NCEC welcomes recommendations that place ECEC at forefront of disability reform
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has welcomed recommendations from the Review to Disability Standards for Education 2005 that place the needs of children and their families at the centre of education.
In addition to the broader underpinning theme of needs based program delivery, National Catholic Education Executive Director Jacinta Collins said a welcomed area of focus in the review is on building the capability in the early childhood education and care sector.
“Quality early education and intervention is critical for the success of student’s learning outcomes when they commence school,” she said.
“Ensuring early learning centres and care providers have access to resources and understand the standards, will be key to supporting the best start for students in their early years.”
“The report’s focus on empowering families, strengthening standards and service quality, and increasing accountability will help support an ever-increasing number of students with disability in school (and early learning) communities,” Ms Collins added.
“Over the past three years the number of students with disability in Catholic schools has risen significantly from 35,803 in 2017 to 137,270 in 2019,” she said.
The review identified the need for greater education, training and support for parents and carers, as well as educators and service providers, to ensure that the needs of students are at the heart of learning and teaching programs and specialist services.
The recommendations also aim to ensure the cultural needs and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are considered in the development and implementation of the standards, which will in turn also help to address the challenges of closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with disability, Ms Collins said.