Bob Buckley sent the following personal email to the ACT Chief Minister. The Chief Minister's response can be downloaded below ...
Dear Mr Andrew Barr MLA,
The Canberra Times reports that Professor " Tony Shaddock will chair the ACT government's review of special education in the wake of a primary school erecting a cage to contain a student with autism." see http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/inquiry-announced-into-canberra-school-that-caged-autistic-student-20150407-1mfusz.html
Did you know that Prof Shaddock is pretty much the architect of "special education" and particularly "inclusive education" as it exists here in the ACT? He'll be reviewing a special education system that is largely of his own design. He cannot be considered "independent".
Did one of Prof Shaddock's reports recommend that mainstream classrooms having an enclosure in the back to contain an autistic student when needed? He is an zealous advocate of inclusive education. Previously, his reports were oblivious to (maybe dismissive of) distinct needs of autistic students and to Baroness Warnock's "disastrous legacy" conclusion: see http://a4.org.au/node/743.
I wonder how many of Prof Shaddock's former students work at the school and are involved directly or indirectly in the caged autistic student outrage that lead to this inquiry?
I ask you, is Professor Shaddock a wise choice to head this inquiry? His closeness to and possible involvement in Education, particularly "special education", here in the ACT means that the Professor's perspective may not be entirely objective.
Please understand that this is not a criticism of Prof Shaddock. My concern is about potential for conflict of interest ... real or perceived.
I am a bit surprised and disappointed that Prof Shaddock clearly didn't see this himself and rule himself out for this role (this latter may be criticism).