Children with disabilities overlooked in 2013 pre-primary planning
Date:Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Children with severe disabilities have been left out of Government planning in the transition to compulsory pre-primary schooling starting next year.
In response to questions asked in Parliament, Greens spokesperson for Education and Disabilities Alison Xamon has discovered that pre-primary places in Education Support Centres had not been considered in the transition planning.
“This situation is a serious oversight,” Ms Xamon said.
“It is extremely concerning that somehow Education Support Centres – which provide services to children with the most severe disabilities – were ‘forgotten’ by the Department when it guaranteed that all children would have a pre-primary place from next year.
“In response to questions in Parliament yesterday, the Department could not guarantee pre-primary places for children with disabilities next year.
“The Department said it had no information for parents looking for a pre-primary Education Support Centre place.
“The best I have been able to determine from the Department is that they should be able to provide some information in third term of this year.
“This last-minute scramble is simply not good enough.
“Parents are making enquiries now about placements for their children next year and they need certainty, not this lack of information that is causing them additional anxiety about their children’s education.
“Education Support Centres provide services for children with the most severe disabilities – and the research is clear that the earlier children receive specialised support, the better.”