News Archive

Special Education School Transport

In March 2013, a Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA) Reference Group was set up by the Ministry of Education to strengthen school transport services provided to students with special educational needs and disabilities. The Group was also tasked with improving tender and contract processes. IEAG was part of the Reference Group.

On 29 May 2014, the Associate Minister of Education, Nikki Kaye released the Group's final report. The report outlines the reference group's recommendations on how to improve the SESTA service. Of the 18 recommendations:

  • Seven have been, or are currently being, implemented;
  • Six will be implemented as soon as practicable;
  • One will be addressed via the wider school transport work programme; and
  • Four require further investigation.

Conclusion 1 of the Report states:  The Ministry of Education should review its SESTA policy to ensure it remains aligned with the core objectives of:

  • equity of access to education; and
  • providing opportunities for students to gain independence where appropriate

IEAG is especially pleased that Recommendation 1A has been adopted. It states “reassess the range of SESTA transport options with a view to promoting greater independence in students where appropriate.”

We look forward to working with the Ministry of Education to help implement  measures that will create greater independence for students with disabilities.

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Survey to help IHC Complaint

In 2008 IHC lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission stating that Government policies and systems are resulting in discrimination of disabled children at their local school. Parents have spoken about their children being excluded and discriminated against, principals and teachers tell of barriers to them being able to meet the learning and social needs of disabled children at their school.

IHC has engaged Frances Joychild QC to argue the case before the Human Rights Review Tribunal. To assist Frances, IHC is seeking your help. They want to gather more evidence on how the mainstream education system is currently treating children with disabilities. 

While some evidence has already been collected, IHC welcomes contact from families, principals, boards of trustees, principals’ associations, teacher unions, teacher aides, trainee  and newly graduated teachers, academics, therapists  and other disability or education groups who wish to be involved.  The experiences of professionals  involved in the school system is a critical part of the complaint.

IHC has developed two surveys to assist  in gathering evidence.

Family Survey

Parents who have already responded to the family survey  have provided some extremely moving and compelling accounts of discrimination that clearly illustrate the problems the complaint aims to address. More family stores are still required. If you are a familiy member with school aged disabled children and young people and you haven't yet completed the survey please visit this link to fill in the family survey

Professionals Survey

IHC has also developed a survey for the professionals who are involved in the lives of disabled children and young people.   Please help address what has become a serious human rights issue for one of the most vulnerable groups in our community by filling in the professionals survey and asking your colleagues and other professionals who you think would support the complaint to complete the survey too.   

More information about IHCs Education Complaint can be read here.   

If you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss please call Director of Advocacy Trish Grant  04 495 2773   or email  [email protected]

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IHC Education Complaint

IHC wants to hear from families of disabled students about their schooling experiences to assist IHC with their complaint to the Human Rights Commission. IHC has developed a survey to help record families experiences as they need new evidence to support their claim.

In 2008 IHC lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. IHC’s complaint said that disabled children experience discrimination at their local school. Families had spoken about the ongoing difficulties in having their child’s right to education recognized and responded to. Disabled children are treated differently to non-disabled children around enrolment, access to the curriculum and participation in school life.

This year IHC has filed an amended complaint to the Human Rights Review Tribunal and they are looking for new evidence from families and schools. They have developed a survey for families to complete so they can record family experiences.

IHC invites you to complete the survey and provide details of the particular difficulties your family has experienced.  Your survey response will be confidential to IHC Advocacy and their legal advisors. Once you have completed the survey, IHC Advocates will make contact to confirm your willingness to provide evidence and explain the next steps. Please also share this survey with others you think may be able to contribute.

To find out more  information about the complaint you can visit the IHC website.

If you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss please call Director of Advocacy Trish Grant 04 495 2773 or email [email protected]

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