Wednesday , November 13 2019
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One in five Queensland public students disabled

Ms Dunstone, who has no background in special education, told the commission she was not a disability expert but her role was to implement the policy for disabled student inclusion in the mainstream system.

The disability royal commission was told Education Queensland has an annual budget of $1.59 billion to support disabled students.

However, the final decision on what resources are allocated to a student is determined by individual school principals.

“All money goes to the school and to the staff to make the adjustments that they do,” Ms Dunstone said.

“It’s absolutely in recognition of the adjustments that we expect that that school may need to provide but they hold the professional privilege and accountability and judgment to do that on a case-by-case basis.”

Ms Dunstone said that even if a parent outlined what adjustments were needed for a disabled student, the principal will decide if they were reasonable.

“It would be considered. It may not be fully met, because it may be that it’s not within the resource capacity of the school.”

Earlier, the commission was told that some schools lacked strong leadership in terms of embracing classroom diversity.

Loren Swancutt, regional head of the special education service, says reluctant teachers are failing to cater to the needs of disabled students.

“Individualised adjustments aren’t necessarily fore-fronted and planned for – therefore the child cannot successfully engage in lessons,” she said.

At least one school in Queensland has not yet introduced disabled students into their classrooms, she said.

Thursday is the final day of public hearings for the Townsville sitting of the commission, which will reconvene in Melbourne in December.


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