Meeting School Trustees
Eight hundred and fifty school trustees from around the country converged on Auckland one weekend in July for their annual conference.
IEAG and IHC hosted a trade stand at the NZ School Trustees Association (NZSTA) Conference, where we distributed resources and information. They were well received, particularly Supporting your School to Be Inclusive, questions for Board of Trustees to consider that support inclusive values and practice when building their charter, policies and procedures. Each trustee took home our booklet FAQs on schooling for disabled students and young people in their conference bag.
We heard stories of great inclusive practice, such as a school where all the students have learnt sign language to support a student who doesn't speak verbally. Now the students are teaching their parents and the community.
Unfortunately we also heard of many struggles and issues such as students being asked to leave or not made to feel welcome.
On a positive note, we have seen a shift in understanding over the past 3 years and most trustees now know that they are legally required to include disabled students in their schools and have an obligation to ensure that their school is inclusive of all.
The next challenge will be putting this understanding into practice.
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