Disability RC told of bullying in schools

Robyn Wuth

WHAT IS THE DISABILITY ROYAL COMMISSION?

* The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability aims to ensure those with disabilities are given the same rights and opportunities as those without.

* It will explore all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in a range of settings including homes, schools, sporting clubs, workplaces and mental health facilities.

WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK?

* The four-day hearing was held in Townsville this week, with a focus on the Queensland state education system's policy of inclusion.

WHAT HAS IT BEEN TOLD?

* One in five students in Queensland public schools is struggling to learn with a disability, the disability royal commission has been told.

* Of the almost 561,000 students enrolled in Queensland public schools in 2019, more than 103,000 have a disability.

* There are another 35,000 students with disability in independent schools.

* Parents have spoken on the heartbreak of seeing their children excluded or bullied at school by peers and teachers.

* Special education staff admitted teachers are "resisting diversity" in classrooms and failing to cater for disabled students.

* At least one school in Queensland has not yet introduced disabled students into their classrooms.

* Universities fail to properly educate new teachers about how to adapt lessons for students with disabilities.

* The Queensland Teachers' Union says teachers are overworked, classes are too big, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach for students with special needs.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

* A number of hearings will be held around Australia over three years.

* An interim report is due by October 2020 and the final report is due by the end of April 2022.

* The commission will sit for four days in Melbourne in December for public hearings into group homes.