How Legislation and Policies Influence Education in Australia

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Australia is very a multicultural and diverse country. Consequently schools are faced with many diverse students of different abilities and backgrounds. To ensure equity and fairness among students, policies and legislations have been put into place to ensure diversity is being catered for and that no student is being excluded from the education system. Some of these policies and legislation include: The Disability Discrimination Act 1992, The Salamanca Statement, Disability Standards 2005, Inclusive Education Statement, Disabilities Services Act QLD 2006 and the Melbourne Declaration.

As educators, it is important to acknowledge and implement these polices when planning activities/lessons/curriculum in the classroom. This essay aims to look at the different types of policies or legislations that Australia has and how they influence in the way schools or educators provide an inclusive educational experience for all students.

The Australian Federal Parliament has passed a number of laws which aim to protect people from certain kinds of discrimination in public life and from breaches of their human rights by Commonwealth departments and agencies. The Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) was an act passed by the Parliament of Australia and provides protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability. Its objectives are to eliminate discrimination against a person with a disability and anybody associated with that person such as: relatives, friends or carers. It also aims to ensure that a person with a disability has the same rights as the rest of the community and to promote this equality with recognition or acceptance within the community.

To implement this Act successfully within a c...

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...ive and participate in a just, equitable and democratic global society. It also outlines that when schools embrace an inclusive education, students learn to respect and value differences within the community and they also develop equity within their own relationships (statement).

Educators need to ensure that they create a learning environment in the classroom that questions segregation and challenges social injustice, as this will develop the students’ skills to embrace equality. The classroom learning environment also needs to value, celebrate and respond to diversity. Furthermore educators should evaluate the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment they are using in the classroom, as this will provide evidence the interests, skills, knowledge and experiences of the diverse groups of students are central features and are catered for in the learning environment.
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