BOSTES Disability Discrimination Information

Below is a link to BOSTES code of ethic’s which advise the public what laws they follow:-

Notice the website states “the law includes but is not limited to”….. In this list it does not mention Disability Discrimination Act 1992 nor does it mention Disability Standards in Education 2005

Elsewhere on the BOSTES website,, under Disability Provisions it states:-

“Any HSC student with a disability recognised in the Commonwealth Disability Standards for Education 2005.

The definition of ‘disability’ in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) includes

  • physical
  • intellectual
  • psychiatric
  • sensory
  • neurological, and
  • learning disabilities, as well as
  • physical disfigurement, and
  • the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.”

BOSTES ACE Manual website Page, ACE 1001 states:-

“The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standards for Education (2005) require BOSTES to ensure that students with a disability are able to access and respond to an examination.”

BOSTES website Page New Principles for special examination modifications – states “The Board has approved a set of principles to guide decisions about the types of arrangements to enable students with a disability to best access the School Certificate tests and Higher School Certificate examinations. The principles were developed to ensure that the Board complies with the Disability Standards for Education”

Also interesting to not Section 32 of Disability Discrimination Act 1992 states it is illegal to contravene a disability standard.  So if BOSTES state they must comply with the Disability Standards for education, they must have to comply with Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Why doesn’t BOSTES website state clearly to parents, students and the public that they are required to follow Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Education? Why is this information hidden and not clear to everyone??

If BOSTES have to comply with Disability Standards in Education 2005, schools comply with Disability Standards in Education and allow students to use disability provisions recommended by medical professionals, how is BOSTES complying with Disability Standards in Education by removing these very provisions for students have been using when they come to sit their HSC exams?

The BOSTES Act 2013 Section 25 – Rules of the Board

(1) The Board may make rules, not inconsistent with the education and teaching legislation, for or with respect to the exercise of any of its functions.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the rules may set out guidelines with respect to the requirements for registration, approval and accreditation under the education and teaching legislation.

(3) A rule does not take effect unless approved by the Minister.

(4) A rule is to be published on the Board’s website and takes effect on the date of publication or a later date specified in the rule.

(5) A copy of each rule must be available for public inspection at the Board’s office during business hours.

Interesting to read what NSW Ombudsman recommended in the  2013 Review of HSC Disability Provisions, page 17

2. drafts and makes public guidelines on the Board of Studies’ use of discretion in
making decisions about disability provisions applications for the HSC;
3.makes public all benchmarks, including the reading and spelling standardised
tests which are used to determine a student’s eligibility for disability provisions


More interesting information from Australian Government Department of Education and Training documents

page 3 states for students with disability and additional learning needs, reasonable adjustments should be made where required”

Page 5 Consults states “ seek expert advice, where relevant on the students needs; including medical, personal, physical, communication, sensory and learning needs”

Page 5 Plan & Implement personal learning – “seek any required equipment, assistive technology or additional resources for the students learning needs”

Disability Standards in Education 2005 point states                                                                                      ( :-

3.4 Reasonable Adjustments

(2)   In assessing whether a particular adjustment for a student is reasonable, regard should be had to all the relevant circumstances and interests, including the following:

                     (a)    the student’s disability;

(b)    the views of the student or the student’s associate, given under section

3.5 Consulting the student
        (c)    the effect of the adjustment on the student, including the effect on the student’s:
(i)    ability to achieve learning outcomes; and
         (ii)    ability to participate in courses or programs; and
         (iii)    independence;

So if BOSTES are to comply with Disability Standards in Education, I fail to see how BOSTES removing disabilitity provisions that a student has been using,have been given to the student at school (who have complied with Disability Standards in Education), provisions have been again medically recommended, how are BOSTES actually complying by forcing the student to use a disability provision that suits BOSTES and not the student.  Is this following Disability Standards in Education and Disability Discrimination Act???

Also, I fail to see how BOSTES “medical professionals” can over ride decisions made by a medical professional that has actually physically seen the student and made recommendations.  Why is it only BOSTES medical professionals are right?

What is  even worse, is that the student has had medical recommendations and evidence of difficulties from early primary school and this “evidence” is not taken into consideration along with new evidence.  Hardly fair to a student sitting their HSC.

You then have to wonder about the NSW Education Act 1990 as Section 6  – Objects for Administration of this Act states –

“(1) It is the intention of Parliament that every person concerned in the administration of this Act or of education for children of school-age in New South Wales is to have regard (as far as is practicable or appropriate) to the following objects:

(a) assisting each child to achieve his or her educational potential,

(e) mitigating educational disadvantages arising from the child’s gender or from geographic, economic, social, cultural, lingual or other causes

(k) provision of special educational assistance to children with disabilities,

(1A) It is the intention of Parliament that the provision of courses of study required by this Act for the Higher School Certificate has the following objects:

(a) to provide a curriculum structure that encourages students to complete secondary education,

(b) to foster the intellectual, social and moral development of students, in particular by developing:

(i) their knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes in the fields of study they choose, and

(ii) their capacity to manage their own learning, and

(iii) their desire to continue learning in formal or informal settings after school, and

(iv) their capacity to work with others, and

(v) their respect for the cultural diversity of Australian society,

(c) to provide a flexible structure within which students can prepare for:

(i) further education and training, and

(ii) employment, and

(iii) full and active participation as members of the community,

Again, I fail to see how BOSTES taking away students disability provisions, complies even with the Education Act 1990.

It is time our ministers look closely at what BOSTES are doing to students and their families who are requesting disability provisions in the name of “protecting the integrity of the exam”.   It is not right an organisation over rides medical evidence based upon their interpretations of the medical evidence provided especially when BOSTES medical professionals have never seen the students.  It is not right a students disability application rides a lot on the schools knowledge in applying for provisions and it is not the students fault the school does not know how to put an application to BOSTES.  Nor should BOSTES nit pick through medical evidence just to “prove” there is no disability to the student.

BOSTES should be more transparent in their dealing with parents and not secretly hide away information they have received from their medical professionals in regards to their child’s disability. BOSTES should also consult all of the students medical professionals, when making judgements on a students disability application, not pick and choose whom they wish to contact.

Is this what our Australian Government wants to be wasting our tax payer dollars on, an Education Authority setting out to disprove students medical  evidence so they can refuse disability provisions


BOSTES Court Cases

Bi v Board of Studies [2000] NSWSC 921 (22 September 2000)

BOSTES – Functional evidence Case Studies?


………………….Work in progress