Unreasonable teaching ratios

I am writing as a concerned mother of a studentready to go back to school. She attends Wilson Park Public School (School for Specific Purposes SSP), an exceptional school. What concerns me is that the Department of Education and Training (DET) will only provideher school witha staffing level of one teacher and one teachers aide per class in 2008.

I am not sure how awareyouare of how difficult it is to care and look after let alone teach achild with a disability?Between my husband and myselfwe findit very difficult to care for our daughter. We are both in a constant hyper-vigilant state, whichis incredibly stressful, and the strain that it has put onmy marriage, myemotional, physical and mental health and on my family has been immense. Yet, the ratio is 2 adults: 1 special needs child.

Now, take her, then add a few more children with special needs in a classroom, with different and varyingneeds and demands. If it takes my family 2 adults: 1 special child to just barely cope, how does DET expect two adults are going to cope with six kids with disabilities? This would be unreasonable, irresponsible for safety and health reasons, and frankly a very uneducated ratio to impose on Wilson Park Public. To reduce the ratio of 1 teacher plus 1 teachers aide (2): 6 special needs children would not give my daughteror the other children the adequate care andattention they require. Itis the job of DETto make sure that my child and other children of Wilson Parkget the best education they need, deserve and have a right to, and thatthe teachingstaff receive the best support they need to be able to teach and care for these children.

Please DET Lismore District Office provide an adequate level of teaching and non-teaching staff to Wilson Park, based onindividual student risk assessments and risk management plans. Surelythis is not too much to ask? Considering your vision is to provide high quality professional support which benefits students, staff and communities of public schools in thearea.Do the right thing by my child and the other children of Wilson Park Public School (SSP) in 2008 and infuture years, as it needs your constanthelp and support.

Ildiko Hammond

Lismore


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