The ADHD Association recently spoke to our submission to Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee in response to the Inquiry into the identification and support for students with the significant challenges of dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum disorders in primary and secondary schools.
As the description of the enquiry suggests, it did not originally include ADHD in its scope. We felt that it should, given that ADHD not only presents a significant challenge to those it affects, but also that it is almost certainly far more common than the conditions already included.
Our submission, available by clicking here, was heavily informed by a member survey we recently undertook. We strongly argued the need for increased funding for Special Education, including for the provision of more qualified teachers aides, and greater coverage of special education needs in teacher training. The submission also called for Individual Education Plans to become mandatory, and for there to be better coordination between Ministries of Health and Education.
Earlier submissions mentioned teacher training, early assessment etc., however we were asked particularly about the use of medication, the impact of the new open plan classrooms, and issues raised in our recent survey.
We were also represented by The Cube, who submitted on behalf of the Invisible Disabilities Collective, of which we are a member. This group spoke strongly and presented postcards representing a range of individual student stories for the MP’s to take away.
The Committee were receptive and supportive, and we are hopeful that they will translate our feedback into some effective policies in early childhood, primary, and secondary education.