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Time to be accountable for Learning Failure

Media Release

Hon Roger McClay


Commissioner for Children 21 May 2001

"Time to be accountable for Learning Failure"

"Why aren’t those responsible, and given the resources for, meeting learning needs more often stood down when they fail to do so?" Commissioner for Children Roger McClay asked, when he addressed the 30th Anniversary dinner of SPELD New Zealand on Saturday evening in Masterton.

Mr McClay told the delegates that he got very "anxious, angry and passionate when I hear about children being punished for bad behaviour, when it is obvious their learning needs have not been met".

He sighted comments of the Human Rights Commission earlier this year that "there is widespread discrimination against special needs children in the education system and 60% of the complaints the Human Rights Commission got about education concerned disability and the number seemed to be growing.

Mr McClay told the SPELD organisation that their efforts on behalf of children over the last 30 years was inspiring, and upheld the intentions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which along with the law, "guarantees for these children with disabilities the right to education and resources".

"There is evidence of systemic discrimination against these children" he quoted the Human Rights Commission as saying.

Full speech notes are available from the Office of the Commissioner for Children. Telephone: 04-471-1410.

Office of the Commissioner for Children Level 12, 86-90 Lambton Quay PO Box 5610 Lambton Quay WELLINGTON

phone: 4711 410 phone fax: 4711 418 fax

email: children@occ.org.nz email

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