NZEI backs calls for Govt action to include every child

6 April 2017

NZEI Te Riu Roa is backing calls for Government action on inclusive education as evidence mounts that it is denying disabled and higher needs children the vital support they need to learn.

The Education For All (EFA) petition is being handed to MPs today.

The petition calls on the Government to meet its obligations to uphold the human rights of disabled children and others to have their specific learning needs met so they can access a full education.

“Every Kiwi child has the right to a great public education but the Government has effectively rationed the support available to kids, meaning some are being denied that basic right,” said Mark Potter, NZEI Executive member and Wellington primary school principal.

"This year the Government froze the operations grant, out of which schools pay teachers aides and other support staff,  which has led schools to drop support staff hours or hike parent donations to cope.

"Meanwhile, Education Ministry staffing caps for specialist services like speech, language and behavioural therapy are seeing kids waiting months for the help they need.

"Its totally unacceptable that in a country like New Zealand some children are being effectively denied the help they need to learn.

“Just last week Northland Principal Pat Newman warned that schools would soon be forced to suspend children with behavioural problems caused by foetal alcohol syndrome and other disorders because, without extra support, many were a danger to themselves and others.

"If the Government knows that children are missing out on an education because it is starving schools of resources, then it has an obligation to act," Mr Potter said.



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