All New Zealand children have a right to attend their local school

All New Zealand children have a right to attend their local school

April 18, 2016

The Human Rights Commission is calling for more to be done to ensure disabled children can attend their local school.

We know it is still the norm for families of disabled kids to battle just to get their child into school, on a school camp or to access the support they need to receive a good education.

The UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities consistently tells us we need to up our game, the Ministry of Education should include the rights of disabled students in their current review of the Education Act.

All New Zealand children have a right to attend and be included in their local school and more needs to be done to ensure this is a reality for disabled children.

The government needs to define disability consistently across sectors so we can collect better data and track the life of a disabled child through to adulthood. While there is a consistent call for better resourcing this doesn’t always mean an increased budget.

We’ve seen significant underspends in the Special Education budget - $31 million – this could go a long way if spent wisely.

A school’s attitude matters: how confident and competent a principal and teachers are when it comes to educating all their students, including those students with a disability, makes a huge difference.

Dig Deeper

Read Disability Rights Commissioner, Paul Gibson's, statement on the independent expert panel’s review of Child Youth and Family.

Paul Gibson, Disability Rights Commissioner

Paul Gibson became Commissioner with responsibilities for disability issues in 2011. 

Mr Gibson is a former president of the Disabled People’s Assembly and was involved in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Mr Gibson is partially blind and uses Braille and assistive technology. Paul has twenty years of experience in the health and disability sector including working for Capital Coast District Health Board as a senior disability adviser.

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