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Where's the speech Mr English?

25 July 2006

Where's the speech Mr English?

Education Minister Steve Maharey today asked Bill English to release the full speech he gave to the National Party conference, in which he signalled the rolling back of mainstreaming for students with special needs.

"It is vital that Mr English clarifies for teachers and parents, National's position on mainstreaming," Steve Maharey said.

"This would remove any doubt that children with a disability would have full access to a range of education opportunities under a National government.

"Since the 1980s there has been agreement that children with disabilities should have the same access to education as other children. It is deeply alarming that National may want to wind this agreement back.

Mr English's attempt to suggest he was referring to severe behaviour is also not acceptable.Is he suggesting that all children with a disability are disruptive? If he is he should say so. If he isn't he still needs to explain."

Mr Maharey said that the National Party was yet to make Mr English's speech from the weekend publicly available, despite a direct request from the parliamentary library for a copy.

ENDS

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