Students with disability need more funding, not more cuts

As families, teachers and students prepare to go back to school, students with disability continue to be ignored by the Liberal Government.

According to the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability for 2015, some 18% of students were assessed as having a disability.

Yet according to the Productivity Commission in 2014, only 5.1% of students received funding support for their disability.

“The Government needs to start acting to support students with disability, and their families. Instead of providing much needed support to those who need it, the Government is continuing their $30 billion of cuts to schools,” Shadow Assistant Minister for Schools Andrew Giles said.

“There is an urgent need to take action now. Parents, teachers and students with disability have waited long enough for education that is genuinely inclusive,” he said.

“The Government first promised they would introduce a full disability loading in 2015, then 2016. We are about to start the 2017 school year and still nothing has happened,” he said.

While Education Minister Simon Birmingham claims that the current data on students with disability “fails a basic credibility test”, his delay and evasion around this data raises the real concern that this as an excuse to continue to deny needed funding.

“This can’t be used as a smokescreen for continued inaction.”

Senator Brown said the Liberals must properly fund students with disabilities.

“The Government are failing students with a disability, and can’t continue to deny thousands of students the support they deserve, and the opportunity to get the most out of their education,” Senator Brown said.

“The government is making it worse by failing to listen to the concerns of students with disabilities. Labor is committed to giving them, their parents and educators a voice, as well as engaging with the experts so that we can ensure a great education for everyone, where every student counts.”

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