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Yet another patch job for children with disabilities

Yet another patch job for children with disabilities

11 May 2016

IHC New Zealand says new money for teacher aides won’t necessarily mean children with disabilities get the education all children deserve.

The Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced an extra 1250 students will get more time with teacher aides thanks to a $15.3 million dollar boost.

“Many teacher aides do a great job,” says IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant. “But the fact remains that they are the least well paid, least well trained and supported and are therefore the less capable of ensuring quality education for children.”

“Children with disabilities do best in schools where the board, principal and all teachers are committed to inclusive education and ensuring good learning outcomes for all children,” says Trish.

“We need an education policy that supports that. This money would be far better spent on a proper plan for building teacher and school capability.

“This is just another patch job.

After 8 years IHC is still waiting for its Education Complaint to be heard by the Human Rights Review Tribunal. The Education Act says all children have a right to reasonable accommodations to get a fair education at their local school. Not all children have this right met.

“Any investment is good, but $15.3 million over four years is not nearly enough. Teacher aides are a valuable part of the solution – but we need much smarter thinking and a far greater commitment to our children’s future.”

ENDS

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