Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (28 October) . .
Schools—children with disabilities
MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training and relates to health care in schools for children with a disability. Minister, recently families of children with a disability were told that changes will be made to the administration of healthcare needs of students at schools for children with a disability. Would you advise what consultation took place with the Cranleigh and Turner school communities about these changes?
MS BURCH: I thank Mr Wall for his question. I think Mr Wall is referring to the healthcare access at school, or the HAAS, program, which is a program where we have consulted on and looked at the care provision by nurses in schools for young students, students with a disability. This has been going for a very long time; I think there has been a 12-month pilot program under the guidance of the Health Directorate. This looked at what are the requirements to support children with a disability in school. It is very clear that Health has a position, and Education and Training is supportive of it, that those clinical decisions are best made by a clinician, are best made by a nurse. That could mean that the resources of the clinical nurses that currently sit in the schools will support a broader cohort of children with a disability, recognising that students with a disability are at special schools and mainstream schools, and they have different support needs at different times. That is all under clinical supervision under the HAAS model.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.
MR WALL: Again I ask the minister: what consultation took place with the school communities and also what consultation took place between ACT Health and the department of education and training prior to consulting with those school communities?
MS BURCH: The program was developed through the health and education and training directorates. It is my understanding that consultation began in 2012. The program was not known as HAAS then, but this was the start of the discussions with parents and schools about improving options for access and participation at schools for students with complex healthcare needs.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how many hours of healthcare-related training will be provided to the DET staff responsible for this additional responsibility?
MS BURCH: That would be on a case-by-case basis.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, will an additional salary loading apply for teaching staff to reflect this additional responsibility?
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