Young girl sitting at a table, drawing on a piece of paper with an orange pencil.

Every child and young person in Australia has the right to access an inclusive education setting, and to be welcomed and valued. This means that students with a disability are to be involved and supported in their own schooling journey and community. No segregation and the same opportunities and environment as their peers.

Being welcomed as a valued learner and included in general education is something that allows children with a disability to participate fully and enjoy the process of learning. This inclusive environment is important in creating the type of society that students with disabilities can thrive in. Not only is it the society we want, but leads the way for lifelong benefits for those who participate. So how can Australian Education systems ensure the rights of students with disabilities are protected?

There are many challenges faced by students trying to access inclusive education. These challenges include but are not limited to bullying, harrasment, lack of appropriate support, suspensions and expulsions. The encouragement and support of full participation by students with disabilities in an equal manner is something that can be used to combat these challenges. The phasing out of segregated education practices may light the way in achieving inclusive education and preventing negative schooling experiences for those students affected.


 


The United Nations outlines ways that inclusive education is appropriately achieved in education systems.

Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from the United Nations:

"Effective individualised support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion." 

It is ensuring that providing environments of consistent social interaction and academic support is a main goal of inclusive education. The segregation of students during the learning process has seen to increase instances of bullying from peers, combined with substantially less opportunities for positive social interaction within a classroom environment. Barriers to education are currently being explored by the Disability Royal Commision, for more information have a look at our blog on the matter:

Disability Royal Commission explores barriers to education

Whilst the Disability Royal Commission continues to play out, it is important that the conversation continues around inclusive education. Different types of discrimination, such as direct or indirect, occur within schooling environments. Lack of knowledge and understanding of disability can contribute to these instances. If we continue highlighting the importance of inclusive education, we arm people with greater knowledge and understanding to combat the inequalities. Equal information and understanding may lead the way to equal access and opportunity.


Department of Education Contacts:

New South Wales Department of Education

Phone: 1300 679 332 
Mail: GPO Box 33, Sydney NSW 2001
Website: https://education.nsw.gov.au/ 

Queensland Department of Education

Phone: 13 74 68
Mail: PO Box 15033 City East QLD 4002
Website: https://education.qld.gov.au/ 

ACT Education Directorate

Phone: 6205 5429
Mail: ACT Education Directorate 220 London Cct Canberra ACT 2601
Website: https://www.education.act.gov.au/home

Victorian Department of Education

Phone: 1800 338 663
Mail: GPO Box 4367 Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Website: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

Tasmanian Department of Education

Phone: 1800 816 057
Mail: GPO Box 169, Hobart Tasmania 7001
Website: https://www.education.tas.gov.au/ 

Western Australia Department of Education

Phone: 9264 4111
Mail: 151 Royal Street, East Perth WA 6004
Website: https://www.education.wa.edu.au/ 

South Australia Department of Education

Phone: 8226 1000
Mail: GPO Box 1152 Adelaide SA 5001
Website: https://www.education.sa.gov.au/ 

Northern Territory Department of Education

Phone: 08 8999 5659
Mail: GPO Box 4821 Darwin NT 0801
Website: https://education.nt.gov.au/

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