The Education Revolution Is By-passing Students With Disabilities

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9th November 2009, 08:00am - Views: 458





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Media Release


9 November, 2009



The Education Revolution is by-passing students with disabilities 


Last week’s announcement of the closure of Kingsdene Special School, in western Sydney demonstrates

clearly that the Rudd government’s education revolution has nothing to do with transformation and

innovation. “said Mary Lou Carter, party secretary of the Carers Alliance.


“ The education revolution is just more of the same – but this time with school halls” continues Carter.

Kingsdene Special School is a weekly boarding school in Telopea in Sydney catering to the educational

needs of students with severe and profound intellectually disability. It is a small charity-operated Special

School. After 33 years the school authority, Anglicare, has announced that critical funding shortfalls over

many years has forced the closure of  this unique and amazing school model, the only one of its kind in this

country. 

Mary Lou Carter whose son Nicholas leaves the school this year says “Kingsdene provides an extended

learning program for severely and profoundly intellectually disabled students with multiple disabilities

through its school and residential program. The students  are given a gold-standard education with the

opportunity to spend time with their peers while their brothers and sisters can spend a little quality time with

Mum and Dad and the parents can go to work and earn a living. The students at Kingsdene develop life skills

as fundamental as spoon-feeding, toilet-training, walking and socialising with their peers and they learn

about the world through a modified academic curriculum which is individual to them. “ 

That this school will close is a failure of government to fund students with disabilities to meet their education

needs irrespective of the educational setting. Students with disabilities should be exempt from the

public/private debate given that disability does not recognise socio-economic and sectoral boundaries.” says

Ms Carter

Ms Carter concedes “While it is true students at Kingsdene school are funded to the maximum, it is a

maximum based on a flawed and faulty formula which funds all students with disabilities in these small-

charity operated schools, and in mainstream settings in non-government schools, at only a fraction of the

actual recurrent cost of educating a student with similar disabilities in a government school.”  

Ms Carter continues ”Carers Alliance believes government has played the cheapskate and penny-pincher for

ALL students with disabilities in the government and non-government sector and continues to take an

unedifying piggy-back ride on the backs of charitable organisations to the detriment of all students with

disabilities in charity-operated and other non-government schools.”

Ms Carter says” This is the unfinished business of the state-aid debate and it's time that business was dealt

with once and for all. Carers Alliance calls on the Rudd government to stop the blame game and fund

students with disabilities to meet their educational needs, taking into consideration their disabilities,

irrespective of the educational setting.

“The Kingsdene model of education is cost-effective and cost-efficient but more importantly it

recognises and honours the unique and sacred value of the students notwithstanding their disability.  The

worth and value of the school is measured by the joy of the children in each other’s company, the dedication

and devotion of the principal  and her amazing staff and the tireless commitment of Anglicare in its

championing of the Kingsdene model.  This is a model that should be emulated and expanded, not

diminished and closed. For its closure diminishes us all.” concludes Ms Carter


Contact:  Marylou Carter, Carers Alliance Party Secretary

0425 363 421 


Carers Alliance is a national political party formed to represent family carers and promote actions to

help carers support the family member/s they care for






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