Canberra Liberals call for more support for vulnerable students

The unnecessary continuation of ACT Labor’s refusal to allow parents to send their children to their regular school is placing additional pressure on families with children in learning support units according to Shadow Education Minister Elizabeth Lee.

Under the ACT government’s hub school model, students with special needs are not able to access their regular highly individualised learning support.

“Given the very clear advice from the ACT Chief Health Officer that schools are safe, and the return of some non-government schools from next week, it is time for government schools to follow suit,” Ms Lee said.

“The additional trauma being placed on students who are being denied the access to their regular learning support units is adding unnecessary pressure on already stressed families.

“The ACT government has seen the wisdom and need for Canberra’s four specialised schools to continue to operate normally which we welcome but has not provided that same support for students in learning support units at other government schools.

“We have heard from parents with children who are at all stages of their learning and they are concerned that their continued inability to access their regular learning support will have long-term detrimental impacts on their educational and social wellbeing.

“For parents with children needing additional educational support, the task of remote learning is so much harder. These students need additional, consistent expert learning support and that support is only available at their regular school.

“For many children in learning support units, continuity and familiarity are critical. Keeping them at home or putting them into an unfamiliar environment where they are supervised by an adult they don’t know has the potential to undo all the great work done by our teachers, learning support assistants and allied health professionals.

“The ACT government must start listening to medical advice; they must start listening to the needs of parents and allow parents to send their children to their regular school if they wish. This is especially important for children in learning support units.” Ms Lee concluded.