‘Massive pressure’: special needs classes clustered in Sydney’s west

Special needs classes in public schools are heavily concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Sydney, with 92 in the Blacktown local government area alone but none in Hunters Hill, Lane Cove or Mosman.

In the Liverpool and Campbelltown council areas there is an average of just over one class for students with disabilities per school, an analysis of NSW Department of Education figures by the Herald shows.

Schools in disadvantaged areas have more special needs classes than those in affluent ones.

Yet in the northern beaches, Ryde and Sydney council areas, there are half as many special needs classrooms as there are schools. In Hornsby there are nine special classrooms among 33 schools.

Experts said the divide suggested socio-economically advantaged parents were better able to navigate medical systems and pay for early intervention services, such as speech pathology and occupational therapy, before their children began school.

Source: ‘Massive pressure’: special needs classes clustered in Sydney’s west

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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