Policy Submission: Review of Funding for Schooling - Parents Forum
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The Julia Farr Association Parents Forum made this submission to the Australian Government on its Review of Funding for Schooling to identify arrangements that will achieve a funding system which is transparent, fair, financially sustainable and effective in promoting excellent educational outcomes for all students living with disability.
The Parents Forum is hosted by Julia Farr Association and provides an opportunity for parents of children (who are aged between 5-18) and who live with disability to access and share information about ideas and opportunities relating to their children getting a ‘fair go’ and where they can identify pathways towards helpful change.
Parents involved in the forum have had experiences with a range of primary and secondary school settings, from mainstream and link, to annex units and special schools, within the public and private systems. For these parents the Forum is about taking action, social networking and support. It offers opportunity for them to work together towards shared a vision; for their children to lead inclusive lives with access to the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers.
The Julia Farr Association’s role with the Parents Forum is to facilitate its dialogue and to amplify the parents’ views on what needs to happen.
The introduction of Individualised (Self-Directed) Funding for students.
Increased Funding for student support for students living with disability.
The introduction of Person-Centred Planning for all students living with disability.
For students living with disability, the development and expansion of Early Investment (also known as Early Intervention) in schools.
The introduction of Mentor Programs within mainstream schools to assist students living with disability to access a successful, inclusive education.
The Implementation of ‘Circles in Schools’ in mainstream schools to assist students living with disability with the development of support networks and friendships.
In relation to targeted monies for individual students living with disability, there needs to be improved Accountability within schools such as the introduction of the International Accreditation Process.
Improved Transition programs and the introduction of Education Consultants to assist students living with disability with transition in school.
That there be parent involvement in recruitment processes for teachers and SSO working with students living with disability.
Better access to technical aids and communication equipment for student living with disability.
The introduction of an Education Card for students living with disability.
The introduction of supplementary funding within schools to assist siblings of children living with disability.
That schools have regular funding reviews so that they are accountable for specific school funds targeted at students living with disability.