Monday, June 4, 2012

More thoughts on the new funding arrangements

I just can't stop thinking about this awful "Every Student, Every School" funding model.  Here are a few things I've realised in the last few days:

1. No individual funding means that if I have to move my kids to a different school, there is no funding to go with them. Under the old system their support funding automatically followed them to a new school. Now they will have to turn up at a new school with no extra funds for the school to support them with. And because the new model only allows for schools to have their needs reevaluated once every 3 years, the new school would most probably have all their funding allocated to kids already attending. This changes the arrival of a child with extra support needs at a school from something relatively easy to manage to somewhat of a financial liability for the new school. I don't like the idea that my child will be unwanted because s/he needs extra support that the school can't give due to lack of finances.
I really hope nothing happens that means we have to change schools!

2. The government has removed a few different categories of funding and replaced it with one lump of money they give to the school that the Principal has to use to cover everything that all the smaller amounts used to. The lump amount is generally less in practical terms, even though the Government has managed to make it look like more (in most cases) in the document they published. Then I have to wonder- if most schools look better off on paper, but are actually going to struggle to make ends meet to provide a similar level of support, what is going to happen in our little school that is actually worse off on paper???

3. Due to the fact that there is no specific ASD training provided to teachers or teachers aides (the few that will remain) it will be very difficult for schools to know what resources are appropriate to provide for our children. This means that either a) ASD specific resources will not be provided or b) if schools want to know what to provide, they'll have to employ the services of other professionals (Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, etc) to help them with this- and that will be paid for out of the money that the Government says will cover the cost of supporting the kids.

We need to make our objection to this initiative heard- It is a step backwards in the fight for equal educational opportunities for ASD kids.

Do not assume that it won't affect you! You may not have a child with a disability now, but that doesn't mean you never will. This change could affect you directly, or it could affect your nieces & nephews, your friend's children, your children's friends, or one day your grandchildren.

Please join me in petitioning the NSW Government and asking them to reconsider this funding change.


  1. I don't know quite how to put it, but that I absolutely agree with you. Every child...needs to be treated as an individual with specific needs in order to get the education that is the right of every child. That does not mean identical treatment, or funding. That means equal access and educational resources to ensure that for each child. A child who is hearing impaired will need different resources from a child who has speech delays, who will need different resources from a child with dyslexia, and so on. These resources are going to cost varying amounts to provide, but a student who is going to cost more to get the same rights is not greedy or getting more than is fair. The funding should be connected with the student as an individual. Creating a "pool" of funds for all special needs only means that shortfalls for one area are going to have to come out of another area's resources which is unfair, unethical and unrealistic. Keep up the fight. This is worth fighting.

  2. I agree the funding should be individualised for each student...It doesn't work when pooling the funds... In my sons school the funds are pooled and my son isn't getting the visuals that are needed in his classes....Unrealistic expectations to think pooling the funds actually works....

  3. I agree michelle. Thank you for keeping us up to date. My son is only young so i wouldn't of even known about this funding change if you hadn't posted about it. I turly hope that the funding is increased instead of changed. Every child has different needs and that is really hard on the parents and the schools. I have signed you petition and i am on facebook everyday posting to my friends and family to help so i hope that is making a different. What else can we do??

    1. Hi Megan. Thanks you so much for your support! Keep talking to people you know and telling them what is going on! Send them the link to my blog, or Facebook page, or to the petition, and ask them to help out too!! I have also started using Twitter to get the word out. A message as simple as - Please sign and share #EveryStudentEverySchool - will help raise awareness. You can also write to your local MP, or directly to Premier O'Farrell if you want to and tell them your concerns about the changes they are making. But the main thing is- tell everyone! Most people don't know it is happening and the media are not reporting on it!

  4. This funding change is going to affect EVERY child whether they have a disability or not. Don't fool yourself by thinking that 'my child doesn't have special needs so it won't affect me or my family' because the reality is if there isn't sufficient funding to support children with additional needs then those needs are going to be met as best as they can by the classroom teacher which means that every child in that class is losing individual time with their teacher. It also means that more and more classroom teachers are going to take time off class to attend training to learn how to meet the needs of the varying needs in their classroom. Not only is there less funding but there is also less help for teachers who are struggling to do the best they can for their students. This funding model is scary no matter which way you look at it. Teachers just want to do the best job they can for every child they work with, it would be nice if the resources that are needed to achieve this are just made available. Why do we always have to fight for something that should just be common sense??


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