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Govt. Should Withdraw Appeal Over Special Needs

1 May 2002

Govt. Should Withdraw Appeal Over Special Needs - Kedgley

The Government should work with the families of special needs children, not take them back to court, Green Party Disabilities spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

Ms Kedgley said the Government should accept the High Court decision, which found that the shift to main-streaming special needs students was illegal, instead of appealing it.

"This is not a criminal case to be appealed on technical details. The 14 families who took this case deserve help not another battle.

"Simply throwing special needs students into main-stream classes does not work - parents know it, teachers know it, the High Court knows it. It's time the Government accepted that and did something about it."

Ms Kedgley said the only way mainstreaming could work was if extra resources were targeted to help each special needs student keep up with the class.

"The Government should accept the original ruling and stop bulk-funding schools for special needs students. Schools should be funded for each special needs student they teach, not an average number likely to be enrolled.

"The Government is putting up specious arguments and ignoring the fact that there are high needs children in New Zealand right now who are not getting the funding or the support that they need," she said.

Ends

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