Education of Children with Diverse Needs

Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) believes that all children have the right to a quality education, allowing each child the opportunity to reach his or her potential. CSPA is committed to the belief that all children can learn and that school and family collaboration is essential to successful academic and developmental growth. Given this commitment, CSPA supports a variety of education and related support services that benefit the learning of all children.

Schools have responsibility for maximising the learning outcomes and wellbeing of all students and for providing access to a high-quality education that is free from discrimination. All children are entitled to quality educational experiences. Students should feel that they are included in an environment of high expectation where they are both able and enabled to learn.

At the core of inclusive education is the human right to education for all, which was pronounced in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 (UNESCO). Inclusive education means that all students are welcomed by their school in age-appropriate settings and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of school with their peers. Inclusive education is about how schools are developed and designed, including classrooms, programmes and activities so that all students learn and participate together. In order to create an inclusive environment, changes and modifications may need to be made to help a student or group of students participate on the same basis as other students. The changes or modifications made will reflect the assessed individual needs of the student and can be made in both the classroom and whole school setting.

Modifications are often referred to as adjustments to meet individual needs. Adjustments can be made to a range of areas to support an individual student, including but not limited to the way that teaching and learning is provided, changes to the classroom or school environment, the way that students’ progress and achievements are assessed and reported to parents, the provision of personal care and planning to meet individual needs, as well as professional learning for teachers and support staff.