Labor cuts teaching support to regional children with disabilities

Children with disabilities in Victorian state schools have become the latest victims of the Andrews Governments savage budget cuts.

Teachers delivering one on one support to children with disabilities through the Visiting Teacher Service are being made redundant by the Labor Government.

117 frontline specialist teaching jobs in regional Victoria employed under the scheme will be slashed to only 32.

Children with hearing, visual, physical, and intellectual disabilities, and those with serious medical conditions including cancer and diabetes will be impacted.

Nationals MP and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Melina Bath labelled Labor’s special education teacher cuts as cruel and callous.

Speaking in State Parliament today Ms Bath blasted the Minister for Education Minister for cutting frontline teachers, calling for the decision to be reversed.

“Over 4000 students with a disability or a serious medical condition in mainstream schools are supported by this regionally based program.

“It is traumatic for parents and children to learn that they will lose access to their invaluable special support teacher.

“Cutting highly trained teaching staff who work tirelessly to assist these students and the schools they work in, is appalling.

“Children with disabilities should not be made to pay the price for the Labor Government’s financial mismanagement.”

Last week the Education Department announced 325 staff would be made redundant.

Shadow Minister for Disability and Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said targeting special needs children with cuts to necessary educational support was unconscionable.

“Children with disabilities deserve equal access to education and the highest of care in educational settings.

“The Labor Government’s Disability Inclusion Policy that it’s spruiking as it’s magical answer will not be rolled out into Outer Gippsland until 2025, nor will it deliver one additional teacher into the classroom.”

Ms Bath said Labor’s decision will increase pressure on hardworking teachers in the classroom.

“Most schools in regional Victoria are grappling to fill positions, and the excessive workload pressures on teachers is unsustainable and puts our most vulnerable students at a disadvantage.”

The Nationals are calling for Labor’s education cuts to be overturned as a matter of priority.