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4429.0 - Profiles of Disability, Australia, 2009  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/08/2013  First Issue
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MEDIA RELEASE
7 August 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)


143/2013
Most school children with a disability attend regular classes

Most children with a disability attended regular classes in mainstream schools (65.9%), rather than special classes within mainstream schools (24.3%) or special schools (9.9%), according to new profiles released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Sue Phillips, Director of Disability and Mental Health Statistics, said "In 2009, there were 292,600 children with a disability attending school in Australia, which represents one in twelve children attending school".

"Of those 192,800 children with a disability attending regular classes in mainstream schools, nearly 40 per cent had a profound or severe limitation which meant they always or sometimes needed help with core activities such as self-care, mobility or communication."

"Seventy percent of children at school with physical disabilities attended regular classes in mainstream schools. More than half of children at school with psychological, intellectual or sensory and speech disabilities also attended regular classes."

"Around half of all children with a disability attending regular classes in mainstream schools reported experiencing difficulties at school. However children with a disability attending special classes within mainstream schools, or special schools, were more likely to report experiencing difficulties. The most commonly reported problems were learning, communicating and fitting in socially", Ms Phillips said.

Other key findings:
  • Most children with disability attend school, and stay at school for longer than children without disability.
  • One in ten boys at school has a disability compared with one in sixteen girls.
  • Half of all children with disability at school have a profound or severe limitation with a core activity.
  • Around 60 per cent of children with a disability at school had an intellectual disability.
  • Just over half of all children with a disability at school received additional assistance regardless of the school setting, such as special tuition, and access to counsellors or disability support workers.
  • The pattern of most children with a disability attending regular classes in mainstream schools is consistent across all states and territories. However there are differences in the level of participation in special classes in mainstream schools, with children with a disability more likely to participate in special classes in mainstream schools in Queensland relative to Western Australia.

Further information is available in Profiles of Disability, 2012 (cat.no. 4429.0), together with Disability, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4446.0) and Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4430.0) which are available for free download from www.abs.gov.au.

Media Note:
  • The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2009 defines disability as any limitation, restriction or impairment, which restricts everyday activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months.
  • Please ensure when reporting ABS data, that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

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