Students with disabilities
Victorian Government programs will continue to be administered by Independent Schools Victoria in 2014. Please contact Elspeth Adamson on (03) 9825 7204 for information regarding State Support Services (Speech Therapy and Visiting Teacher Services).
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.
Student Assessment Program
The aim of the Independent Schools Victoria Student Assessment Project is to assist schools in the identification of currently enrolled P-12 students who are experiencing difficulties at school. This process should assist schools to:
- identify students with a disability within the broader context of the Disability Discrimination Act and with other learning needs
- provide support for teachers to meet the needs of individual students
- communicate with parents regarding their children’s needs.
This project is not designed to replace the Australian Government targeted funding for students with disability that ceased in 2013. It is also not compulsory for schools to participate in this project in order to receive any kind of on-going funding for students with disability. Instead, the project aims to provide schools with limited access to the services of qualified professionals with:
- tools to help teachers identify students with additional needs
- streamlined access to the services of qualified health professionals
- resources and recommendations to support individual students, based on their particular circumstances
- professional learning to enhance the capacity of teachers to meet the needs of students with disability.
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability
The Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) has determined that from 2015 all Australian schools will be required to collect and report new data on students with disability through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability. To do this, teachers will need to make professional judgements regarding whether individual students are disabled, as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act, and to report the number and the extent of educational adjustments that need to be made. It is likely that this new data collection will be linked to Australian Government recurrent funding under the Students First funding model.
SCSEEC conducted a trial of the process in 2013 and another trial will be held in 2014. Schools participating in the 2014 trial will need to determine for each student:
- Is the student provided with an adjustment to address a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act?
- What is the level of adjustment provided to the student?
- What is the broad category of disability that applies to the student?
A detailed briefing regarding the data collection process is available for download below. Schools will need to use their students with disabilities username and password to access the document.
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