Inclusive education


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Inclusive education

  1. 1. The Right of Persons with Disabilities to an Inclusive Education in Australia
  2. 2. Office of the High Commission for Human Rights The UN has asked OHCHR to do a study on the right to education of persons with disabilities in consultation with relevant stakeholders, and report in March 2014. 2
  3. 3. Definition of Inclusive Education A clear definition of ‘Inclusive Education’ is important. • To contrast inclusion in general classes with groupings in separate classes/schools. • To address the habit of labelling anything ’inclusive’ to meet principles and standards by education providers. 3
  4. 4. Students with disability data (2009) 173,900 students with disabilities are enrolled in Australian schools • 86,000 (49.7%) in general classrooms • 60,800 (35%) in special classes • 26,600 (15.3%) in special schools 4
  5. 5. Students with Intellectual Disabilities (2009) enrolled in Australian schools Students with intellectual disabilities are disproportionately represented in special classes/ schools in Australia • 85.6% of all students in special classes • 92.0% of all students in special schools • 53.1% of students with intellectual disabilities are segregated from general classrooms 5
  6. 6. Comparative Education Research Research Analysis by Dr Jackson, Edith Cowan University’ 2008. • Students with intellectual disability significantly benefit from inclusion in regular classes when compared to special classes/schools. • No review can be found comparing segregation and inclusion that came out in favour of segregation in over 40 years of research. 6
  7. 7. Legislation and Policy • Disability Discrimination in Education is unlawful (Disability Discrimination Act 1992) • Disability Standards for Education (2005) clarify education rights of students with disabilities. • All Australian education authorities have some form of inclusive education policy. • The term inclusion is also used in segregated settings in Australia. 7
  8. 8. Experience of Students and Families Many people report • Substantial difficulties with achieving inclusive education • A lack of confidence in HOW inclusive education is being practiced. • Complaints process is complex and costly • Therefore a lack of complaints does not signify successful inclusive education practices by education providers. 8
  9. 9. Experience (continued) There are reports of • Systemic barriers accessing general classrooms and schools for students. • Lack of support from school staff for inclusion. • Limited opportunities and low expectations for students with disabilities, combined with • Exclusion of students with a disability • Bullying of students with a disability • Violence against students with a disability 9
  10. 10. Experience (continued) • Some students and families report substantial ‘pain’ in trying to achieve inclusive education • Some families have decided to remove their children from schools and ‘choose’ segregation because of a perceived failure of ‘inclusion’ by staff. • A significant number of schools are not welcoming of students with disabilities or their families. 10
  11. 11. Alternate Experiences • Some students and families report successful experiences in inclusive education. • These students and families identify the leadership of the principle to work in partnerships as critical to success. 11
  12. 12. Promotion of Inclusive Education • The objective of the DDA is to promote the equal rights of people with disabilities. • A review of the Education Standards recommended • The need to promote inclusive education • Development of good practice guidelines to address bullying, restrictive practices and inclusive teaching strategies. 12
  13. 13. Teacher Education • Families repeatedly identify the need for teachers with skill on including students with disabilities. • The Commonwealth government has resources for teachers on inclusive strategies/ practices. • The DDA review found limited access to ongoing professional development on inclusive education. 13
  14. 14. Recommendations NCID is asking OHCHR to • Provide a clear workable definition of inclusive education NCID • Acknowledges some progress but there still remains much to do to support inclusive education in Australia. • Student and families stories need to be promoted in the OHCHR research 14
  15. 15. Recommendations • Laws and policies are important but not sufficient to achieve inclusive education. • We need programs to support students. families, teachers and school systems to achieve successful inclusive education. • Discrimination laws and complaints processes are important but need to be simple, efficient and inexpensive to increase use by students and families. 15