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NDIS exclusion of education a missed opportunity

The opportunity to develop a progressive disability policy-funding system providing seamless access to appropriate services and support has not been realised with the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), show researchers from Deakin University. 

A recent paper lead by Dr Ben Whitburn demonstrated that while the NDIS constitutes unprecedented legislative reform that will provide choice and control for people with disabilities, restrictions around possible crossovers with any mainstream services – and particularly education – makes the scheme instantly restrictive.

Whitburn says the NDIS has missed the mark on providing the transformative educational aspects that it might have achieved.

“It is well recognised that access to education is core to providing people with disabilities access to appropriate support in their schooling to achieve a fully inclusive life,” he said.

“The way that funding for educational provisions is demarked through the NDIS funding, though, means that supports that students need for educational equity sit outside the remit of the NDIS.

“This means that if a student needs equipment and aids to use within school, they will not be funded by the NDIS; but if they need them for use outside of the education system, they will be funded.”

The failure to provide staff training in relation to students on the autism spectrum for students in schools through the scheme is perplexing, Whitburn said.

“Young people with autism constitute the highest proportion of funded NDIS participants, but while disability training for staff is made available to further and higher education providers, it is not available in schools – where we know staff need assistance. Access to education is a priority in achieving an inclusive society, and we still have further to go.”


23 Feb 2018
Tech and agriculture entrepreneurial learning program for Year 9 and 10 students News Image

Increasingly technology has become essential to how our food is grown and AgriFutures™ startup.business teaches school kids in regional Australia to solve problems facing agriculture with innovation and entrepreneurialism. Read More

23 Feb 2018 | Perth
Data and equity make learning visible: an Invitational Road Map News Image

John Young, Principal of Clarkson Community High School, has seen the difference visible learning makes. An emphasis on research and data has focused teachers’ attention on the why, how and what of accelerating student learning. Read More

21 Feb 2018 | South Australia
Business and education working together on STEAM News Image

It looks like education and industry are beginning to work together on the direction that STEAM education will take if the SMARTSchool which opened this week on the University of South Australia’s Magill campus is any indication. Read More

21 Feb 2018 | Sydney
Union says link between NAPLAN and HSC must go News Image

The criticism of NAPLAN continues apace with the IEUA NSW/ACT calling on NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes to rethink the link between NAPLAN results and the award of the Higher School Certificate. Read More

21 Feb 2018 | Melbourne
Premiers’ Reading Challenge kicks off for 2018 News Image

Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2018 is expected to attract 250,000 eager readers this year, it’s a good program having been the catalyst for millions of books read by kids in the state. Read More