Thursday, 22 July 2021

More students with disability will receive the support they need to learn, contribute and participate in their schools and classrooms, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes announced the following schools – along with all government schools across the Barwon, Loddon Campaspe and Bayside Peninsula areas – will receive further funding support to make their school more inclusive for all students, as part of the Disability Inclusion package:

Heathcote Primary School – $59,138

Redesdale Mia Mia Primary School – $11,665

Colbinabbin Primary School – $23,669

Stanhope Primary School – $22,943

Girgarre Primary School – $20,954

Rushworth P-12 College – $62,828

Schools in Loddon Campaspe are in Year 1 of the five-year Disability Inclusion roll-out, and will have all receive a base level of funding from Term 3 this year, with additional funding provided depending on the individual school’s characteristics.

This new funding support is ongoing and is in addition to support already provided through the current Program for Students with Disabilities.

Schools will use this funding to implement whole-school practices that support the inclusive education of students with diverse learning needs such as autism and learning difficulties. This may include undertaking professional development for staff, employing new disability and inclusion staff, and purchasing programs, interventions or specific equipment and technology – depending on the needs of their students and the school.

For example, a school may choose to use this funding to employ a new inclusive practices leader to work in classrooms with teachers or an occupational therapist to develop sensory profiles.

Other schools may choose to use the funding to invest in the services of external professionals or coaches who can provide advice and training on equipment and technology to support learning for students with diverse learning needs, and implement consistent inclusive supports throughout the school.

Disability Inclusion will be rolled out progressively over the next five years, reaching all Victorian government schools by 2025.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invested an unprecedented almost $1.6 billion to make sure Victorian students with disability are supported at school through the Disability Inclusion package.

The record investment will transform support for students with disability in Victorian government schools – doubling the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000 – and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025.

Disability Inclusion will transform funding and support for students with a disability in Victorian government schools, to ensure every student at every ability can thrive at school and in life as we continue to build the Education State.

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“This funding will enable these schools to support more students with disability, so that they can get the great education they deserve.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“This is the biggest change in disability support in our schools Victoria has ever seen, and it will make a difference in classrooms and to kids across the state.”