSW government’s unwavering support for Gonski, engagement in the inquiry is an unmissable opportunity for school communities to present evidence and mount the case for the federal government to deliver the additional Gonski funding for the Students with Disability loading that has been withheld for almost two years.

Check Federation's website for a package of information and guides available soon for Fed Reps, principals, schools and parents to prepare submissions to the parliamentary inquiry.

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