Public hearing 7: Barriers experienced by students with disability in accessing and obtaining a safe, quality and inclusive school education and consequent life course impacts
The Royal Commission held Public hearing 7 in Brisbane from 12 to 16 October 2020. An additional day was held in Brisbane on 7 May 2021.
This hearing explored the barriers experienced by students with disability in accessing and obtaining a safe, quality and inclusive school education and the resulting impacts on the life course of those students, and their families, when these barriers prevent access to equitable education.
The scope and purpose of this hearing inquired into certain issues relating to the experiences of students with disability, including:
the impact on students with disability of absences, suspensions, exclusions and expulsion from school
the re-engagement of students with disability when they have experienced absences, suspensions, exclusions or expulsion from school
the provision of adjustments and supports, and the barriers to making reasonable adjustments and supports available, for students with disability
individualised planning for students with disability
the use of restrictive practices on students with disability
teacher training and qualification requirements for students with disability
the resulting impacts on the life course and mental health of students with disability who have experienced barriers in education, including the transition to higher education and employment.
These issues were explored by hearing from various witnesses who gave evidence at the hearing and through the examination of case studies. On this occasion, the evidence focused predominantly on the experience of students with disability in mainstream schools.
On 7 May 2021 the Royal Commission held an additional hearing day for Counsel Assisting to present their oral submissions. These oral submissions drew together the themes from the evidence about the key barriers to accessing a safe, quality and inclusive education, and made submissions on findings, recommendations and areas for further investigation for the Commissioners' consideration.
Parties who were granted leave to appear at Public hearing 7 had the opportunity to appear on 7 May to present oral submissions in response.