BOSTES make it very difficult for students with hidden disabilities to obtain disability adjustments for the HSC, even if the student has been using disability adjustments since the beginning of High School that were medically recommended.
In the case of a student, BOSTES withdrew his disability adjustments of computer and extra time, replacing these with a reader and writer believing this was more suitable to the student and “fair”. The disability adjustments that the student was using had been medically recommended since 2011, adjustments he used at school for all schoolwork and exams and had even used for his trial exams.
Below is the further documentation BOSTES advised a family they required to obtain disability adjustments for the student, copy of the 10th declined appeal decision – take note of the reason BOSTES gave for declining requested provisions – snipets taken from medical evidence provided to BOSTES, a copy of BOSTES guidelines obtained under the GIPA 2013 Act, because BOSTES would not advise parents this information, copies of students work, copy of students handwriting and other bits and pieces. This is only part of the story there has been a lot more. All because BOSTES thinks a student is trying to rort the system, they place unreasonable conditions upon students before they can have access to their disability adjustments, even those they have been using for many years and work for them.
BOSTES do not seem to take into consideration a students well being in requesting continual testing to prove disability, nor do they take into consideration the cost of these tests to the family or why a parent prefer to have testing done externally rather than within the school system. It appeared that everytime supporting evidence was supplied to BOSTES the reason for declining always changed and the goalpost moved, even though BOSTES guidelines stated differently.
Also see the lengths BOSTES will go through to intimidate a parent of a student with a disability for questioning their declined reasons, lawfully being able to complain to NSW Ombudsman, Australian Human Rights and NSW Anti Discrimination Board.
BOSTES appear to take no notice upon parents requests, medical evidence provided and disability discrimination laws both Commonwealth and State laws believing only their policies, guidelines and procedures are correct. See below if you believe this is a Government Department doing the right thing by a student, considering the Education Act 1990 and BOSTES Act 2013, not to mention Disability Laws, State and Commonwealth.
BOSTES appear to make a game of not approving disability adjustments for students, no thought is given to the student and it is a win at all costs for BOSTES to enforce their rules, policies and procedures, not interpret medical documentation or disability laws and to have a win over a parent for rightfully asking questions on behalf of their child and wanting to know the reasons why the disability adjustments were not approved with a full explanation provided.
BOSTES Guidelines obtained under GIPA Act
BACKGROUND TO HSC DISABILITY APPLICATION
This student had a handwriting speed in the 9th percentile, hand pain upon writing, Dyspraxia and Hypotonicity, reading comprenhsion disability 4th percentile and working memory 5th percentile, Specific Learning Disorder, Specific Disability in Reading Comprehension and written expression as advised by Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist and Paedatrician. These disabilities did not suddenly appear, they had been ongoing for many years, with information of old medical evidence being given to BOSTES.
The student has a Specific Learning Disorder diagnosed under DSM5 by a Clinical Psychologist and has previously been diagnosed with ADHD by a paedatrician, Paedatrician also advised because school could not or would not provide further information, the paediatrician could not confirm diagnosis of ADHD, but advised the working memory issues were in keeping with ADHD.
BOSTES appear to nit pick through medical professionals reports, and do not seem to take an overall full picture of evidence provided by medical professionals over the years, nor do they listen to what parents have to say, as they appear to “know nothing” about their childs disabilities.
The first application that was lodged to BOSTES in July 2015, was declined with BOSTES reason given no evidence of disability. No HSC disability adjustment was granted until the merry go round of lodging complaints with NSW Ombudsman, Australian Human Rights and NSW Anti Discrimination Board.
BOSTES refuse to conciliate at Australian Human Rights and do not respond to questions asked, not allowing us time to obtain evidence they required and so caused Australian Human Rights to terminate the complaint. Even when evidence was obtained, you can clearly see not all evidence has been taken into consideration with their decisions, much less follow their own advice, polices and NSW State laws and Commonwealth laws. But that is of course just my opinion. Interestingly of all “evidence” provided to BOSTES, they only contacted one medical professional, not all and made their decisions based upon one call, their internal medical providers advices (who have not physically seen or assessed my son)…………………..
Next a complaint was lodged with NSW Ombudsman and interestingly enough, following this complaint and some further evidence produced, BOSTES finally approved the first disability adjustment 29/4/16 of small group supervision. But if you look at what BOSTES told Australian Human Rights, approval of small groups was the result of any of the other disability provisions being approved.
BOSTES seem to think the parents and the student are trying to obtain an unfair advantage, even though many medical professionals have made recommendations about the disability adjustments over many years. BOSTES seem to believe that parents can go to medical professionals and medical professionals will put their careers on the line to write up fictitious reports about their child. How can a parent do that to so many medical professionals??? How can BOSTES medical professional be correct when they haven’t physically seen or assessed the student??
BOSTES Advised in their 10th declined appeal, the reasons for declining this students disability application was:-
DISABILITY APPLICATIONS NOT HELPED BY THE SCHOOLS
Documentation of BOSTES website Disability pge 4 states as shown below:- https://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/disability-provisions/pdf_doc/schools-guide-disability-provisions.pdf
Neither BOSTES or my schools school discussed details with me. I emailed requests and they just forwarded on, even when pointed out appeals process I was ignored.
STUDENTS HANDWRITING EXAMPLES
TEACHER COMMENTS ON STUDENTS WORK OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS
Clearly these teacher comments below shows the students disabilities and this was with the student using current disability adjustments of computer, extra time and small groups.
Year adviser comments, clearly show no understanding of the students disabilities, no knowledge that this student has attended tutoring outside of school hours to assist him with his disabilities. What has been written “is he applies himself” is clear lack of understanding of GLD students, lack of understanding about Specific Learning Disorders and makes you wonder if the Year adviser ever read any medical documentation provided to them (that most likely was withheld from teachers, given the comments made by the relieving principal as all communication had to go through the principal i.e parent labelled trouble maker)
STUDENTS SCHOOL WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM FAMILY – WHAT WAS WITHHELD FROM BOSTES APPLICATION ALSO????
The family had advocated for their son with a disability advocate since starting at HIgh School, requesting help for the student. The student never received the assistance they needed at school, because the school refused to acknowledge his struggles. Interesting what was written in the relieving principals Educational Impact Statement, a school finally admitting the students disabilities which impacted upon learning and I believe impacted on his Disability Adjustment Application for the HSC.
Why were the family not to see this? Transparency in our school systems? BOSTES are aware of this, do they want their schools doing this??
EVIDENCE PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY
There is a lot more evidence, but these are the pieces that seem to be not taken into consideration
Family had other older reports and these too were provided to BOSTES and they would not accept those, and the family had no alternative but to provide up to date current evidence, even though prior medical reports advised that at this late stage it would be more appropriate and beneficial for (student name) to use a computer. Fair and reasonable for the student and family???
Below are snipets taken from Medical Documentation that BOSTES chose to overlook:-
BOSTES MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS NIT PICKING THROUGH MEDICAL EVIDENCE PROVIDED BY THE STUDENT (obtained under GIPA Act)
How do you know what medical reports BOSTES actually gave each of these medical professionals in making these assumptions???
SHOULD BOSTES BE TRYING TO INTIMIDATE PARENTS FOR TRYING TO OBTAIN ANSWERS FOR THE CHILD’S DECLINED DISABILITY PROVISIONS?
BOSTES Refusing to answer questions of declined disability adjustments
BOSTES-refusing-to-respond-questions – click on red for correspondence
HAVE BOSTES AND THIS STUDENTS SCHOOL, BEEN FAIR AND REASONABLE IN NOT PROVIDING DISABILITY ADJUSTMENTS GIVEN THE ABOVE MEDICAL REPORTS, TEACHER COMMENTS, WORK SAMPLES ???
HOW CAN BOSTES MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ASSESS A STUDENT, ADVISE WHAT THE STUDENT NEEDS WHEN THEY HAVE NEVER PHYSICALLY SEEN THE STUDENT??
IS THAT CONSIDERED FAIR AND REASONABLE? IS IT FAIR AND REASONABLE A SCHOOL WITH HOLDS INFORMATION ALSO??
YOU HAVE TO ASK WHY DO BOSTES INSIST UPON FORCING DISABILITY ADJUSTMENTS UPON STUDENTS AND WHY CAN’T A STUDENT USE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR THEM AND WHAT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS RECOMMEND. WHY IS A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT TELLING STUDENTS THEY CAN ONLY ACCESS WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO GIVE THE STUDENT? IS THIS FOLLOWING DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAWS???
IN THE WORKPLACE, PEOPLE ARE NOT FORCED TO LEARN A NEW DISABILITY ADJUSTMENT TO ASSIST THEM TO DO THEIR JOB, IF THEY HAVE ONE THAT WORKS FOR THEM EMPLOYERS ARE HAPPY WITH THAT – WHY NOT SCHOOLS AND HOW IS THIS REMOVING STUDENTS DISABILITY ADJUSTMENTS FOLLOWING DISABILITY STANDARDS IN EDUCATION?
WHY IS OUR EDUCATION DEPARTMENT WASTING TIME AND MONEY AND CAUSING FRUSTRATION FOR BOTH STUDENTS AND TEACHER TO FORCE THEM TO LEARN A DISABILITY ADJUSTMENT THAT THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO USE IN THE WORKPLACE. WHAT IS THE POINT IN THAT?? PUT THAT MONEY SET ASIDE TO ASSIST WITH SCRIBES/WRITERS AND TEACH STUDENTS TO USE TECHNOLOGY THEY WILL USE IN THE WORKPLACE.
IS THIS A SCHOOL SYSTEM WE WANT, NOT HELPING STUDENTS WHO NEED IT, NO WONDER STUDENTS DROP OUT OF SCHOOL, REMAIN UNEMPLOYED AND GET INTO TROUBLE WITH THE LAW, OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT HELPING.
ALSO, WHY DOES GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY ADVISE ON THEIR WEBSITE THAT Reaonsable adjustments the students usual work methods need to be taken into account – point 3 pg 3 and BOSTES/NSW Ombudsman do not acknowledge or take this into considerations, why is it so different for Universities to give disability adjustments and BOSTES not to. BOSTES and the HSC are in fact holding students back and this needs to change –
AND MONASH UNIVERSITY ADVISES Indirect – where there is a condition or requirement imposed which may be the same for everyone, but which unfairly excludes or disadvantages people with disability in a manner that is unreasonable. (For example, a person with a learning disability is not provided the appropriate adjustments such as lecture recordings, a notetaker or adaptive technologies and is therefore denied the same opportunity to learn as other students.) –
Is this a school system following even Education Acts, BOSTES Acts, Disability Discrimination Acts??? You have to wonder
THIS STUDENT CLEARLY HAS BEEN LET DOWN BY THE SYSTEM. NO STUDENT, PARENT, CARER OR FAMILY NEED TO GO TO THESE EXTREMES, BUT IF IT IS NOT DOCUMENTED SOMEWHERE FOR THE POWERS TO BE TO SEE WHAT DOES HAPPEN OUR SYSTEM WILL NEVER CHANGE AND THAT IS NOT FAIR TO STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. WHY SHOULD GETTING THE HELP A STUDENT NEEDS BE THIS DIFFICULT?? (Not that this student received the help he needed) Every student Every School????
OUR SYSTEM NEEDS CHANGE NOW TO PROTECT OUR STUDENTS AND COMMUNITIES WELL-BEING!