MEDIA RELEASE – 15 February, 2011
The Gillard Labor Government is taking action to help remove barriers to educational achievement, with a review of Disability Standards for Education.
Minister for School Education Peter Garrett said recent figures show the numbers of funded school students with disability increased by more than 20 per cent in the four years from 2005 to 2009.
“Today I’m releasing a discussion paper inviting submissions to the Review, in a move to help ensure a more inclusive Australian society which enables people with disability to achieve their full potential,” Mr Garrett said.
“The Disability Standards for Education have been in place for five years and it’s time we looked at their effectiveness in giving those with disability every opportunity to succeed in the education system.
“School students with disability have steadily increased as a percentage of the total school population. In 2009 there were over 164,000 students with disabilities in Australian schools that received support by education authorities.
“It is central to Federal Labor’s belief that all students, regardless of their personal or social situations, have access to the very best education we can provide so that they can pursue their life’s aspirations to the fullest.
“This discussion paper will help us determine how effective the Disability Standards for Education are in practice and whether they need to be amended.
“I encourage people with an interest in improving the education and training experience for people with disability to make a submission to the Review.”
Senator McLucas welcomed the review of the standards.
“People with disability deserve the same opportunities as other Australians in their local community,” Ms McLucas said.
“The Disability Standards for Education help to ensure that people with disability enjoy the benefits of education and training.”
The Standards are designed to assist people with disability to access and participate in education and training opportunities and help eliminate discrimination in education and training.
The Standards also clarify the rights of students and the obligations of education providers, pre-school, school and tertiary, under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
The Australian Government is also conducting a broader Review of Funding for Schooling, which is examining all funding to all schools including funding allocations to ensure students with disability can access a quality education.
Information on the review, including the discussion paper, is available at www.deewr.gov.au/DSEReview .
As part of the review process, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations will conduct face-to-face consultations with stakeholders in each capital city.
In addition, the department will engage in a series of broader consultations with schools-focused disability organisations on education issues affecting school students with disability.
THE HON PETER GARRETT MP
Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth
SENATOR THE HON JAN MCLUCAS
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers
Minister Garrett’s Media Contact: Cameron Scott 0448 346 942
Senator McLucas’ Media Contact: Belinda Featherstone 0408 743 457
DEEWR Media: firstname.lastname@example.org
Non-media queries: 1300 363 079