Thousands of students with disability across Australia will now benefit from an additional $200 million in funding, thanks to the Australian Government’s More Support for Students with Disabilities (MSSD) initiative.
Parliamentary Secretary for School Education Senator Jacinta Collins today announced the completion of the full MSSD package, with the signing of the Northern Territory and South Australia implementation plans, during a forum at Wirreanda High School in South Australia.
“The Gillard Government believes every Australian child deserves the best education possible, regardless of where they live, where they go to school, or how much their parents earn,” Senator Collins said.
“We know students with disability face extra challenges when it comes to getting a good education, so we are working hard and investing heavily to give them more effective support.
“We’ve worked with the States and Territories on MSSD implementation plans that will see increased support for teachers and schools in their work with students with disability.
“Now that all states and territories have now signed plans for all government and non-government school sectors, I’m pleased that students with disability will start to see benefits such as specialised equipment and additional classroom support.
“Through building the capacity of teachers and schools, we can effectively increase educational outcomes for students.”
Under the Australian Government’s $200 million MSSD investment:
- around 27 000 teachers and staff, 2800 principals and leaders and 975 teachers’ aides will be helped to build their skills so they can better help students with disabilities
- around 2200 items including iPads and other assistive technology items will be provided to 634 schools and more than 2160 teachers will be trained in their use
- more than 1000 schools will be able to access 114 health and allied health professionals, and
- approximately 950 students will be helped to successfully move between different stages of schooling or into further education training or work.
Local Member for Kingston, Amanda Rishworth MP, joined Senator Collins at the forum to talk with parents, teachers and students about the long-term future of funding for students with disability, and welcomed this significant funding boost.
“Many parents and teachers in the local community have raised with me the importance of ensuring students with disability are well-supported throughout their schooling years,” Ms Rishworth said.
“I am very pleased that the Federal Government is delivering this additional funding so that students with disability, including in my own community of Southern Adelaide, get the quality education they deserve.”
Senator Collins said the Gillard Government is also working with all sectors to thoroughly examine the recommendations of the Gonski review to build a school funding system.
“We want to hear from everyone involved in schools about what’s working and what can be done better, which is why I am here today holding this forum with Federal Member for Kingston Amanda Rishworth,” Senator Collins said.
“The Gonski review has made a number of far-reaching recommendations on how we can develop a new, more effective way of funding every school in Australia. This forum is about hearing ideas and ensuring all students, regardless of their circumstances, can get the best education possible.
“We’re working with the education community to test and refine the proposed new model, known as a Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). The proposed new model would include a base amount per student plus additional funding for students such as those with disability, and schools that need extra support.”
For more information on the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative visit: www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/Programs/Pages/MoreSupportforSWD.aspx.