The Human Rights Commission has commended YouthLaw on their comprehensive report on the education of students with disabilities, which was released today.
The report, Challenging The Barriers: Ensuring Access To Education For Children With Special Educational Needs, aligns with recommendations made by the Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in its interim Article 24: Right to Inclusive Education report on the status of inclusive education in New Zealand.
Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson says it is important that the Ministry of Education considers and responds to the recommendations made in both reports to ensure the education system works for all students.
“Key recommendations in the IMM report, published in July, included amending the Education Act 1989 to incorporate a right to inclusive education, including reasonable accommodation, and to better track student progress through improved data collection and analysis.
“We are pleased to see that these recommendations have been reiterated in the YouthLaw report and would invite the Ministry of Education to consider and respond to these, particularly in light of the upcoming review of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“A failure to incorporate inclusive education principles at both legislative and operational levels will only see the risks and barriers for disabled children increase. An environment where bullying and exclusion is common place is not what we want in New Zealand for any child.
“The education of students with disabilities is a key area of work for the Commission and we know that if we get the education system right for students with disabilities, we get it right for all students.”
The IMM report can be found here. The IMM consists of the Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and the New Zealand Article 33 Convention Coalition Monitoring Group (a representative group of people with lived experience of disability).