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Government must address barriers that hurt students with disability: Report

Inadequate support and numerous barriers are impacting levels of access and attainment for students with disability in Australian schools, a Senate Committee report has revealed today.

“The report tabled today has identified barriers faced by students with disability who are struggling at school unnecessarily”, said Australian Greens spokesperson on disabilities, Senator Rachel Siewert.  

“These barriers include some schools deliberately preventing children with disability from attending, excluding students from activities, not addressing students’ needs as well as financial challenges. 

"Failure to provide a comprehensive education for students with disability impacts on their life prospects and the whole of the community as their participation is undermined.

“Students with disability deserve a fulfilling and supportive experience at school. It was important these barriers were identified so that we can work towards full access to the school system for everyone.  

“The report recommends Gonski funding and reversing cuts to education funding. Governments must stop pulling funds from schools when we have the resources to provide an excellent education to everyone. The report also calls for the reinstatement of a Disability Discrimination Commissioner.

“There are particular concerns around ‘restrictive practices’ in schools that must urgently be addressed. Following the recent Senate Committee report that detailed abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability in settings that include schools, it is clear that a lot of work needs to be done in this space.

“I urge the Government to read the report and consider the ten recommendations. The report and its recommendations are supported by the Australian Greens”.

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