The most pointless whinge in history?

johnboy 30 April 2009 223

Here at RiotACT we consider ourselves connoisseurs of the fine art of complaining.

But we doff our lids to Steve Doszpot’s latest effort:

    Shadow Minister for Education and Disability, Steve Doszpot, has today condemned the Stanhope-Gallagher Government for failing to acknowledge the rights of 411 students with a disability currently enrolled in the non-government school sector.

    The ACT Education Act 2004 clearly states that education should aim to develop every child’s potential and maximise educational achievements, this would also apply to non-government students also.

    “The ACT Human Rights Act 2004 also applies to all students with a disability, not just the government sector.

    “Why then are one quarter of the population of students with a disability being ignored in the recent Review into special education needs in the ACT?

And there I was thinking the non-government sector was all about choice.

So if you choose to go to the (here’s a hint Steve) “Non-Government” sector it’s somehow the Government’s responsibility to deliver all the other services they deliver in their own schools?

Give me a break.


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BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 1:58 pm 05 May 09

Pommy bastard said :

BerraBoy68 said :

But that’s only part 1 of the problem also PB. Part 2 is how you would react if they said, ‘No, we won’t do it’ in response to your request?

There needs to be some reason for them to react positively. Carrot or stick, I don’t care but a ‘request’ can also draw a ‘nil’ response.

Oh I think a few well placed newspaper reports, along the lines of: “Cashgrab High Private School refused to conduct investigations into the needs of disabled kids in their care,” would be an incentive?

Good thoughts PB but I don’t think that goes far enough. Private schools have demonstrated an immunity to community criticism in relation to other complaints made against them in the recent past (another story for another time) but that’s more about protecting their money, which they seem to value higher than their reputation. I believe stopping taxpayer funding (which such school receive in for the form of grants in the ACT) may have some affect, however. The other way to think about it is the carrot approach (i.e. what incentives can they get for doing the right thing – other than cash handouts obviously).

peterh peterh 1:23 pm 05 May 09

Pommy bastard said :

BerraBoy68 said :

But that’s only part 1 of the problem also PB. Part 2 is how you would react if they said, ‘No, we won’t do it’ in response to your request?

There needs to be some reason for them to react positively. Carrot or stick, I don’t care but a ‘request’ can also draw a ‘nil’ response.

Oh I think a few well placed newspaper reports, along the lines of: “Cashgrab High Private School refused to conduct investigations into the needs of disabled kids in their care,” would be an incentive?

not just the newspaper, get it on the airwaves. radio would do more damage, especially if the piece played at 3.00pm…

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 12:58 pm 05 May 09

BerraBoy68 said :

But that’s only part 1 of the problem also PB. Part 2 is how you would react if they said, ‘No, we won’t do it’ in response to your request?

There needs to be some reason for them to react positively. Carrot or stick, I don’t care but a ‘request’ can also draw a ‘nil’ response.

Oh I think a few well placed newspaper reports, along the lines of: “Cashgrab High Private School refused to conduct investigations into the needs of disabled kids in their care,” would be an incentive?

Jim Jones Jim Jones 11:53 am 05 May 09

BerraBoy68 said :

Part 2 is how you would react if they said, ‘No, we won’t do it’ in response to your request?

Threaten to kill them.

I think the bigger problem would be ensuring that a survey of private schools conducted by private schools remain free of bias. It would be all too easy for the schools to slap themselves on the back and say how wonderful they are while eliding any potential problems that do exist (I can tell you from experience that private schools are particularly good at doing that).

If there was a review of private schools provision of special education for disabled children in their care, it should be conducted impartially.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 11:45 am 05 May 09

Only offered up when invited to offer an alternate solution though PB….*Sheesh*:)

But that’s only part 1 of the problem also PB. Part 2 is how you would react if they said, ‘No, we won’t do it’ in response to your request? There needs to be some reason for them to react positively. Carrot or stick, I don’t care but a ‘request’ can also draw a ‘nil’ response.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 11:33 am 05 May 09

Hmmm…

The Govt should request that all private schools conduct, (within a given time scale,) a review of their provision of special education for disabled children in their care, using the same criteria as the Govt has used for children within public schools.

God, I’m good…..

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 11:33 am 05 May 09

johnboy said :

*sigh*

It’s very simple. The ACT Government was not surveying non-Government schools BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SCHOOLS OPERATED BY THE ACT GOVERNMENT.

What we’ve come back to is Doszpot still unable to get a coherent thought to the end of a sentence, and then a bunch of middle class rent seekers sticking their hands out for money that would be better spent elsewhere.

Even simpler JB – Private schools can be included in the survey as they are still subject to ACT law and they must act within that law. Maybe this was an oversight by the ACT Gov’t but it can be rectified. After all both public and private schools operate under the same laws. I’m not sure what you think goes on in Private schools but they are not sovereign territories where teachers and kids can carry on free of any broader social responsibility. As I say the laws that effect St Thomas Aquinas Primary and Marist College are the very same laws that effect Aranda Primary and Narrabundah College. In fact, by not including Private schools in the review the Gov’t would be holding Public schools to a higher standard that those of Private schools. And that would be blatantly unfair.

Trust me, the ACT Gov’t can and does get involved in other matters pertaining to issues occurring in Private schools, so there is no reason to expect that can’t also get involved in this case. I also disagree with earlier comments that Steve Doszpot is making an attack on Private education. What he is saying, and I can state this as I clarified this with him, is that private schools must be held accountable, the same as public schools. If the Government won’t do this as part of their ‘showpiece’ review, then who will? Who could? Again, letting Private schools get away with not implementing the law is blatantly unfair and the usual critics would have a field day (and so they should).

I am curious though to find out who these ”rent seekers’ are that you’re referring to? I’ve not seen anybody talk about wanting money. In fact the only people talking about money were those that read the press release a certain way, which has now been clarified as being incorrect.

johnboy johnboy 11:05 am 05 May 09

*sigh*

It’s very simple. The ACT Government was not surveying non-Government schools BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SCHOOLS OPERATED BY THE ACT GOVERNMENT.

What we’ve come back to is Doszpot still unable to get a coherent thought to the end of a sentence, and then a bunch of middle class rent seekers sticking their hands out for money that would be better spent elsewhere.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 11:04 am 05 May 09

Jim Jones said :

But this does seem to inevitably raise the question: if private schools aren’t sufficiently addressing the needs of special needs children, what happens then?

And that, JJ is Mr Doszpot’s point! The current Government Review needs to look at this issue as part of its Terms of Reference and offer realistic, workable and effective solutions (noting obvious community concern that taxpayer funding of issues within Private schools isn’t always the answer). There a lot of interested parties taking part in this review many of whom would be, dare I say it, clever. Surely some good ideas can be put forward.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 10:54 am 05 May 09

Good work BerraBoy.

Obviously we got off track in discussing the whole funding of private/public schools. But it’s still a very important discussion to be having, particularly in relation to complex issues such as this, and the issues raised are no less valid because they don’t pertain to the Dozspot case.

I don’t think anyone would argue against the idea that all schools should address the needs of special needs children.

But this does seem to inevitably raise the question: if private schools aren’t sufficiently addressing the needs of special needs children, what happens then?

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 10:28 am 05 May 09

Lest there be any misunderstanding in this issue, I have spoken to Steve Doszpot (his office appears to have both a phone and very friendly staff!) and it has been confirmed to me that this issue is NOT about taxpayer funding of special needs at Private schools at all. Rather, as previously suspected it is a call to have the Government as part of their review to look at various ways of ensuring Private Schools address the needs of special needs children where they attend such a school. So enough about more taxpayer monies going to private schools, please.

Also for what it’s worth, I don’t think anybody has been aggressive in this debate as much as passionate. As I said in an earlier post, Granny lives with this issue everyday of her life so she is bound to be passionate and determined about this. It is extremely personal to her so she is bound to have a strong emotional investment. I’ve met several other families in similar situations to Granny and if you knew the services they were not getting for their kids you’d be concerned (or at least I hope you would). This is particularly galling where the provision of such services falls under the remit of the ACT Gov’t but they don’t have the will or inclination to do anything about simply because the issue isn’t high profile enough (read: not enough votes in it) to address.

Granny Granny 10:51 pm 04 May 09

I don’t.

johnboy johnboy 10:37 pm 04 May 09

I think you’ve been the most aggressive commenter here Granny.

Granny Granny 10:35 pm 04 May 09

I think you should read back over what you’ve written and ask yourself, “Would I talk to my friends that way?”

You’ve been writing in anger and I really don’t understand why that’s been necessary at all.

Our friendship actually meant something to me.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 7:39 pm 04 May 09

Granny, I have not been “mean” I have tried to keep on topic within the debate.

I have not made up stuff, but rebutted your actual words.

Granny Granny 7:25 pm 04 May 09

Well, you obviously have a greater understanding of disability issues. What the hell would I know?

I don’t have the hours to sit around rebutting every point you make. And why post something just to have to wade through another whole ream of snide comments about what I’ve written?

I am most disappointed because I had come to see you in a different way, particularly in light of your recent posts.

I don’t mind you disagreeing with me, I just don’t understand why you have to be so mean.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 6:19 pm 04 May 09

My apologies to all, I really mucked up the formatting of that last attempt. (I was very cross at the time)

Here we have it again.

Well that’s the whole thing about it, Pommy Bastard.

The student’s educational needs are complex because their life needs are complex. But try being a teacher at even a special school where the child has no wheelchair or no communication device

Again, if the child needs a wheelchair, or a communication device it is not the job of the school, but of the health authority, to provide these. (By the way, how do these disabled kids cope outside of school without disability aids?)

Do you not understand the basic premise of disability aid provision?

or where you’re trying to give a lesson and suddenly it’s all hands on deck while one kid has a seizure, except that there are never enough hands. Try teaching literacy and numeracy while you, the teacher, are also spoon-feeding them lunch, changing their nappies, executing therapy programs from physios, OTs, speechies, hydrotherapists and behavioural management strategies from counselors.

So now you’re telling us that each and every private school should have physios, OTs, speech therapists, hydrotherapists and behavioural management counselors, all paid for by the taxpayer?

You think it’s funny that a special school doesn’t have learning software for special education?

You think it’s absurd for me to say that a school needs to be equipped with the resources necessary to achieve its purpose?

Yes, if it doesn’t have the basic resources it needs it’s exactly like opening a mainstream school without any equipment and resources. What is absurd about that?

You can laugh at me all you want, but these things are true nevertheless and you can ask any parent or carer out there, and they’ll tell you the same.

Please don’t make up imaginary things which I have not said, and do not think in order to bolster your arguments Granny.

If you want to argue about what I think, or feel, or believe, then please quote me.

Everyone here can read what I have posted.

I have not mentioned “special schools” as the debate is not about them.

I have not laughed at you, nor have I said that you are absurd, I have not said that I find anything about a lack of provision for disabled kids is funny.

Here is my answer to the problem posed by the topic at hand;

The Govt should request that all private schools conduct, (within a given time scale,) a review of their provision of special education for disabled children in their care, using the same criteria as the Govt has used for children within public schools.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 6:04 pm 04 May 09

Granny said :

Well that’s the whole thing about it, Pommy Bastard.

The student’s educational needs are complex because their life needs are complex. But try being a teacher at even a special school where the child has no wheelchair or no communication device

Again, if the child needs a wheelchair, or a communication device it is not the job of the school, but of the health authority, to provide these.

Do you not understand the basic premise of disability aid provision?

or where you’re trying to give a lesson and suddenly it’s all hands on deck while one kid has a seizure, except that there are never enough hands. Try teaching literacy and numeracy while you, the teacher, are also spoon-feeding them lunch, changing their nappies, executing therapy programs from physios, OTs, speechies, hydrotherapists and behavioural management strategies from counselors.

So now you’re telling us that each and every private school should have physios, OTs, speech therapists, hydrotherapists and behavioural management counselors, all paid for by the taxpayer?

You think it’s funny that a special school doesn’t have learning software for special education?

You think it’s absurd for me to say that a school needs to be equipped with the resources necessary to achieve its purpose?

Yes, if it doesn’t have the basic resources it needs it’s exactly like opening a mainstream school without any equipment and resources. What is absurd about that?

You can laugh at me all you want, but these things are true nevertheless and you can ask any parent or carer out there, and they’ll tell you the same.

Please don’t make up imaginary things which I have not said, and do not think in order to bolster your arguments Granny.

If you want to argue what I think, or feel, or believe, then please quote me.

Everyone here can read what I have posted.

I have not mentioned “special schools” as the debate is not about them.

I have not laughed at you, nor have I said that you are absurd, I have not said that I find anything about a lack of provision for disabled kids is funny.

Here is my answer to the problem posed by the topic at hand;

The Govt should request that all private schools conduct, (within a given time scale,) a review of their provision of special education for disabled children in their care, using the same criteria as the Govt has used for children within public schools.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 4:55 pm 04 May 09

Jim Jones said :

johnboy said :

The right to private education…

The rot of middle class welfare takes another step towards the downfall of our society.

Yep.

If there is a ‘right to private education’, that is only limited by one’s ability to pay (per post 138), then presumably every Australian also has a right to own a Corvette (this right only being limited by one’s ability to buy the damn thing).

[\quote] Yes they do, JJ so what’s your point? Should someone not have the right to a private education or a Corvette if they can afford it? If so who would you nominate as not having this right? I don’t think anybody here is arguing that taxpayers should have to fund anybody elses lifestyle (I’m certainly not). The real argument is that a)how the Government can ensure all schools provide basic human rights to those in their care and b) where private schools are not meeting this requirement what can be done to remedy the situation.

For info: my folks sacrificed a great many things to be able to afford private education for me and my brother. We were most assuredly working class (unless there is some parallel universe where working on the docks makes you middle class) and we never accepted any Gov’t handouts to get by or pay for any school fees, etc… even when I required specialist treatment a kid. If we couldn’t afford it – we never got it, simple.

However, many comments in this the Thread seem to offer some belief that private schools should be exempt from public scrutiny, fairness and other social tests that are imposed on public schools on the basis that if discrepencies are found then the dear old taxpayer has to front up to remedy any deficiencies found at those schools.

Now I’ve read Steves Doszpots original media release several times I can’t find one sentance that explicitely states that taxpayers should have to pay for anything to do with private schools. At best there are one or two sentances that can be read either way and this may be the root of the problem here. What Steve is calling for (to my reading of the release) is simply that the Government review also look at measures to ensure private schools provide the basic human rights for any special needs child enrolled at those schools. While noting this can be acheived several ways without direct recourse to government funding, someone cried out ‘oh no, more taxpayer funding of private schools’ early in the thread and everybody else resorted to the typical private v public school argument. The real issue is basic human rights and how the Gov’t can ensure these are being met – funding is just one of many possible solutions.

If this review was about elderly patients being ignored/abused at Calvary hospital I beleive many Rioters would be demanding the Government do something to hold the owners of the Hostpital accountable, but because it’s about special needs kids at private schools shots are being fired all over the place.

Other than looking at just one possible solution (i.e. taxpayer funding)to the problem posed by Steve Doszpot in his release why not offer up other workable solutions for discussion?

Granny Granny 4:26 pm 04 May 09

Except that nobody is proposing this anyway.

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