CCS Disability Action says the structure of the New Zealand school system needs to be looked at to ensure schools serve their whole community, especially vulnerable students.
Chief Executive David Matthews said the current education system was failing disabled children and their families in many places.
“We have found schools to be highly variable in including disabled children. In our Families Choices research some parents of disabled children reported an unwelcoming atmosphere in schools. Successive ERO reports have been critical of inclusive education in some schools.”
“The question needs to be asked; does the current system of over 2,000 independently run schools best serve the whole community? Does it best serve all students, especially vulnerable students, such as disabled children, who often lack representation on school boards?”
Mr Matthews was clear that questions around the current system need to be investigated.
“Over two decades have passed since the start of Tomorrow’s Schools and we are still waiting for inclusive schools. The Government and the Ministry of Education needs to take a hard look at the current system. All schools should be achieving across the board and be welcoming to disabled children.”