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(Australia) Disabled students increasingly restrained/excluded/suspended

Oct 28, 2019, ABC News: Education survey finds 12pc of children with a disability kept from class by school 'gate keeping' Felix Tarlinton did not have a good experience at school. "I'm not very good with big crowds," the nine-year old, who lives with autism, told the ABC. "[My teacher] would send me to this small little corner that I absolutely hated." In what is a common story for children living with a disability, teachers at Felix's school in regional NSW — responding to his outbursts and behaviour — often removed him from class. They sometimes segregated him from other students. In his last year at school, Felix's teachers reported 20 "negative incidents" including multiple reports of fighting, swearing and an incident where he allegedly attempted to injure a teacher. Felix's mother Chloe Letica believed some of her son's behaviours might have been avoided if he was offered more support. She is now home-schooling him. … Advocacy group Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) said the struggles of students such as Felix were not unusual. Its National Education Survey of families of children with disability — released on Monday — found nearly no progress on improving access to inclusive education. Of the 505 children with disabilities and their families and carers surveyed, it found 40 per cent of students with a disability had been excluded from events or activities in the last year. The survey found 21 per cent of students with a disability reported being restrained either physically, chemically, or through commands, and nearly half of respondents said they were bullied. Families said 12.5 per cent of students with a disability had been refused enrolment. "We call it school 'gatekeeping'," CYDA chief executive Mary Sayers said. "If we don't get it right in education, we can't get it right everywhere else," Ms Sayers said. "So, [it] is really important and historic that the royal commission is starting with [it]." Responding to Felix's removal from school, the NSW Department of Education said additional resources were deployed to support him, but it did not identify what form that support took. It also said more than $288 million was allocated to schools in 2019 to support learning for students with disability. It said another program, Integration Funding Support, provided $200 million to 10,000 individual students with moderate to high needs. …


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