Family Advocacy has released a new position statement on inclusive education, which will inform our systemic advocacy on this issue over the next year and beyond. It is both a resource for parents to inform policy makers, and a clear outline of the reasons .
The document is the result of research, of families articulating their experiences, and of Family Advocacy’s values.
“Family Advocacy knows all children belong together in the classroom with their peers. However, in Australia, children with disability are often placed in special schools or support units"
Family Advocacy recommend that all future policy approaches in Australia and NSW pursue full inclusion and move toward ending segregation of children with disability as part of a progressive realisation of the right to inclusive education in line with the UNCRPD and General Comment on the right to Inclusive Education. This means policy makers must recognise the evidence that shows full inclusion is producing better social and academic outcomes for students with disability, and implement evidence-based programs and provide funding accordingly.
In contrast to the myth that students with disabilities learn better in disability-specific settings, in a literature review of 170 Australian and international studies, Cologon (2013) found that “children who experience disability who are included into mainstream educational settings demonstrate better academic and vocational outcomes when compared to children who are educated in segregated settings.” In addition, “children who do not experience disability have also been found to benefit academically from inclusive education with equal or better academic outcomes compared to children participating in non-inclusive settings” (Cologon 2013).
The Family Advocacy position statement on education is available online.