Thousands of students with disability miss out as Government dodges action

More than 2,000 Tasmanian students with disability will continue to miss out on millions of dollars in education support as the Rockliff Government dodges the real issue of underfunding.

The Rockliff Government’s Review of the Educational Adjustments Funding Model was designed to fail by ruling out any review of funding levels, leaving underfunding and neglect unaddressed.

The Australian Education Union’s submission to the Review called for measures to ensure over 2,000 students with disability currently missing out on educational support receive the funding they need.

“The core problem here is underfunding and thousands of students missing out on support,” said David Genford, Australian Education Union Tasmania President. “Yet the Government ensured this review wasn’t able to examine the main issue and criticism of the Government’s neglectful approach.”

“Underfunding and neglect affects every child and there’s a double negative for over 2,000 Tasmanian students with disability who receive no additional funding.”

“Every child in Tasmanian public schools and colleges is around $2,000 per year below the minimum national funding standard. This underfunding hits students with disability the hardest and it’s unacceptable – we demand urgent action.”

“Support Teachers in public schools are currently expected to support as many as 35 students with diagnosed disability each – this creates unsustainable workloads and denies students the personalised support they need. Unfortunately, the review fails to address this situation and we suspect this is due to restrictions around the scope of the review designed by the Government.”

The Rockliff Government has accepted all 12 recommendations in the Report, but have committed no funding to implement them.

“Firstly dodging any review of funding shortfalls and then accepting recommendations with zero funding commitments to implement them is neglectful at best and harmful at worst.”

“Raising the hopes of students, families and educators that significant funding shortfalls will be addressed without committing the required funds to fix neglect is disgraceful.”

“Recommendations such as additional professional learning, improved workforce capability, expanding inclusive practice coaches, additional support for primary to high school transition and increased contingency funding are all very welcome – but where is the money?”

“Students are missing out now, we have raised this with the Rockliff Government for years and there is still no commitment to ensure every child receives the full funding and support they need.”

“It is past time this Government turned words into dollars flowing through the school gate.”