By bobb |

A worrying number of private schools are refusing to enrol students with a disability or asking them to leave, a peak advocacy group says.

Children with Disability Australia receives about 500 reports a year of schools, both private and public, mistreating or discriminating against students with a disability.

These range from schools refusing enrolment because they already have "their quota of autistic students" to teachers asking students to leave.

Some wealthy private schools have told parents they lack the resources to accommodate disabled children or requested families pay additional money for teachers' aides.

There are also concerns that non-government schools are using NAPLAN results to screen out students who have learning disabilities.

The organisation's chief executive Stephanie Gotlib said some schools were also concerned about students with a disability bringing down their results.

"If I took my son with significant disability to any high-performing private school they would probably recoil in horror," she said.

She said public schools accommodated 80 per cent of students with disabilities, and there should be a greater representation of these students in private schools.

Melbourne mother Karen Jones has accused Melbourne Girls Grammar of discriminating against her daughter, who has ADHD.

She said that in 2014 — after the school's speech pathologist diagnosed her daughter with learning difficulties — the school said they were unable to accommodate her.

"The school has a process in the middle years where they pick out certain kids who they don't think will perform highly in the senior school and they try to get rid of them," she said.

"They do that by telling you at the beginning of the year that you should get a diagnosis for your daughter. Then they say we think she has a learning disability."

She said she was given half an hour's notice before her daughter had to leave, and the process had been incredibly traumatic.

However, principal Catherine Misson said in a letter that the school had "withdrawn" the enrolment because the trust between the girl's parents and the school had broken down.

Ms Misson told The Age that the school had conducted an internal review of the parent's concerns which concluded they acted appropriately.  

A separate review by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority said no further action was required, she said.

Queensland University of Technology education researcher Dr Linda Graham said the discrimination was rife across all school sectors and parents of disabled children had very little choice when it came to schools.

"Some schools are very good at saying your child won't be supported here," the associate professor said.

This meant students with a disability often ended up at their local state schools, which were less exclusive and received more state government funding for students with a disability.

She called for a ban on schools asking for a student's NAPLAN results before enrolling them, a practice she said was common in non-government schools and targeted students with learning disabilities..

Dr Graham's daughter, who has a disability, was confirmed a place at a Sydney private school but three months before she was due to start, was asked whether she still had learning difficulties and asked to sit a test.

"They basically said we don't want your daughter. She won't be happy here." she said.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins said the commission continued to receive complaints about schools refusing to enrol students with a disability and had examined the issue in its Held Back report.

"Parents should not have to worry about their child being refused enrolment because of disability," she said.