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Increasing Class Sizes May Disadvantage Disabled Students

5 Jun 2012

Increasing Class Sizes May Disadvantage Disabled Students

One of New Zealand’s leading disability organisations, CCS Disability Action, today warned proposed increases in class sizes will disadvantage disabled students.

The changes to funding ratios for schools detailed in the 2012 Budget means there is likely to be increases in class size for years 2 to 10. This will impact on many disabled students, including those with learning needs and behavioural issues.

CCS Disability Action’s Acting Chief Executive, Kate Cosgriff, said that many children with disabilities and those with unique educational needs require alternative education strategies and one on one time with teachers.

Ms Cosgriff highlighted CCS Disability Action’s recent research into school choice, which showed that some schools were still not welcoming enough for children with disabilities. In the research 48% of the families involved felt that they had not always had a real choice between schools. 29% had moved their child to a different school, mainly because of poor attitudes, knowledge and facilities.

“We are really concerned that increased class sizes will undo some of the progress that has been made in including disabled children in regular classes.”

Ms Cosgriff said she was pleased that the Government is already rethinking increasing class sizes because of unforeseen impacts on intermediate schools. “We ask the Government to extend this rethink to include the impact of the changes on disabled children and other students with unique learning needs.”

ENDS

CCS Disability Action Background Information
CCS Disability Action (formerly the New Zealand Crippled Children Society and CCS) works in partnership with disabled people, their families, and whanau to ensure equality of opportunity, quality of life, and by helping to create environments of inclusion. New Zealand is made up of disabled people, their families, and whanau; CCS Disability Action aims to assist all people who face barriers on the basis of disability
CCS Disability Action delivers regular services to over 4,900 people with disabilities, making us one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand. CCS Disability Action works closely with other disability agencies to make the best use of shared knowledge and resources, helping us to adopt best practice across the sector. CCS Disability Action also works with government to make sure that those with disabilities have the same rights to relationships, learning, work, recreation and community as everyone else.
Our foundation statement, Te Hunga Haua Mauri Mo Nga Tangata Katoa, forms the basis of our identity. It reminds us that all people have mauri, life force, and that all life force is equal. Our vision is to build a truly inclusive New Zealand; a country that embraces diversity.

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