Ensuring the highest quality education for all students with special needs is a particular challenge for Catholic schools. Accordingly, CSNSW brings to the attention of the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry a range of recommendations (pp 30–1) covering current issues which need to be addressed by governments and the community in conjunction with schools, parents and teachers. They cover the broad areas of:
- Student Recognition and Resourcing Needs;
- Accessible Curriculum and Assessment;
- Early Childhood;
- Teacher Quality and Learning Support;
- Access to VET courses.
The particular issues addressed in this submission are:
- The urgency of determining a national definition of Students with a Disability;
- Advocating increased financial support by Commonwealth and State governments in line with their national (1991, 2005) and international (2009) obligations and their commitment to the agreed Declaration on (2008);
- Promoting a more sophisticated approach to educational adjustments and resource allocation which assesses student needs in relation to required adjustments for learning;
- Recognising and providing more effectively for the increasing incidence of Students with extremes of challenging behaviour;
- Advocating that the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority(ACARA) adopt the NSW standards for curriculum and assessment accessibility;
- Improved co-ordination and supply of essential services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy especially for rural and remotes areas of NSW;
- Defining teacher standards relevant to the needs of special needs students.