A new group which brings together parents, teachers, young people with disability and peak bodies to advise the Gillard Government on issues affecting students with disability has met for the first time today.
Minister Assisting for School Education Brendan O’Connor opened the inaugural meeting of the Schools Disability Advisory Council, part of the Government’s continued commitment to improving education for all students.
“Every child or young person, irrespective of their background, deserves opportunities and support to participate fully in education and their community,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Today, the council will discuss some of the big issues in education including the Disability Standards for Education, funding and specific measures to help students with disability, as well as getting an update on progress towards the collection of nationally consistent data on school students with disability.
“I look forward to the feedback I will receive from the Advisory Council, to see what we can improve to make sure all students in Australia are getting the best education possible.”
The Council, which was announced by Minister for School Education Peter Garrett last year, comprises members from peak organisations representing people with disability, educators and parent groups, as well as academic experts and young people living with disability.
“We will rely on council members’ advice on developing policy and implementing school education programs and initiatives to improve the educational outcomes, social inclusion, resilience and wellbeing of students with disability,” Mr O’Connor said.
The Gillard Government has a number of important initiatives to improve the quality and consistency of support schools can provide to students with disability, including:
• The $200 million More Support for Students with Disability initiative, with funds to be available to schools this year;
• The collection of nationally consistent data on students with disability to allow more informed and effective government policy supporting students with disability; and
• The Review of School Funding, chaired by David Gonski, which examined the funding support provided to schools working with students with disability.
The full list of members is available at: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/Programs/Pages/SchoolsDisabilityAdvisoryCouncil.aspx