Taskforce on Students with Learning Difficulties

The Taskforce was established to examine how to improve assessment and support for children and young people in ACT public schools with learning difficulties. Key issues considered included students experiencing language disorders, comprehension and processing disorders, dyslexia-related issues and significant difficulties in general numeracy and literacy.

The Minister for Education and Training, Ms Joy Burch MLA, has released the report of the Taskforce on Students with Learning Difficulties

The recommendations and strategies to support students with learning difficulties have been agreed to and the Directorate will provide the Minister with quarterly reports over the next twelve months or until such time as all strategies have been addressed. These reports will be published on the Directorate website.

Consultation

The consultation period for the Taskforce on Students with Learning Difficulties has now closed. The Taskforce will present the report to the Minister in early July. Updates will be available on this website. Thank you for your participation in the consultation process.

Terms of Reference

Role

The aim of the Taskforce is to consider how to improve assessment and support for children and young people in ACT public schools with learning difficulties, including but not limited to students experiencing:

  • language disorders;
  • comprehension and processing disorders;
  • dyslexia-related issues;
  • significant difficulties in general numeracy and literacy.

Reporting

The Taskforce will develop a workplan and consultation strategy. An interim report on progress will be provided to the Minister before the end of 2012 and a report will be presented to the Minister in the first half of 2013.

Minutes of meetings will be provided to the Minister for Education and Training through the Executive Director, Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement.

Minutes of the Taskforce meetings will also be provided to the Disability Education Reference Group (DERG). The Taskforce Chairperson will report in person to this group.

Functions

The Taskforce will provide the Minister with a report that includes an:

  • evaluation of the current level of available support for teachers
  • examination of the current level of school-parent engagement and communication including the level of support available for parents
  • assessment of advances in teaching and learning with regard to learning difficulties
  • evaluation of standing research literature and best-practice evidence.

Authority

The Taskforce is an advisory body established to provide the Minister for Education and Training with recommendations assessment and support for children and young people in ACT public schools with learning difficulties. 
Membership

The Taskforce will comprise members who:

  • have demonstrated connection and commitment to children and young people
  • represent key stakeholder interests and/or
  • have relevant expertise associated with children and young people with learning difficulties.

Protocols

Members must observe the highest standards of professionalism and confidentiality. They must act in good faith, in the best interests of the Taskforce and with due care and diligence.

The Taskforce will work to reach agreement by consensus.

Members acknowledge that each representative voice in the Taskforce is equal, regardless of personal qualifications and background, size of organisation represented, or sectoral interests.

Confidentiality regarding sensitive information must be respected.

Meetings

Meetings will commence during term 4 of the 2012 school year and will continue in 2013. The Chairperson may call extraordinary meetings as required.

A quorum will be 50 per cent of membership plus one, excluding the secretariat.

The Chairperson will set the agenda.

Secretariat

The Education Directorate will provide secretariat assistance.

Review

The Terms of Reference must be approved by the ACT Minister for Education and Training.

The Taskforce will review the Terms of Reference as required.

Membership

  • Ms Irene Lind - Chair
  • Mr Nathan Bennett - Young person with Dyslexia
  • Ms Jill Burgess - Diversity and Inclusive Education, Australian Catholic University
  • Ms Jen Cross - Parent Representative
  • Ms Alison Hatcher - Psychologist
  • Ms Vanessa Klose - Senior Speech Pathologist, Therapy ACT
  • Ms Maree O'Neale - Parent Representative
  • Ms Viv Pearce - President, ACT Parents and Citizens Council
  • Ms Narelle Smart - Senior Counsellor, ETD
  • Ms Jo Whithear - Director, Canberra Reading Clinic

Contact Us

Telephone: 6205 9383
Email: LDTaskforce@act.gov.au