Since March 2015, MissingSchool has held a place on the ACT Disability Education Reference Group (DERG). Over 2016 we attended quarterly meetings and gave a verbal submission to the DERG on the findings of our Australian-first research and petitioned the DERG to advocate for an ACT submission on the matter to the Education Council (under Council of Australian Governments). As part of the “Keeping Seriously Sick Kids Connected Forum”, ;MissingSchool began consultation with the ACT Education and Training Directorate for them to host a professional development forum for teachers and school leaders on issues relating to school connection for seriously sick kids. Formal Submissions were made, including:
- A NSW Enquiry into Home Schooling: Submitted by email on 7 August 2014, noting exclusion of home-schooled students from hospital education programs. On 13 July 2015 we received a response to the enquiry advising that the Department’s Disability, Learning and Support area “will lead a review to reaffirm procedures in department hospital schools to ensure that all compulsory school aged in-patient students have access to hospital school programs”.
- ACT Enquiry into Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviours
- Acknowledgement of personal submissions by MissingSchool parents to the Disability Standards in Education Review.
- Emails and letters sent to Commonwealth, State and Territory political leaders and those with responsibility for education and health matters. This correspondence outlined the issues facing kids who miss non-negligible amounts of school because of serious illness, and attached the report, School connection for seriously sick kids: who are they, how do we know what works, and whose job is it?
- Standing Committee on Education and Employment: Current levels of access and attainment for students with disabilities in the school system, and the impact on students’ families associated with inadequate levels of support.
- Presentation to Disability Education Reference Group on the national launch of the report School connection for seriously sick kids: who are they, how do we know what works, and whose job is it?
Presentation of the parent perspective at The Grand Rounds Seminar Series -jointly sponsored by the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.