Release type: Media Release

Date:

More teachers, parents to be trained in autism support

Ministers:

The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Human Services
Minister Assisting for School Education

A new consortium will train more than 450 teachers and 1,450 parents every year in how best to help students with autism, Minister Assisting for School Education Brendan O’Connor announced today.

The Gillard Government is continuing its commitment to give all children the best opportunity to learn and lead productive lives by commencing the second phase of its successful $40.5 million Positive Partnerships initiative.

“I’m pleased that the Gillard Government is continuing this program as part of our $220 million Helping Children with Autism package,” Mr O’Connor said.

“At least one in 160 children is affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and we know that this can lead to difficulties with communication, social interaction and learning.

“Every child, regardless of their situation, is entitled to the best education possible and the opportunity to become independent, to enter the workforce and lead a productive life.

“The Gillard Government is committed to giving these children the best chance for success by supporting them, their teachers and their families through the Helping Children with Autism program.”

The contract to provide the training has been won by the Partnerships between Education and the Autism Community (PEAC) group, led by Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) and including Autism Queensland, Autism South Australia and Flinders University. Aspect also led the consortium which delivered the first phase between 2008 and 2011.

“Since 2008, Positive Partnerships has trained more than 8,000 parents, carers and school staff across Australia in how better to meet the needs of students with autism, and provided online resources for more than 28,000 people,” Mr O’Connor said.

 “The next phase, between 2012 and 2015, is expected to train more than 450 teachers and school staff and over 1,450 parents each year.”

PEAC has a broad range of expertise in autism-specific training for professionals, parents and carers as well as experience in working with children and young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families, and was selected following a highly competitive open-tender process.