The Albanese Government wants to hear from school students with disability, their families and carers, and educators about their experiences of school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public consultation phase of the review of the impact of COVID-19 on school students with disability opened on 31 January and will remain open until 28 March.
The review, which was an election commitment, will examine the educational experiences for school students with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Education, Jason Clare MP said the pandemic disrupted schooling for students all around Australia and it has had significant impacts for students with disability.
“The pandemic made it more difficult for students with disability to get reasonable adjustments and support, disrupted social connections with their peers, and hindered communication between teachers, students and parents,” Minister Clare said.
“We committed to undertake this review so we could learn more about the impacts for students with disability and determine the best way to support them and get their learning back on track.
“I encourage all students with disability, their families and carers, and educators to provide feedback during the consultation phase. All their experiences are important and will provide the Government with valuable insight.”
Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth MP said providing the right supports to Australians living with disability was core to the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to leave no one behind and hold no one back.
“We know how important childhood and schooling is and we want to set up all Australian children for success. It’s why we’re working hard to develop and release a Commonwealth Early Years Strategy later this year,” Minister Rishworth said.
“There are 4.4 million Australians living with disability and for those school-aged children the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic was tough.
“This review will be an important piece of work to best understand the impact on how to get those students back on track.”
Minister for the NDIS and Government Services, Bill Shorten MP welcomed the commencement of public consultations for the review and encouraged all students with disability and their families and teachers to take part.
“The school system is difficult to navigate for people with disability at the best of times, the pandemic made it that much tougher,” Minister Shorten said.
“We need to know people with disability are adequately supported for future crises.”
The review will also inform how the Government can better support students with disability in future emergency events.
There are several ways interested parties can provide feedback, including:
- completing an online questionnaire or survey
- making a submission in writing or with an audio or video file
- attending a webinar, or
- registering interest in another event at the Review Engagement Hub.
A discussion paper detailing more information about the review is available (including in Easy Read, Auslan and language translations) on the Review Engagement Hub.
The hub can be accessed, and feedback submitted by visiting www.disabilitycovidreview.education.gov.au/