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Royal Commission hearing to continue investigating education

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will continue its investigation into education at a public hearing in Brisbane.

The hearing will take place in a specially designed and purpose built hearing room from Tuesday 24 March – Friday 27 March.

The Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said the public hearing will explore the barriers in the education system to students with disability in accessing and obtaining a quality education.

‘This will be the Royal Commission’s fifth hearing, and the second with a focus on education.

‘We are continuing our investigation into education because of its obvious importance for the life experiences of children and adults with disability.

‘Over four days, we will hear from current and former students with disability about their experiences at a range of schools.

‘We also intend to hear from parents of children with disability, academic experts, advocates and the Queensland education department,’ Chair Sackville said.

The public hearing in Brisbane will explore a range of topics including:

  • the impact on students with disability of absences, suspension, exclusion or expulsion from school
  • the effectiveness of policies, procedures and practices designed to re-engage students with disability in the education system where they have experienced suspension, exclusion or expulsion
  • provision of reasonable adjustments and supports, and barriers to making reasonable adjustments and supports available, for students with disability
  • individualised planning for students with disability in schools
  • the use of restrictive practices against students with disability
  • current educational qualification requirements for teachers relating to students with disability
  • life course impacts, including transition to higher education and employment and mental health impacts.

Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission, Dr Kerri Mellifont QC, will be responsible for conducting the hearing, with four Commissioners sitting:

  • The Hon. Ronald Sackville AO QC (Chair)
  • The Hon. Roslyn Atkinson AO
  • Professor Rhonda Galbally AC
  • Andrea Mason OAM

The hearing will be livestreamed on the Royal Commission website and will feature live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters.

Please note a dedicated room will be available to media. Journalists wishing to cover the hearing should notify the DRC media team to ensure access to relevant information and material, including access to live transcripts.