Investigation launched at Canberra school after reports of cage-like enclosure built for child with special needs

The student involved is believed to be a 10-year-old with autism

An education minister has expressed her disgust after it was found that a small, cage-like enclosure was built inside an Australian public school classroom, reportedly for a student with special needs.

Officials were alerted to the structure after a member of the school community raised concerns with the Human Rights Commission.

The student involved is believed to be a 10-year-old with autism, although this could not be confirmed. The name of the school has not been disclosed, but the principal has reportedly been suspended.

Reports of the structure, which measured 2m x 2m and was found in a Canberra public school in south east Australia, arrived on World Autism Awareness Day.

Education Minister Joy Burch said the structure had been in the classroom between 10 March and 27 March.

Burch told The ABC: “This structure could not be deemed acceptable in any way shape or form, in any of our public education schools, hence it was withdrawn.

"I have initiated an absolute thorough investigation as to the why and where… this structure was allowed to be put in place."

Burch added that she had "made assurances through the school executive" that the child and family involved would be given support.

The student involved is believed to be a 10-year-old with autism, although this could not be confirmed. The name of the school has not been disclosed.

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