Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2015) . . Page.. 1423 ..
Mr Doszpot made reference—again, misinformation—to an article or comments made, I believe, by Glenn Fowler of the AEU that implied that the learning support assistant contracts were ended or that the people were no longer employed at Black Mountain School. I have been advised by the Education and Training Directorate that no school assistant at Black Mountain has lost their job or had their contract revoked. Further, the school assistants who were involved in supporting the HAAS trial run by ACT Health at Black Mountain School continue to work at the school now that the nurses have returned. I want to clarify that and ask that Mr Doszpot not continue to put that misinformation out there, because it unnecessarily increases the concern for some families involved.
As I said, seven students attend their local schools because of HAAS. This is an excellent outcome for families in those schools. Families value HAAS. I will quote from one of those families, a parent who shared their story with me. This is their story:
Before the HAAS Program was established and implemented we felt like our options for our son and his future were very limited.
Our son now attends a mainstream primary school. The Learning Support Assistants have been trained in [his] individual healthcare needs. They are supported through HAAS with ongoing training and support provided to them by a Registered Nurse. This has gone a long way toward supporting [his] needs and normalizing his school experience. It has allowed us to continue expanding our visions for him.
The parent goes on:
I will never forget the first time my son spoke at the school assembly that was being run by his class.
Having my son at his local school not only enriches our experiences as a family by allowing us to stay connected with our local community but it also allows our son to attend the same school as his older brother, strengthening their connection.
Our son’s presence at the school and inclusion in all school-wide activities enriches the school community by promoting understanding and acceptance among today’s children, who will become the leaders of tomorrow.
And this from another family last year:
Last term was a fantastic start to high school for our son. While he didn’t attend any full days, he still managed his best attendance since mid 2012 and really enjoyed being at school.
And this, from a school, about working with ACT Health:
Thank you so much for this—We are really grateful for all the time and effort you have spent in engaging with [a parent].