School Education Minister Peter Garrett and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education Senator Jacinta Collins today visited Queensland’s St Joseph’s Primary School to meet with students and teachers to discuss the Gillard Government’s extension of the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative.
Mr Garrett said programs to help students with disability are an important part of the National Plan for School Improvement.
“The Government will extend the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative into 2014, this is an investment of $100 million,” Mr Garrett said.
“This is in addition to the $200 million already provided to government and non-government education authorities over the 2012 and 2013 school years to support their work with students with disability and learning difficulties.
“You can see this money at work here at St Joseph’s as this funding goes directly to building the capacity of schools and teachers to meet the needs of individual students,” Mr Garrett said.
Senator Collins said St Joseph’s has been able to coordinate with local health professionals to strengthen support for students with disabilities, as well as train teachers to build their skills in special education.
“This is a great result. However, we need to do more to help these students so, under our Plan, there will be a loading for students with disability in every school,” Senator Collins said.
“This loading will be implemented from 2015 once nationally consistent data on students with disabilities has been obtained.
Member for Moreton Graham Perrett said the electorate of Moreton has already seen the benefits of Labor’s investment in education.
“Moreton schools are doing a fantastic job for their students and the community. As the local Member it’s a privilege to visit schools in the community and see the scale of improvements made possible through our record investment in education,” Mr Perrett said.
“I’m talking about new classrooms, halls and buildings under the BER, new computers, chaplaincy services, extra help for kids who need it most through the Smarter Schools National Partnership and support for students with disability, like those here at St Joseph’s.
“I’m thrilled this support will be expanded to all local students through the National Plan for School Improvement.”
Under the plan, schools across the country will benefit from an extra $14.5 billion in public investment over the next six years along with better indexation.
The Australian Government has already signed an agreement with NSW, the largest school system in the country, and is determined to keep working closely with states and territories to see these reforms agreed by 30 June 2013, in order to give schools, parents and communities right across the nation the certainty they need to plan for next year.
For more information visit: www.betterschools.gov.au