In essence, when Daniel was in year 6 in Terrey Hills Public school the department of eduction funded a teachers aide for him full time (To help him eat at morning tea and lunch, toileting, scribing for him during lessons, assistance on outings, supervising in playground, etc.). When we were choosing a high school to send Daniel we were in a very difficult situation because the NSW Government has a policy which stipulates they will fund a teachers aide only on the basis that you send your child to a government school. Our local High School (Northern Beaches Christian School) was already established with facilities to cater for a child with special needs and yet they were an independent school so the government has said they will provide only 20% of the funding for him.
The local government high school (Davidson High School) is, to this day, not equipped to cater for children with special needs and requires a re-fit of more that $2 million (Quoted by Premier Keneally 15/9/10) to fit the school with…
- Covered walkways
- Disabled toilets
- Elevators to reach the second floor
- Ramps to access the many buildings and other facilities
…and, at the end of it all, STILL needs to supply Daniel with a teachers aide whilst he is at school.
Why, as parents of a child with a disability, should Premier Kristina Keneally and the NSW Labour Government discriminate against our choice of where we send our children to school? Particularly when the school has welcomed us with open arms. There is no logical rationale why the government should support a child with a disability in one school and not the other.
Daniel summed it up, he said, “Why are they choosing not to provide me with a teachers aide, it’s not as though my cerebral palsy has gone away just because I changed schools!”