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Lack of Data on Disabled Students in Education Worrying

Lack of Data on Disabled Students in Education Worrying

One of New Zealand’s leading disability service providers, CCS Disability Action today said that current education policy was let down by a lack of data on disabled students.

CCS Disability Action said the lack of data on the number of disabled students in schools and early childhood education made setting policies and priorities to better support the disabled almost impossible.

David Matthews, chief executive of CCS Disability Action, said: “The Education Review Office provides a detailed breakdown of ethnic groups within schools, but has no breakdown based on disability.

“So while we know that 4%, or around 98 students at Auckland Grammar School are Māori, we can’t tell you how many students have special education needs or are in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS).”

He added; “The same is true for Early Childhood Education. The Ministry of Education does not collect data on disability and participation rates, but does on ethnicity. This is despite, research pointing to major barriers for disabled children in early childhood education.

“The lack of data causes major problems for priorities and policy. For example, the Ministry of Education in its early childhood education work is focusing almost exclusively on Māori and Pasifika.

“Until the government and experts recognise and address the barriers children with disabilities and their families face, real solutions to issues in education will be impossible.”

ends

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