Monday, May 28, 2012

The wisdom of Government

I'm trying to stay calm until I meet with our school's Principal and find out exactly what the implications of the new funding arrangements for NSW school are for G starting school next year. It's hard though.

Our school is losing $40,000 of "learning and support funding" thanks to the "Every Student, Every School" initiative. In their wisdom the NSW government decided to assume that 1 in 100 students in NSW schools has a disability (disability- not just Autism... all of them), and is funding for those numbers. They also take into account NAPLAN scores (I'll save my rant about standardised testing for another day). So our school of 150 students whose teachers have worked their butts off to get the schools NAPLAN score improving is now being punished for doing well and for only having a relatively small amount of students. The two things that make the school so appealing to me as a place for my Autistic daughter are going to work against the great staff who will be doing everything in their power to support her.

From the front page of the gov't document outlining which school gets what-
"Each regular school receives a base allocation for learning and support. This reflects the size of the school and the learning and support needs of students. Any changes in allocations between the previous year and this year have been carefully considered and reflect changes in:
• enrolments at the school
• learning needs of students as determined through literacy and numeracy data"

This shows a complete lack of understanding that some disabilities don't only require learning support, but also social support to help them integrate into a system that requires their social conformity to be able to get the most from the setting, and sensory support to allow them the resources they need to cope when they experience sensory overload.

They say they are making things more equitable, but failing to take into account that it is possible for a school with 150 students to have 3 Autistic children attending seems somewhat shortsighted to me.

As if each day supporting my kids is not enough, here is another battle to fight.


  1. Hi Michelle I really feel for you and I don't understand why the Government have to cut funds for our special needs children... Aren't they worthy of an education just like every other student? I am fighting a similar battle for my son who goes to a big school....Good luck with your fight....

  2. Michelle, I'm trying to fight the same fight at my son's school. He only transitioned into mainstream this year from ASPECT and he's been doing so well. I'm gutted that he won't be eligible for individual funding from Term 3. He is high-functioning - what other options will I have if he can't be properly supported in the public system? It's so wrong and has ramifications for everyone - why can't the government see that?


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