Reports today have confirmed yesterday’s scheduled meeting of education ministers was cancelled at the last minute to spare Malcolm Turnbull embarrassment over his broken promises to students with disability.
Before the election, the Liberals promised to fully implement the Gonski disability loading from 2015. Then they said 2016. Now they will go a whole term without taking any action at all.
“If elected to Government the Coalition will continue the data collection work that has commenced, which will be used to deliver more funding for people with disability through the ‘disability loading’ in 2015”
[Christopher Pyne, 23 August 2013].
“The refined loading is on track to be introduced in 2016, as planned.”
[Simon Birmingham, 24 March 2015]
Instead of providing support to the thousands of students who are currently missing out, the Government has cut $30 billion from schools and is keeping key information about Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) secret.
“It’s time Malcolm Turnbull put students with disability before his own political interests,” Shadow Education Minister, Kate Ellis, said.
“The Government’s delays mean a student who was in Grade One when the national data collection process started will finish primary school without seeing the change they deserve.
“Students with disability, their parents and their teachers have waited long enough – Malcolm Turnbull needs to keep the Government’s promises now.”
In contrast, Labor’s Your Child.Our Future plan will deliver the Gonski needs-based school funding agreements on time and in full.
Labor will also provide $320 million in additional funding for students with disability in 2018 and 2019 – more than reversing the Government’s cuts to the More Support for Students with Disabilities program.