Students with disabilities
The Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs (LNSLN) Government program includes the Special Education Component and Students with Disabilities (SWD) and Impairments components.
Australian Government funding to non-government schools is provided under the Schools Assistance Act 2008. Targeted funding for students with disability in non-government schools supports programs to improve participation in schooling and educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
Independent schools are strongly committed to providing quality education for students with disabilities. In addition to mainstream schools who enrol and support students with disabilities, there are twelve Member Special Schools (see download below) of Independent Schools Victoria that have been established to provide programs for students with a range of disabilities. All Schools in the Independent sector can apply to Independent Schools Victoria for funding.
To be funded, students must be assessed as eligible in one of the following categories of disability:
- intellectual disability
- severe language disorder
- physical disability / chronic health impairment
- severe emotional disorder
- autism spectrum disorder
- vision impairment
- hearing impairment.
Funds are also available for eligible students with physical disabilities for physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Students with learning difficulties are not eligible for funding under this program.
Minor capital works and equipment
Up to $30,000 is available for minor capital works to provide students with a disability access to the schools programs. These funds cannot be used as part of a larger building or renovation project.
Funds are also available to purchase equipment for the student with a disability to participate in curriculum and other school activities.
Schools can apply for limited funds to subsidise assessments of students by psychologists and speech pathologists. Funds are available where there is a demonstrated need and where the family requires financial support.
Special education – per capita
Independent Schools Victoria administers Special Education – Per Capita funding on behalf of the Australian Government. Schools receive additional funding for every child identified on the Australian Government’s annual Census of Non-Government Schools as having a Commonwealth-defined disability. Commonwealth-defined disabilities are those disabilities for which students can receive funding under the Special Education element of the Australian Government’s Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Program.
Australian Government funding also supports schools and their programs with staff professional learning programs.
The Victorian Government provides funding through the State Support Services Program to provide support for students with demonstrated needs.
Applications for funding are made annually through the school. Documentation is required to demonstrate that the student meets eligibility criteria. All applications are reviewed by an eligibility panel that includes psychologists, speech pathologists, hearing expert and occupational therapists. Applications for students with vision impairment are reviewed in consultation with the statewide Vision Resource Centre.
A Special Education Committee, comprising Independent Schools Victoria Board Members and representatives from schools who have expertise in disability, makes recommendations to the Independent Schools Victoria Board about the allocation of funds.
An appeal process is in place for any application assessed as ineligible. After consultation with the parents, the principal may wish to lodge an appeal in writing with Independent Schools Victoria.
Appeals from the Principal addressed to the Manager Student Services will substantiate the request for further consideration by providing additional documentation that was not included in the application and outlining the reasons for reconsideration of the application.
For assistance or further information please email Elspeth Adamson or telephone on 03) 9825 7204.
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