Many persons with disabilities “feel that they exist without belonging and without participating”. Much still prevents them from being fully enfranchised. Our concern should be not only to care for them but to ensure their “active participation in the civil and ecclesial community. That is a demanding and even tiring process, yet one that will gradually contribute to the formation of consciences capable of acknowledging each individual as a unique and unrepeatable person.“~ Pope Francis 2020, Fratelli Tutti 98
The National Catholic Education Commission promotes a Christ-centred education providing excellent and inclusive schooling. It supports the continual improvement of educational outcomes for all students. NCEC is committed to supporting Catholic education school authorities to ensure that all students receive the support they need to learn and flourish, so that every student experiences success.
The Disability Standards for Education 2005 clarify the obligations of education and training providers and seeks to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability.Australian Government, Disability Standards 2005
Every student has a right to access a full and engaging education.
With adequate support, all children, irrespective of their different needs, should be able to learn together in mainstream classrooms in their local communities.~ UNESCO 2015, p. 101
The National Disability Strategy 2021 -2031 provides a roadmap for educational expectations for children with disability to participate in early childhood and school education. The strategy is a national framework that all state and territory governments have signed up to and sets out a plan to continue to improve the lives of people with disability.
NCEC supports Catholic education to provide a supportive Catholic community which promotes the dignity and sacredness of every student. We understand that such communities are built upon respectful, collaborative relationships with families as first educators, with students, teachers and the community supporting learners.
The NCEC is advised and supported by the Student with Disability network group. The group provides advice to the NCEC on best practice in the education and support of students with disability. The network focuses on the policy and operational aspects of educating and supporting students with disability in Catholic schools. Particular consideration is given to all aspects of national education policy from a Catholic school perspective that affect students with disability including National Consistent Collection Data (NCCD) funding, educational programs that support students with disability in the school setting. NCEC also facilitates sharing of information on national projects and government initiatives which impact students with disability.