JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Tuesday, 9th November 2010
REAL ACTION NEEDED FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY NOT ANOTHER GOVERNMENT TALK-FEST
Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training the Hon Christopher Pyne and Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Mitch Fifield, have called on the Government to urgently address the needs of Australian students with disability.
Peter Garrett has announced that he is seeking advice from a small group of education authorities and teacher unions on policies to help students with a disability.
Although the group is to report back to Minister Garrett by the end of this year, he has not set a deadline to himself to actually implement much-needed reform in the area, stating only that he will aim to “consider” the group’s advice in 2011.
“Although stakeholder consultation is important, the time for talking about the needs of students with disability is over. The Government needs to take real action to improve the quality of education students with disability receive,” Mr Pyne said.
“The Government needs to implement the Coalition’s policy, which is to invest $314 million to provide an Education Card worth up to $20,000 to assist students with disability,” Senator Fifield said.
The Education Card would grant parents of students with disability the choice to determine the best school for their child, and the entitlement would follow the student and be paid straight to the education institution the parents choose.
“It is time to take real action to get the best possible educational outcomes for Australian students with a disability,” they said.
“The Government needs to follow the Coalition’s lead and act now to remove the barriers to accessing education that students with disability and their parents face.”