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Monday, October 23, 2017
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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 education systems.

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 home.

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,” he says.


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