Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Australian senator calls for inclusive education

The Boyce Family

Queensland liberal Senator Sue Boyce has called for special schools to be scrapped and disabled children sent into mainstream education.

Senator Boyce, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, said it was time someone was "brave" and "crazy" enough to push for total integration of students.

"We won't fix education until we abolish special schools," Senator Boyce told a Down Syndrome Association of Queensland fundraiser last week.

"If mainstream schools had no option but to accept children with disabilities, they would concentrate on how to make it work, not how to avoid getting involved."

And if all the human and funding resources currently tied up in special schools were handed over to the mainstream system, it would be so much easier to make it work."

Senator Boyce said her 24-year-old daughter had always gone to mainstream schools and is now a bakery assistant.