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RC hearing looks at the education system and school autonomy

Reads: Royal Commission Hearing Summary

16/10/2020

Two parents gave evidence about their son, 'Jack', who had Tourette's and Asperger's. 'Jack' excelled in one school; in another, he was left out of activities and frequently sat next to another child with disability. His parents said they were told Tourette's 'was not a disability' and that it didn’t fit into one of six categories of the Education Adjustment Program which triggers funding. 'Jack' began self-harming, was placed on medication and left formal education at 14. Now 19, he lives with his parents, but has agoraphobia and rarely leaves the house. His parents emphasised the needs for strengths-based approaches in teaching.

Evidence was given from three current or former Queensland Department of Education representatives who helped teachers and principals to navigate policies, procedure and legislation; supported the transfer of students from school to school; and provided clinical supervision. Advice to principals on suspension and the allocation of resources was not always heeded. When supporting students with disability to re-enrol after expulsion, one witness said schools were commonly reluctant to take students on.

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