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Govt drops ball on disabled student therapy

Grant Robertson
Spokesperson for Special Education

21 December 2010 Media Statement

Government has dropped the ball on therapy for disabled students

The Government's failure to come up with a properly funded long term plan for special education is the reason behind the reduction of funding for schools such as the Addington Centre in Christchurch that provide intensive physical therapy for those students with very high needs , Grant Robertson, Labour Special Education Spokesperson said today.

"When National cut the additional therapy funding (ATF) in the Budget 2009, Labour and others warned that there needed to be on-going support for those students with intensive therapy needs. The government's partial back down that saw funding 'grand-parented' for those in the system was not a long term solution. More students with intensive therapy needs are coming into the system, but this targeted funded is now being cut." Grant Robertson said.

"My colleague Lynne Pillay brought a petition signed by 1,469 people to Parliament earlier this year calling for the government to reverse the funding cut. The government told us that the review of Special Education would provide a solution for the students concerned, but that is clearly not the case for those at Addington or elsewhere.

“Labour has previously called for the funding to remain in place until such time as a long term solution is developed by the government. Ultimately the review of special education, while it has some worthy goals, has not delivered a clear path to properly inclusive education for New Zealand. In the short term the government should keep the ATF, and in the long term it needs to put in place the programme and funding to give all students an opportunity to have the education they are entitled to." Grant Robertson said.


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