NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) contribution by
ADHD Australia and the community
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is conducting a review of the NSW Curriculum and invited interested parties to make submissions by 30 November 2018. ADHD Australia’s paper highlighted the issues facing children with ADHD and their families. A big thank you to everyone who provided input for our submission, which we hope will contribute to improving the school experience and life outcomes of children with ADHD. The suggestions in our submission also have broad application and benefits for all school children and not just limited to those in NSW.
Our key recommendations for immediate implementation were:
* Make learning interesting, relevant and fun, as children with ADHD learn best when they are interested, stimulated and engaged.
* An accommodating, non-punitive approach is required. Focus on socialisation and collaboration, and don’t segregate.
* Teachers need a flexible approach, as children with ADHD may need more latitude in how versus what they accomplish.
* Classrooms should be informal but structured, ideally with stand-up desks and some quiet space. We need a major rethink of classroom design to support different ways of learning.
* Many students with ADHD have difficulty with written expression. This has been identified through NAPLAN as a significant issue and specific remedial support should be a major priority.
* Due to the different types and severities of ADHD, each child requires an individualised approach, which may include behaviour interventions, special support eg for maths or writing, social skills training, and an individual learning plan.
* One on one support in schools is very effective and extremely important for managing ADHD, and should be a funding priority for governments.
* Appropriate levels of communication within the school, with teachers, parents, the child, and possibly also with medical professionals, are essential.
* Strong leadership and attitudinal change in schools makes the biggest impact. This is especially the case in helping to reduce stigma. It includes implementing actions and culture change in schools to create an inclusive environment and stamp out major issues such as bullying. An inclusive environment at school is also essential for children with ADHD to optimise their learning, and will benefit all children.
* While special training for educators in recognising, understanding and supporting children with ADHD is extremely important, both leadership and attitudinal change are critical to achieving successful outcomes. An optimistic, non-judgmental team-based approach is also crucial.
NESA will provide a draft report to the Education Minister by September in 2019, and the final report is expected to be available at the end of 2019.
Please click here and follow the link to read the ADHD Australia submission.