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Current levels of access and attainment for students with disability in

the school system, and the impact on students and families associated
with inadequate levels of support
Terms of Reference
That the following matters be referred to the Education and Employment
References Committee for inquiry and report by 3 November 2015:

current levels of access and attainment for students with disability

in the school system, and the impact on students and families
associated with inadequate levels of support;


the social, economic and personal benefits of improving outcomes

for students with disability at school and in further education and


the impact on policies and the education practice of individual

education sectors as a result of the More Support for Students with
Disabilities program, and the impact of the cessation of this program in
2014 on schools and students;


the future impact on students with disability as a result of the

Governments decision to index funding for schools at the consumer
price index after 2017;


the progress of the implementation of the needs-based funding

system as stated in the Australian Education Act;


the progress of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on

School Students with Disability and the findings, recommendations and
outcomes from this process, and how this data will, or should, be used
to develop a needs-based funding system for students with disability;


how possible changes as a result of the Nationally Consistent

Collection of Data on School Students with Disability will be informed by
evidence-based best practice of inclusion of students with disability;


what should be done to better support students with disability in our



the early education of children with disability; and


any other related matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:
Committee Secretary
Senate Education and Employment Committees
PO Box 6100
Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3521
Fax: +61 2 6277 5706


Examples of some of the things you may wish to give your views on.
the covering up of the abuse of children with disabilities in schools (including crimes such as illegal
imprisonment of children) by Regional Directors and Deputy Secretaries, including the refusal to
respond to notifications, or conduct professional investigations
the practice of Conduct and Ethics/Legal Department using Departmental documents claiming they
mean one thing when it suits their purpose, and then giving the opposite information to the Federal
Court when it suits another purpose
the practice by the Freedom of Information Department claiming they don't have documents which
magically surface months later
the deliberate non-recording of restrictive practices in order to keep such practices from parents, and
thwart investigation
the dismantling of seclusion rooms when schools think that they are going to be investigated (no
doubt with warning from senior bureaucrats)
the false and misleading claims that the Department of Education and Training make in relation to
the standard of their education, and the subsequent and numeracy rejection of all policies, procedures
and guidelines when challenged as a result of a complaint
the victimisation of parents and advocates who make complaints
the use of retired DET staff to undertake "independent" investigations of complaints
the protection of Principals and teachers who abuse children with disabilities in schools
the process underpinning the removal of individual funding for 90% of children with severe language
disorders (Victoria)
the fostering by Department of Education & Training of hostile relationships between teachers and
parents by withholding the resources that schools need to effectively teach children with disabilities
the money spent on the Legal Department, its staff, legal proceedings and confidential settlements,
which could be spent on students with disabilities and schools
the money spent on private law firms and the profits those law firms make at the expense of
Victorian tax payers
the manner in which DET approaches litigation
the manner in which DET treats students with disabilities and their families who make legal
complaints .
General Incompetence
DETs "invisible" Individual Education Plans
DETs "invisible" Behaviour Management Plans
DETs "invisible" behaviour analyses
examples of Individual Education Plans which demonstrate, perhaps some of the worst practice in
the Western world
examples of Behaviour Management Plans which demonstrate, perhaps some of the worst practice
in the Western World
refusal to enroll students with disabilities
refusal to allow students with disabilities to attend part-time
the language used to describe students with disabilities and their behaviours, being denigrating and
insulting to those students
the "one size fits all" therapy approach to students in Special Schools (e.g. group OT, group speech
therapy etc)
the lack of academic teaching shown by students in Special Schools
the choosing of particular communication methods used for the school as a whole, rather than based
on individual needs

examples of speech pathology plans which may consist of one line

refusal to purchase communication devices and fund communication partners for children with
Complex Communication Needs
the refusal by school staff to take the slightest notice of the parents and the child regarding disability
support, despite claiming in their documents to believe such import is a vast importance
poor academic outcomes across the school system for students with disabilities
Inhumane and degrading treatment
Refusal after almost 3 years to prohibit seclusion.
Systemic issues
Examining the failure of those in senior leadership positions at the Department of Education, and
raising the issue of why they have not yet been sacked, given them:
Presiding over a completely inadequate educational system for students with disabilities (as has been
established by statutory authorities/reports);
Presiding over an educational system which abuses children with disabilities in preference to using
evidence-based behaviour interventions;
Withholding the training and resources that teachers need to adequately do their jobs;
Presiding over discriminatory individual funding systems that provide funding based on disability,
rather than educational need;
Withholding any guidance for teachers as to which literacy and numeracy programs are evidence
based and should therefore be used in the face of significant academic lag;
Expecting teachers to, in their own spare time, go online and educate themselves about best practice
interventions for disabilities, rather than providing resources to be given directly to them, or providing
resources to engage experts in disability to assist them directly with students.
Failing to require any evidence that any monies spent on students with disabilities are achieving an
educational goal.
Allowing any person, no matter how unqualified, to become a teacher's aide and work with students
who have some of the most complex needs in the country.

Making a submission


A submission may be as short or as long as you like. It may contain facts, opinions, arguments or
recommendations. It may cover all the points in the terms of reference or only some of them,
depending on what interests you. Supporting documents may be attached.
There is no prescribed format. However, to make submissions most useful we suggest:

the terms of reference of the inquiry can be a good guide to structuring a submission;

if the submission is longer than a few pages, please include a summary at the front; and

submissions published on the Senate website will be converted to pdf format and,
therefore, may have a different appearance to the document that was submitted. Sensitive material
and confidential information should not be sent via email because it is not a secure medium.


The Committee prefers electronic submissions uploaded via the Make a submission to an
Inquiry page. Otherwise submissions can be emailed or if posting please type or write clearly in
black ink on A4 paper. The preferred format for electronic submissions is Microsoft Word but all
submissions are considered regardless of their format or medium.


The Senate prefers the committee process to be as transparent as possible. The majority of
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the name of the person making the submission but they take care not to publish the person's contact
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internet or if you wish to make a confidential submission, you must make this clear from the


If you intend to request that your submission be considered on a confidential basis you must
ensure that the actual submission document or documents that you create do not contain your
contact details and that you have removed document metadata properties. The committee will
sympathetically consider requests for confidentiality, but cannot make promises in advance. If you
have concerns about confidentiality, please discuss with the committee secretary before you make
the submission.


If you are making a submission by post and you want your submission to be kept confidential,
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stated above, the committee will sympathetically consider requests for confidentiality, but cannot
make promises in advance. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please discuss with the
committee secretary before you make your postal submission.

Making a submission using the online submission system or via post


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committees for the protection of witnesses'.



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of the submission is not protected by parliamentary privilege.
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