High hopes but much work ahead for new Minister of Education
IHC wishes to congratulate Minister Jan Tinetti on her appointment as Minister of Education and says this is the year for disabled learners to finally get a fair go at school.
IHC has been involved in legal action and a campaign since 2008 to make sure all children get the right support to attend their local school, fully participate and succeed.
IHC Education Advocate Trish Grant says disabled learners and their families have high hopes for Jan Tinetti in the new role.
“As Associate Minister, Jan Tinetti was out there listening,” says Trish Grant. “She’s already shown determination to lead a programme of change for disabled students in what she calls a broken learning support system.”
For nearly 15 years IHC has been collecting stories from individuals.
“The stories are devastating,” says Trish. “Families are desperate and frustrated and their children have been badly let down.
“There are some great schools and amazing teachers and teacher aides out there but that shouldn’t be down to luck.
“Children have been turned away by their local schools or sent home because a teacher aide isn’t available.
“Sometimes children can’t do the fun things – like swimming and going to camp if their parents aren't there – which often means time off work for families struggling to make ends meet.
“Even in the classroom sometimes children are left to one side or given ‘colouring-in’ when there is no resource to modify a lesson or ensure every child is supported to learn in ways that work for them.”
IHC notes Jan Tinetti’s credentials for the role and is confident her background as a primary school principal will ensure her priorities for change will resonate with the sector and put children and young people first.
“We are looking forward to engaging with Minister Tinetti in her new role and are pleased to see our long running legal action and remedies sought are consistent with her vision for an inclusive education system,” says Trish.
“This is the year,” says Trish. “We look forward to seeing the Minister’s commitment to end discrimination and correct the disadvantage disabled students face reflected in the budget and election policy.