Victoria pulls the first lever on delivering inclusive education
The Victorian Government has today taken a significant step towards achieving inclusive education, becoming only the second state to introduce functional needs-based funding for students with disability. Australia’s national representative organisation Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) welcomes this new approach and looks forward to seeing improved experiences and outcomes for students with disability.
CYDA CEO and Chair of the Australian Coalition for Inclusive Education (ACIE), Mary Sayers, says, “We welcome Victoria’s move to needs-based funding, which ACIE called for in our 2020 roadmap: ‘Driving change: A roadmap for achieving inclusive education in Australia’ :
We look forward to seeing how this significant investment will drive real change for students, and bolster understanding by families, educators and the community that the transition to inclusive education is achievable and not to be feared.”
Inclusive education is a human right for every child and young person with disability, outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. It means making sure that learning environments and teaching approaches support full participation of all children and young people on an equal basis, alongside their non-disabled peers, regardless of individual attributes or characteristics.
Ms Sayers says, “We know that achieving inclusive education across Australia will require school-funding reform, including a move to functional needs-based funding, and we are pleased to see the ongoing shift to this approach across the country, today announced in Victoria.
Many additional measures will be needed alongside funding reform to ensure genuine inclusion, including the reduction of suspensions and expulsions and the elimination of restrictive practices against students with disability. These issues are currently being explored by the Disability Royal Commission.
CYDA and ACIE look forward to continuing to work with the Victorian Government to progress the full inclusion of students with disability.”
Victorian students with disability, and their families, have experienced significant and widespread impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and CYDA hopes that the new funding and policy directions outlined in Disability Inclusion will result in investment in additional supports to assist every Victorian government school to improve education practice and the inclusion of students with disability
Sue Tape (she/her)
CYDA Communications Advisor
Phone: 0424 603 892
Email: [email protected]