Latest News

Resourcing key for children with disabilities to succeed in public schools, but barriers remain
November 13, 2022
Caitlyn Royce is deaf and goes to a local public primary school Her parents believed she would thrive in mainstream schooling Advocates say the success of children with a disability depends on resourcing
A behaviour tsar for schools gets an F by every measure
September 27, 2022
If we ranked all the choices made by the NSW government, especially since the formation of the Perrottet-Mitchell-Harrisson triumvirate in education, there would be one decision which would come out worst. The appointment of a new behaviour tsar for NSW schools is the most bone-headed idea ever. It’s an exhausted concept borrowed from a British education system run by second-rate conservative bureaucrats appointed by a third-rate British government which changes leaders as often as the rest of us should change our telecommunications providers.
SA to spend $4.5m on special school unit
August 1, 2022
A $4.5 million special education unit will be built at the Ceduna Area School, on South Australia's west coast, with the state government describing it as vital support to the regional community. "Inclusive education and every child's right to a quality education, is an extremely important part of my agenda," Education Minister Blair Boyer said as he visited the school on Monday.
Teachers soften opposition to new rules for fewer, shorter student suspensions
July 31, 2022
The NSW government has reached a compromise with the powerful teachers’ union over the planned overhaul of suspension and expulsion policies in public schools, paving the way for new rules designed to reduce the number of sanctions to take effect next term.
'Completely rejected': Students with disabilities vastly overrepresented in suspension data
July 31, 2022
New data reveals the extent to which students with disabilities are suspended from ACT public schools. Jen Maskell knows first-hand the negative impact of school suspensions on her two sons, who both have disabilities. They both received their first suspensions in the same week in 2019, setting off an escalation of suspensions. Mrs Maskell said she generally would get a call after an incident involving her child asking to come to the school. “There’s no negotiation. We’re expected to drop everything and come and collect our child,” she said. “It actually shuts down that ability to work with school and that ability to work together to solve the problem.”
Greens and Labor oppose Government's Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools policy
June 7, 2022
Federation has welcomed formal written support from the Greens and NSW Labor to oppose the Perrottet Government’s controversial Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools policy
‘We are all chasing our tails to catch up’: Student behaviour a rising problem in Victorian schools
April 13, 2022
Disruptive behaviour and poor wellbeing among students have emerged as bigger problems in Victorian schools this year than learning loss after two years of disrupted schooling. Primary school principals say they are grappling with new behavioural issues among students, including new cases of school refusal, alarming social media activity and vaping on school grounds.
‘Devastating impact’: Rise in proportion of disabled students expelled during pandemic
April 12, 2022
Almost one in three students expelled from Victorian government schools during the first year of the pandemic had a disability, up from one in seven the previous year, in a pattern of exclusion that youth disability advocates warn is merely “the tip of the iceberg”.
Illume Australian Inclusive Schooling Conference on 12th and 13th of May 2022
March 18, 2022
In its third year, the Australian Inclusive Schooling Conference has proven to be the standout professional development opportunity for those looking to deepen their understanding of inclusive education, be challenged to think bigger about the potential of students with disabilities, and be inspired to work towards even greater outcomes for all.
Victorian ADHD Conference, My Spirited Child.
March 17, 2022
Lou and Ash will be presenting at the Victorian ADHD Conference in Melbourne at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 2nd April, 2022. The title of the talk is "Know better, Do Better". Lou and Ash will provide family background, a mum's and dad's experience, the switch from behaviourism to neurodiveristy affirming practices and the advocacy that Lou has been involved with over the years, what it is trying to achieve and the projects that audience members can get involved with.
'Furious’ teachers threaten to strike over changes to school suspension policies
February 20, 2022
The NSW Teachers Federation has demanded the state government back down on a planned overhaul of suspension and expulsion policies in public schools, threatening industrial action if forced to implement the changes.
Shorter, fewer school suspensions under controversial behaviour policy
February 19, 2022
The length of school suspensions will be halved and students cannot be sent home more than three times a year under a new behaviour strategy designed to reduce the high number of sanctions against vulnerable children in NSW public schools. Parents support the policy, but the teachers union says it will increase safety risks for staff and students by constraining teachers’ ability to manage disruptive and dangerous behaviour.
School suspensions: High rate of Kindy Kids with disabilities Pushed Out of class
November 7, 2021
Following November 2021 NSW parliament estimates hearing, revealing the suspensions of kindergarten students has risen to 80% with disability, Square Peg parent, "Anne" was interviewed with Dr David Roy and Lou Kuchel for comment on the troubling "push out" that is thrust upon young Australian families. Kindergarten students with disabilities are either officially suspended at alarming rates (424 in the first half of 2021!) or "pushed out" via unofficial exclusions and gatekeeping practices.
Lou interviews The Queen of Common Sense, Maggie Dent
November 1, 2021
In response to Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge's speech from 22nd October, Lou was able to partner with national treasure, Maggie Dent. Maggie agreed to be a guest on Square Peg Round Whole and to discuss the contents of the speech with Lou. Annoyed and frustrated with Minister Tudge's speech, Maggie did not take much convincing. They discussed Maggie's key early intuitions that led her to a deep understanding for our neurodivergent youth, their strengths, challenges and their need for our support and understanding, especially when they are at school. Maggie shared some very moving and heartfelt stories of her experiences as a teacher and parent over the years and the connections she's been able to form with young neurodivergent people that she has met along her own journey of acceptance and care for our community. Maggie had some very clear messages for the Australian government and Minister Tudge. Let's hope he's listening. Maggie is host of super successful ABC podcast, Parental as Anything: Note: Minister Tudge's speech is linked here.
Sydney Morning Herald Opinion Piece and The Project Segment
November 23, 2020
Lou wrote an Opinion Piece for the Sydney Morning Herald. This outlined the trauma caused by school for neurodivergent students. Producers from the hit TV current affairs programme, The Project saw this and contacted Lou to project the messages from the piece to a segment on National television. Later that month, Lisa Wilkinson interviewed ADHD families and Professor Linda Graham on the Sunday Night Project. ADHD advocacy means being brave. These two families have suffered the typical experiences of so many in our community: suspensions, exclusions, withholding adjustments, neglect. Popular Channel 10 programme, The Project shone a light on the plight of these families and the disability discrimination experienced in Australian schools.
Lou Kuchel Guest on Mamamia Podcast
October 16, 2020
During 2020, Lou Kuchel was interviewed on Too Peas in a Podcasat and the Mammamia podcast, This Glorious Mess with Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo. Both of these experiences were opportunities to advocate for improved services and provisions for young people with ADHD.
Lou Kuchel guest on Too Peas in a Podcast
August 30, 2020
Tune in to listen to Kate & Mandy of Too Peas in A Podcast talk to Lou who knows all about advocating for children with ADHD. Lou is part of the core group who erected Parents for ADHD Advocacy in Australia (PAAA) to improve the outcomes for kids with ADHD at school, and smash the stigma that exists around ADHD. Have a look at the PAAA website and Facebook group.
“I highly recommend Lou’s podcast. As a parent of a neurodiverse child, Square Peg Round Whole really resonates with me. I listen to each one, and I find both comfort and guidance in these conversations.”
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