Children with Disability Australia (CDA) welcomes the announcement today from NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Prime Minister Julia Gillard that NSW has signed the National Education Reform Agreement.
CDA urges all state and territory leaders to support the ‘Gonski reforms’ and to deliver better education outcomes for all students. Our leaders must ensure that adequate resourcing will be available to create a more equitable schooling system which has the capacity to meet the needs of all students, including students with disability.Stephanie Gotlib, Executive Officer of CDA said: “Our leaders must put our children’s futures first and unite to support these vital reforms. This is a unique opportunity to impact on the lives of all Australian students and to make an investment in our nation’s future.”
As the peak national body for children and young people with disability, CDA is inundated with reports from its members of discrimination and low expectations for students with disability.Members view a lack of resources, inadequate training of teachers and staff, significant bullying,limited input by allied health professionals and unacceptable use of restrictive practices as the primary areas of concern.
Ms Gotlib said: “It is simply unacceptable that these experiences should be common place for students with disability. They reflect a system in crisis. Reforming the education system is a complex task, but it is absolutely critical for Australia’s future. NSW has taken the first step today. I encourage the remaining leaders to put people above politics and join Premier O’Farrell in signing the agreement. This cannot wait.”
“Education reform for students with disability must be a first order priority for all governments andcannot be left as a residual part of the reform package,” said Ms Gotlib.