60,000 children not getting education they need
NOT-FOR-PROFIT group Missing School today (Monday, October
12) will release a report that argues an estimated 60,000 seriously ill
Australian children are not being adequately cared for by state or territory
Conducted by the Australian Research Alliance for Children
and Youth (ARACY), the report also finds serious gaps in the information
collected about sick children and their school attendance.
“What we’ve found is that no agency in this country is
actually recognising [seriously ill children] as a group of students in need,” says
Missing School founder Megan Gilmour.
Among many recommendations, it calls for better links
between education and health services and upskilling for doctors and teachers
to help manage learning and technology so students can remain in touch from
ARACY chief executive Dianne Jackson said that advances in
medical technology are seeing more and more children surviving illnesses that
were previously incurable or unmanageable.
“While dealing with significant illness, they remain
students,” she says.
In commending Missing School’s efforts, Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull says it’s a “sad fact” that young people suffer conditions
that take them away from school.
“Maintaining a connection with peers and friends during such
times can be crucial for a student’s social and emotional wellbeing, while
continuing academic progress is important for long-term commitment to learning,”