For the next 10 years, there will be an expected spike in students with disabilities enrollees in NSW public schools.
Students with disabilities enrollees in public schools
A model using data gathered from past years on students with disabilities enrollees has been released into public eyes, the model shows that a huge spike of enrollees from students with disabilities is expected to hit in the next decade or so. According to the model, an estimated 50 percent increase in students with disabilities enrollees in public schools is expected from 2017 to 2027.
The projection analysis was spearheaded by the Boston Consulting Group, as requested by the New South Wales Department of Education. Based on the findings, the government should increase its capacity to cater to students with disabilities by providing the following facilities and services:
- Six new schools to cater to students with disabilities
- Additional teaching and non-teaching staff to cater to students with special needs
- Additional training for support staff
Education experts point out the importance of additional teacher training, out of its significant impact in limiting the need to construct additional facilities intended only for students with special needs. The short supply of skilled teachers in students with special needs makes it difficult to incorporate mainstreaming in schools. Mainstreaming allows students with special needs to blend in with regular students, which reduces the need to construct exclusive facilities for them. However, the lack of training for teachers to handle mainstream classes makes the workforce really thin.
If the quality of education for students with disabilities isn’t prioritized, the number of schools intended for special needs should increase from 870 to 1600 for the next 10 years. The government must invest in training for teachers and support staff in order to allow the mainstreaming of students with disabilities.