Safe at School? Safety and Harm of Students with Cognitive Disability In and Around Schools

Safe at school logo

Despite the high rates of abuse experienced by children and young people with disability, little is known in research about the perspectives of students with cognitive disability about safety and harm in and around school. This missing perspective is critical in developing responses which better understand the problem, can respond in ways that meet young people’s needs, and which build on existing and developing legal and policy frameworks and good practice. 

To develop a clearer understanding of safety and harm from the perspective of students and those who support them, we explored core questions about the barriers and facilitators of safety in schools with students, families, educators and child protection, family and disability support workers.

The report makes a series of recommendations for future action in better understanding harm; addressing the barriers to keeping students safe; promoting personal safety for students with cognitive disability; and upholding students’ legal and human rights.

Research Team

Investigators: Dr Sally Robinson (CCYP, SCU), Dominique McGovern (CCYP, SCU).

Research Partners: Australian Centre for Disability Law, NSW Law and Justice Foundation.

ACDL logo
Law and Justice Foundation

Outputs to Date:

Project Reports

  • Full Report
  • Summary for Students
  • Summary for Practitioners
  • Plain English Webpage

Academic Publications To Date

Robinson, S. (2018) Safety and harm in school: Promoting the perspectives of students with intellectual disability. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1471-3802.12417