Labor has today supported former Disability Commissioner, Graeme Innes’ call for an inquiry into the education of children with disability, following shocking and deeply disturbing reports of mistreatment this week.

Labor believes all children – including those with disability – deserve the best education and should be treated with dignity and respect at all times. 

Labor also believes our schools should be places where all children are supported to learn and teachers are equipped to meet the needs of their students. 

The education of students with disability must be examined in an open and transparent way, and we believe the Human Rights Commission is the right body to do this. This also highlights the need to re-instate a dedicated Disability Discrimination Commissioner. 

We need to hear the voice of parents of children with disabilities as well as schools and teachers in such an inquiry. 

Parents of children with disability are often made to feel like troublemakers because they demand support for their child at school and that’s just not right. 

Often our schools and teachers don’t have the resources or knowledge they need to support children with disability, and too many students with disability are missing out on educational opportunities as a result. 

The Abbott Government must acknowledge that schools are already under stress and cutting education funding to states as planned will only make matters worse. 

The Gonski review found that too many children with disability were missing out on the support they need, with terrible consequences for students' educational attainment and life outcomes. 

It’s time the Government delivered on its promise to improve support for students with disability and their schools by finishing the work Labor started on the needs-based Gonski disability loading.