This morning on ABC Radio National Stephanie Gotlib, CEO of Children with Disability Australia, spoke about the alarming number of students in NSW (something like 100,000) who are unable to receive a quality education due to lack of specialised resources. Those of us who work in education know that good teachers and the right support services make all the difference to students. Sadly, for our most vulnerable and marginalised students good teachers and the right resources are subject to the vagaries of government funding.
Mainstream inclusion must be supported with specialised teaching strategies. Students with severe behaviour disorders and emotional disturbance are over represented in the special education population of our schools and these students often have learning difficulties and mental illness which are untreated as school support services are stretched to the limit.
Schools need services for these students that offer a holistic approach to avoid duplication. All this costs money and we wait with bated breath for the next budget.