Reactive approaches do not work – it’s time for a parliamentary inquiry into unfair school exclusions in Queensland.
A Right to Learn campaign is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into why Queensland’s most vulnerable children, including students with disability and neurodiversity, those living in out of home care and who are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin, are eight times more likely to face suspension than others.
Centre for Inclusive Education Director, Professor Linda Graham, has said that these unfair exclusions impact “children with invisible disabilities like autism, ADHD, developmental language disorder…the most because they remain under-identified and their difficulties in school are often misinterpreted as noncompliance.”
Read more in the latest linked Courier Mail article (subscription required) by Matt Holdsworth. As this story makes headlines once again, research shows that disadvantaged children disproportionately experience unfair exclusion, and that the supports they need in order to thrive are simply not being provided.
Education is a human right, and every child deserves the opportunity to be supported to realise their full potential. We know that when school suspensions are used sparingly alongside supportive interventions, there are better outcomes for students, families and teachers. Inclusion benefits us all by equipping young people with real-world skills to effectively contribute to the communities in which we live.
No matter who we are and what is in our wallets, we all have a Right to Learn. You can add your voice to the call by contacting your local MP to express your support at www.arighttolearn.com.au
The Right to Learn campaign is a coalition of community organisations – Queensland Advocacy for Inclusion, ATSILS, Youth Advocacy Centre, Youth Affairs Network Qld, and PeakCare, calling for government action on unfair disciplinary processes experienced by young people at Queensland schools.