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School inflexible to student's special needs


Scott has Asbergers Syndrome, and his mother, Kym, wanted to enrol him at a new school. She spoke to the special education co-ordinator, who, Kym alleged, said the school's programme was inflexible and might not meet Scott's needs.

Kym complained to the Commission, believing that her son was refused enrolment because of his Asbergers Syndrome and this amounted to disability discrimination.

In response to the Commission's request for information, the school replied that it already had a number of students with special needs, but the co-ordinator believed that Kym said she would be seeking to enrol Scott elsewhere. Otherwise, the school would have begun a 'Special Needs Enrolment' process to comply with Disability Discrimination legislation identifying staffing, programs and facilities needed to meet Scott's needs.

The school's principal and Kym attended a conciliation conference. The complaint was settled by the school agreeing to apologise for misunderstandings that arose from unclear communication, and to re-commence Scott's enrolment process. The school also agreed to pay Kym and Scott $1,000 for injury to feelings.

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