- Minister Hekia Parata
Education for all
The Education for All network is made up of disabled people, families, educators and service providers. We are disappointed and frustrated at the continued lack of commitment to ensuring that disabled people have access to a properly resourced and inclusive education.
We ask that this Government makes a full commitment to disabled people and inclusive education by:
- Meeting New Zealand’s international human rights obligations and our own legislative requirements to provide every disabled person with an inclusive education.
- Putting an end to children, families and schools having to compete against one another for funding.
- Removing the disincentives for schools at all levels (i.e. ECE, primary, secondary and tertiary) to enrol and include students with disabilities by providing proper resources, supports and funding.
- Adopting a policy of universal design for learning so that everything, from the built environment, curriculum, teaching practices and support services, is accessible for everyone.
- Working with the disability community, families, educators and service providers to implement a system that works.
We have had countless reviews, consultation and inquiries into ‘special education’ for many years and yet the barriers remain the same:
- Children unable to exercise their right to attend their local schools
- Children being sent home part-way through the day because of lack of learning support
- Children being excluded from accessing the curriculum, as well as participating in sports, recreation and cultural activities.
- Families having to pay for their children’s Teacher Aides and additional learning supports.
- Schools having to fundraise and use operational funding to top up special education funding.
- Extremely limited tertiary and adult education options for disabled people, particularly those with learning disabilities.
- Lack of access to assistive technologies.
- Lack of inclusive education training for graduating teachers.
- Piecemeal access to professional development for teachers, support staff and schools.