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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2736..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

inquiries made on a daily basis which are hypothetical and which have not been carefully documented therefore. We can get some impression then, I suppose - assuming that I am reading your question correctly - of the problems that people cannot get resolved by the tribunal because, for example, there is no jurisdiction. I am happy to undertake to do that.

Special Education - Review

MS McRAE: My question is directed to the Minister for Education and Training, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, will you produce a copy of the review that you have commissioned in regard to special education in the ACT? Will you confirm that the integration program is set to expand at the expense of the special school program?

MR STEFANIAK: I am certainly happy to undertake to present to the member the review in relation to the special education program. As Ms McRae well knows, the review recommends further study in relation to special education.

Ms McRae: We do not know.

Ms Follett: We do not know. We have not seen it.

MR STEFANIAK: You have not seen it?

Ms Follett: No; that is why we are asking for it.

MR STEFANIAK: I will certainly provide that. I understood, Ms McRae, that you actually had received a copy of that special education review. I will make sure that that occurs. In relation to special education, the Government is committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities do receive an appropriate education. Pending the outcome of the special education review, the Government will maintain all existing programs and will provide the opportunity - as I indicated earlier, I think during the budget debate - for four new year programs for 1996.

The recent evaluation of the integration program, which I take it is what you are talking about, Ms McRae, by Loretta Giorcelli - and I am surprised you do not have a copy of that; I will certainly take steps to ensure that you get one - did recommend a review of special education. The Government is responding to that and to the compelling need to examine the relationship between special and mainstream school settings for students with disabilities. The Government believes that education is the right of all children, and it will maintain its effort in this area. The review is intended to provide a more effective way to use existing resources. The review recommended by the Giorcelli report will commence this year. It is proposed to have it finalised early next year so that its findings can be incorporated in the 1996-97 budget.


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