Thousands of school students with disability across Australia will benefit from an extra $100 million under the Gillard Government’s More Support for Students with Disabilities program.
Parliamentary Secretary for School Education Jacinta Collins said the extra $100 million would extend the program to the end of the 2014 school year.
“The Gillard Government is committed to ensuring all students, no matter where they live or what school they attend, get the support they need to achieve their full potential,” Senator Collins said.
This funding is in addition to the $200 million provided by the Government in 2012 and 2013.
Senator Collins said the Government would also provide $14 million for the phased implementation of a nationally consistent collection of data and for other support to school students with disability.
More Support for Students with Disabilities is helping to deliver practical assistance for students and schools including:
- helping around 27,000 teachers and staff, 2,800 principals and leaders and 970 teachers’ aides build their skills so they can provide better help to students with disabilities;
- providing assistive technology such as iPads to over 630 schools and training more than 2,160 teachers in their use;
- making it easier for health and allied health professionals to help students in more than 1,000 schools; and
- helping over 950 students to move between different stages of schooling or into further education, training or work.
From 2014, the National Plan for School Improvement will provide a new school funding system that will be based on the needs of individual students.
Under the Plan, Commonwealth funding for schools will be calculated according to a new Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), of $9,271 per primary school student and $12,193 per high school student.
There will also be extra money to help those who need it most, delivered through loadings. These loadings will cover low SES students, Indigenous students, students with limited English proficiency, students with disability, school size and school location.
Currently, there is limited information on the number of students with a disability, which schools they go to, and the level of extra funding and resources required and provided to support their participation on the same basis as other students.
A nationally consistent collection of data on students with a disability, agreed by all State and Territory Education Ministers in December 2012, will help all governments to better target and provide more consistent support to students with disability.
This data collection will also inform the development of a funding loading for students with disability. It is anticipated that the loading for students with a disability will be implemented from 2015.
“The funding is an interim measure for the 2014 school year until the loading for students with disabilities under the National Plan for School Improvement is ready to be delivered in the most efficient and targeted way,” Senator Collins said.
The Gillard Government is protecting services that help students with disabilities attend school while the opposition is on the record wanting to cut spending on education.
This budget keeps our economy strong, makes the smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian – including Australians with a disability - gets a fair go.
We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on.
For more information on More Support for Students with Disabilities, visit: http://deewr.gov.au/more-support-students-disabilities