Release type: Media Release

Date:

More support for students with disability in non-government schools

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins
Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations

37 000 students with disability in non-government schools will have greater access to classroom support and specialised equipment thanks to $42.6 million in funding from the Gillard Government’s More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative.

Parliamentary Secretary Jacinta Collins said without this type of support for schools, students with disability are less likely to reach their full potential, putting them at greater risk of unemployment and social exclusion.

“This funding, part of our overall $200 million national initiative, will provide much-needed specialist support and assistance to many thousands of students in government, independent and Catholic schools across the state.”

“Children with disability face disadvantage in achieving education and employment outcomes and this is a practical example of the Gillard Government’s commitment to ensuring all students, regardless of their circumstances, can get the best education possible and the best chance to succeed in life.”

“Children with disability in both Catholic and independent schools will benefit from Commonwealth funding over the next two years, with the Catholic sector receiving $30.7 million.”

Under the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative, students and schools will receive:

  • $4.2 million for schools to coordinate with health/allied health or other health professionals to strengthen schools’ support for students with disability
  • $3.2 million to provide 1500 items of assistive technology to 434 schools
  • $3.2 million to provide training for teachers to strengthen their skills in the use of assistive technology in the classroom
  • $2.1 million to provide additional support for students with disability to transition effectively between stages of schooling and/or from school into further education, training or employment
  • $1.8 million to develop support centres which serve as centres of expertise in the educational needs of students with disability and provide expert support to a group of other schools that may not have access to expertise
  • $5.2 million to provide training for pre-service and/or practising teachers to build their skills in special education
  • $4.4 million to provide training for all school staff to improve understanding of their obligations under the Disability Standards for Education 2005 and how to meet those obligations
  • $9.1 million to support school principals and/or school leadership teams to strengthen teachers’ ability to assist students with disability
  • $4 million to support school staff adapt their curriculum to suit the needs of students with disability, and
  • $3 million to support teachers to develop or modify lesson plans to suit the needs of students with disability.

Senator Collins said the Gillard Government was committed to giving Australians with disability the same opportunities as every other citizen, including access to a great education, and participation in the workforce wherever possible.

“We’re making a real difference for families through our initiatives such as the $220 million Helping Children with Autism program and the $147 million Better Start for Children with Disability program. We’re also developing the nation’s first National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

“Rolling out the More Support for Students with Disabilities funding is an important part of this commitment.”