Public schools do not have the resources required to meet the needs of students with disability, new data from the Australian Education Union shows.
On the International Day of People with Disability, the AEU is urging the Federal Government to address the glaring inequity in funding for public school students with disability.
The AEU’s 2021 State of our Schools survey of public-school teachers, principals and education support staff found:
- 83 per cent of all principals say they do not have sufficient resources to appropriately meet the needs of students with disability at their school.
- 89 per cent of principals use funds from other budget areas to cover funding shortfalls for students with disability.
- 64 per cent of principals say that students with disability or learning difficulties would benefit the most from funding schools to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).
- 87 per cent of principals say that teachers would benefit most from additional classroom support when teaching students with disability or learning difficulties with 100 per cent of SRS.
“Almost nine in 10 principals surveyed told us that they ensure the students with disability enrolled in their school get the educational support they need by using funding required for other purposes,” AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said.
“The situation is particularly urgent in very remote schools where 95 per cent of teachers have reported that the needs of students with disability at their school are not being appropriately met.
“This data clearly shows there is an critical need to ensure public schools are funded to a minimum of 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard.
“Every student, irrespective of their situation, deserves access to the educational opportunities that can fully harness their potential and talent. Public school principals, teachers and education support staff go above and beyond to ensure that the needs of students with disability are met and this must be backed in by governments properly funding public schools.
“We call on the Federal Government to immediately address the funding inequities for public students with disability by ensuring that a minimum of 100% of the SRS is delivered for every school.”