The director of a Canberra-based disability advocacy group is calling for more support to allow students with disabilities to be moved away from segregated classes and into mainstream classes.
Jan Kruger, the director of Imagine More, said segregated classes are setting disabled students up for failure, and urged for more funding to allow them to better integrate into mainstream classes with their peers.
"Schools need the right support so they're setting kids up for success rather than thinking they're better in a segregated setting," she said.
"It's better for students with disabilities to be together [with their peers], rather than waiting until they're 18 and learning how to be involved in the community."
The ACT Education Directorate is looking at submissions as part of a review into funding for students with disabilities in ACT public schools.
The review is part of a strategy to develop a new funding model for students with disabilities that will be implemented in 2018, as part of the ACT's commitment to the National Education Reform Agreement.
More than 50 groups were consulted as part of the review and more than 800 individual surveys into current funding arrangements were completed.
In her submission to the review, Ms Kruger said direct funding for students with disabilities should go to the schools themselves, rather than continue with segregated classes.
"As long as there are segregated options, it unconsciously sends messages to the broader community," she said.
"There are lots of families out there wanting better education for their children and it's not happening where children aren't getting enough support on health, wellbeing and social connections."
The Education Directorate spends more than $77 million on students with disabilities in ACT public schools, according to figures from the 2016-17 budget.
An average of $67,757 is spent per student in a specialist school, while an average of $29,951 is spent per student in mainstream schools.
"The way funding gets used for schools is to employ a teacher's aide and is often allocated to a single child, even though it's not the best practice," Ms Kruger said.
"[The teacher's aide] is for the teacher and not for singling out a child, and as soon as an adult is sitting beside a child, other kids don't want to be around."
A spokeswoman for the Education Directorate said the review surrounding funding was only in its initial stages, with no date fixed for a report to be released.
"Next steps, including possible further consultation, future policy objectives and funding arrangements, will also be determined as the process continues," the spokeswoman said.
"The directorate will be guided by the research, consultation process and principles of needs-based funding."
Ms Kruger said the optimal result for the review would be funding for segregated classes gradually phased out of the ACT education system.
"They should be promoting education and doing it well, rather than promote new families with young children to enter a segregated setting right from kindergarten," she said.