Children with Special Needs and the Right to Education

Australian Journal of Human Rights, 18 1: 27-56, 2012

Posted: 12 Jun 2015

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

In Australia, the vast majority of children with special needs are educated in mainstream schools and mainstream classrooms. The Education Acts in the states and territories outline the kinds of services that can be made available to children with special needs in schools, but they stop short of providing a right to accessible or appropriate education for children. This is in direct contrast to the situation in the United States and the United Kingdom, where there are legal duties imposed on schools to cater for children's special needs, and children and parents have legal rights in relation to educational access, accommodation, consultation and planning. In Australia, the only course of redress for children whose needs have not been met by their education provider is a discrimination claim, which is not always appropriate or effective. This article examines discrimination claims against primary school on behalf of children with disabilities in Australia, concluding that rights to inclusive education should be enshrined in education legislation.

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Walsh, Tamara, Children with Special Needs and the Right to Education (2012). Australian Journal of Human Rights, 18 1: 27-56, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2617107

Tamara Walsh (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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