Breakthrough made on Special Education

Campaign yields results

By Angelo Gavrielatos
Senior Vice President

The Federation has been advised that the Minister for Education and Training will be making a statement today concerning special education classes in 2006. The Minister's announcement is an admission that insufficient funds had been allocated for the initiative to place an aide on each special education class.

The Minister will state that

* IM - all 422 classes will continue. A teacher's aide will be allocated to 311 classes. Seventy six classes with small enrolments will be placed on review. They will not attract an aide whilst on review. The remaining 35 classes, which will not be allocated an aide, are operating a "totally" integrated program.

* IO, physical, hearing - 54 classes will close (this is down 18 from the previously announced figure of 72). The students in 47 of these classes can be accommodated in other special education classes at the same school. These classes are the same "category" as those being closed.

Students in the remaining seven classes, a total of 11 students, will be placed in "neighbouring" schools or integrated with "appropriate" integration funding. The Federation is advised that the outcome concerning these 11 students has been negotiated and "accepted" by those concerned.

Thirteen other IO classes with small enrolments will be placed on review. These classes on review which had an aide attached to them will retain the aide. Where no aide was attached they will not attract one whilst on review.

Whilst progress has clearly been made, the Federation will closely scrutinise the announcement made by the Minister to ensure our demands have been met.

Members are to be congratulated for the ongoing campaign in support of our neediest and most vulnerable students.

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