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Queensland parents of students with disabilities demand more inclusive schools, call for fix to ‘broken’ system

By Sarah Richards, ABC News


Hazel Lloyd is homeschooling her son Taylor, but it wasn’t her first choice.

Taylor, who has a disability, spent primary school in a classroom filled with his peers.

“He went to our local regular primary school down the road,” she said.

“They provided him with enough support to be known and valued in the school and known by his peers.”

But Ms Lloyd said the high school she enrolled her son in was less open to including him — so she took him out.

“Their intention was for him to be in that special education block,” she said.

“After two years, I realised that they were not going to be changing anytime soon, and that they would not be offering my son an inclusive schooling experience in the way the policy outlines.”

Ms Lloyd said while homeschooling has been a good experience, she would have preferred Taylor stay in a school with other students.

A review not enough

Ms Lloyd, who is also the convenor for the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education, said her story is not an isolated case.

She is among the many parents calling for the Queensland government to make schools more inclusive for all students.

“It is a broken system for many kids,” she said.

“So many Queensland students are not able to attend their local school, are still segregated from their peers, or are not being provided with the legally required supports to participate on the same basis as their peers.”

An independent review commissioned by Queensland Department of Education into education for students with disability in Queensland state schools was completed in 2017.


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