A residential program that would provide special educational support for children in rural and remote areas in New South Wales has been granted a reprieve.
NSW Minister for Education Verity Firth disclosed last week that the program will continue for another six months. The program was first offered at the Dalwood Assessment Centre and Palm Avenue School in Seaforth.
Reforms to special education services and a relocation at Children's Hospital in Westmead, which started last year, was granted an exension until the end of Term Two.
The program will continue to run out of Royal Far West in Manly, where it has been opened since the start of this year.
An expert advisory panel has approved the service models for students from remote and regional areas and will file a report to the NSW Government next month.
The relief will ensure ensure eligible children to have access to residential program if required.
A parent, who is also an advocate for the continuance of the services, said the program should not stopped as several people still needs to avail it.
“These are a vulnerable group of people who have been left guessing about what is next,” Michelle Bolte said.
“It was under-resourced, and needs to be expanded – this service has proof of it working well and now has proof of a Government tampering with a service it knows very little about.”
Mrs. Bolte branded the current service as “dosjointed” and urged the Government that the service be placed in under one work.
The assessment service will continue and may be relocated to the Children's Hospital at Westmead during Term Three.