education.vic.gov.au

Policy last updated

18 October 2023

Scope

  • Schools

Date:
June 2021

Policy

This policy currently applies to schools in the Bayside Peninsula, Barwon, Loddon Campaspe, Mallee, Central Highlands, Outer Eastern Melbourne, Inner Gippsland, Ovens Murray, Western Melbourne, Brimbank Melton, Goulburn, North Eastern Melbourne and Southern Melbourne areas as well as 12 specific supported inclusion schoolsExternal Link . The Program for Students with DisabilitiesExternal Link process will remain unchanged for schools in all other areas.

Policy

This policy outlines how schools can plan for and implement the Disability Inclusion funding model. This is relevant to schools in Bayside Peninsula, Barwon, Loddon Campaspe, Mallee, Central Highlands, Outer Eastern Melbourne, Brimbank Melton, Goulburn, North Eastern Melbourne and Southern Melbourne areas, and 12 supported inclusion schoolsExternal Link .

Summary

  • The Disability Inclusion reform package is being introduced over a staged rollout between 2021 to 2025 as a new funding and support model for students with disability.
  • Schools in the Bayside Peninsula, Barwon, Loddon Campaspe, Mallee, Central Highlands, and Outer Eastern Melbourne areas, and 7 supported inclusion schools participated in years 1 and 2 of the rollout in 2021 and 2022.
  • Schools in the Inner Gippsland, Ovens Murray and Western Melbourne areas, and an additional 3 supported inclusion schools are participating in year 3 of the rollout in 2023.
  • From June 2023, English language schools will receive Tier 2 school level funding, and receive the funding as per the rollout schedule.
  • Schools must meet their legal obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth) to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate students with disability. These obligations apply to all students with disability, not just those who are eligible for support under targeted funding programs. For further information on the Disability Inclusion vision for inclusion, refer to: vision for inclusive education (PPTX)External Link .
  • The Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD)External Link process will remain unchanged for schools in all other areas in 2021 and 2022. Refer to Program for Students with DisabilitiesExternal Link .
  • Schools may refer to the guidelines to support implementation on the Guidance tab, and information on funding allocation in the Student Resource Package: Student Disability Inclusion Tier 2 school-level funding and Disability Inclusion Tier 3 student-level funding.
  • Disability Inclusion will progressively replace the PSD and the Language and Learning Disabilities Support Program (LLDSP), with a significant increase in investment.

Details

Disability Inclusion is introducing:

  • a new school funding model for students with disability, with 2 new funding allocations (Tier 2 school-level funding and Tier 3 student-level funding) to support inclusive practice in schools
  • a new Disability Inclusion Profile process to help schools and families identify the strengths, needs and educational adjustments schools can make to assist students with disability – this process will inform Tier 3 student-level funding allocations
  • new initiatives to strengthen skills and knowledge in inclusive education across the school system
  • additional regional disability support roles and dedicated implementation teams.

For further information on the Disability Inclusion vision for inclusion, refer to: vision for inclusive education (PPTX)External Link .

Schools must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability, regardless of the availability of additional funding. Refer to: Students with Disability.

Disability Inclusion funding model

The Disability Inclusion funding model has 3 tiers, based on the increasing level of need for educational adjustments and targeted support:

The tiered funding model will progressively replace the PSD and the LLDSP. The model includes a significant increase in available support and expenditure.

Disability Inclusion implementation roll-out

The new funding allocations and the Disability Inclusion Profile will be introduced to schools based on their areas between 2021 and 2025.

2021 and 2022 – Year 1 and 2 schools

Schools in the following areas participated in Year 1 of Disability Inclusion implementation in 2021:

  • Bayside Peninsula (South Eastern Victoria Region – Metropolitan)
  • Barwon (South Western Victoria Region – Rural)
  • Loddon Campaspe (North Western Victoria Region – Rural)
  • 5 supported inclusion schoolsExternal Link .

Schools in the following areas participated in Year 2 of Disability Inclusion implementation in 2022:

  • Outer Eastern Melbourne (North Eastern Victoria Region – Metropolitan)
  • Central Highlands (South Western Victoria Region – Rural)
  • Mallee (North Western Victoria Region – Rural)
  • 2 additional supported inclusion schoolsExternal Link .

Schools will receive their Tier 2 school-level funding annual allocations through the regular SRP cycle. Refer to: Student Resource Package.

Schools in Year 1 and Year 2 areas should plan and prepare for Disability Inclusion Profiles in order to access Tier-3 student level funding. PSD processes are no longer available to these schools.

2023 to 2025 rollout schedule

Schools will receive Tier 2 funding and commence the new Disability Inclusion Profile processes in line with the following staged roll-out schedule.

2023 – Year 3 schools
  • Inner Gippsland (South Eastern Victoria Region – Regional)
  • Ovens Murray (North Eastern Victoria Region – Regional)
  • Western Melbourne (South Western Victoria Region – Metropolitan)

Year 3 schools will receive the new Tier 2 school-level funding allocation from Term 1, 2023. Schools will receive their Tier 2 school-level funding annual allocations through the regular SRP cycle. Refer to: Student Resource Package.

Current processes under the PSD will apply to these schools for new applications for students commencing school in 2023 (for example, preps beginning in 2022 and transfers from other systems) until census date 2023 (usually 28 February). After this date, Year 3 schools will move to the new Disability Inclusion Profile process for applications for Tier 3 student-level funding.

2024 – Year 4 schools
  • North Eastern Melbourne (North Western Victoria Region – Metropolitan)
  • Southern Melbourne (South Eastern Victoria Region – Metropolitan)
  • Brimbank Melton (South Western Victoria Region – Metropolitan)
  • Goulburn (North Eastern Victoria Region – Regional)

Year 4 schools will receive the new Tier 2 school-level funding allocation commencing from the Revised SRP (June 2023). The annual Tier 2 school-level funding annual allocations are provided through the regular SRP cycle. Refer to: Student Resource Package.

The DI Profile process commences from 2024 for all Year 4 schools.

2025 – Year 5 schools
  • Hume Merri-bek (North Western Victoria Region – Metropolitan)
  • Outer Gippsland (South Eastern Victoria Region – Regional)
  • Wimmera South West (South Western Victoria Region – Regional)
  • Inner Eastern Melbourne (North Eastern Victoria Region – Metropolitan)

Year 5 schools will receive the new Tier 2 school-level funding allocation from 2024. Schools will receive their Tier 2 school-level funding annual allocations through the regular SRP cycle. Refer to: Student Resource Package.

The DI Profile process commences from 2025 for all Year 5 schools.

Refer to the Disability Inclusion reform principal checklist (PPTX)External Link for a guide to implementation.

Relevant legislation

Contacts

For general queries about Disability Inclusion, contact: disability.inclusion@education.vic.gov.au

For questions about Disability Inclusion Profile outcomes, including the profile report and school resource notification and the Tier 3 funding allocation, timelines, or process, contact: disability.inclusion.outcomes@education.vic.gov.au

Regional Implementation Teams are available to support schools in transitioning to Disability Inclusion. Refer to the Disability Inclusion reform principal checklist (PPTX)External Link for a guide to implementation.

North Eastern Victoria Region

NEVR.disability.inclusion@education.vic.gov.au

South Western Victoria Region

SWVR.disability.inclusion@education.vic.gov.au

South Eastern Victoria Region

SEVR.disability.inclusion@education.vic.gov.au

North Western Victoria Region

NWVR.disability.inclusion@education.vic.gov.au

Schools with queries related to individual students may also contact their regional disability coordinator by contacting their local regional office.


Guidance

Guidance

This guidance contains the following chapters:

  • Overview of the Disability Inclusion funding model
  • Changes to other funding allocations
  • Target group for Tier 2 school-level support
  • Tier 2 school-level funding expenditure requirements
  • Planning for expenditure in 2022
  • Tier 2 Funding Planner tool on SPOT
  • Tier 2 school-level funding use case studies
  • Requirements for reporting of Tier 2 expenditure
  • Tier 3 student-level funding
  • Disability Inclusion Transition Funding

Overview of the Disability Inclusion funding model

Overview of the Disability Inclusion funding model

The Disability Inclusion funding model has 3 tiers, based on the need for targeted support for students with disability and the obligation to make reasonable adjustments.

Schools must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability. Additional resources provided to schools do not define or limit the support provided for student with disability. Refer to: Students with Disability.

For further information on the Disability Inclusion vision for inclusion, refer to vision for inclusive education (PPTX)External Link and the Disability Inclusion reform principal checklist (PPTX)External Link .

Tier 1 – Core student learning funding

Tier 1 provides funding for all student’s core learning needs through the Student Resource Package (SRP). This funding includes students with disability and additional needs, and will not change with the introduction of Disability Inclusion. Refer to: Core Student Learning Funding.

Tier 2 – School-level funding

Tier 2 provides additional school-level funding to strengthen school-wide capacity and capability to deliver adjustments and inclusive practice for students with disability.

Tier 2 school-level funding builds on Tier 1 core student learning allocation funding by recognising that additional funding will further strengthen school capacity (staff time and resources) and capability (staff skills and knowledge) to better meet the needs of students with disability. This also recognises that to meet the diverse needs of students with disability, increasing frequency and intensity of support can be required.

It is important to note that Tier 2 school-level funding builds on the quality teaching and differentiated practice for all students, including students with disability delivered through Tier 1 core student learning allocation funding.

Schools will use Tier 2 funding to develop more inclusive education environments, with flexibility to tailor support to their local context and needs of their student cohort. Refer to: Tier 2 school-level funding expenditure requirements.

Schools can use the Tier 2 funding calculator (XLSX)External Link to estimate their annual Tier 2 funding allocation. Note: The information required for the calculation is from the Student Resource Package (SRP) portal – consult with your school principal or business manager when using the calculator.

Tier 2 allocation

Tier 2 school-level funding is allocated through the SRP. The level of additional funding is based on a range of factors such as school-level enrolment and parental education data. For information on funding allocation, refer to: SRP – Disability Inclusion Tier 2 school-level funding.

All mainstream schools (primary, secondary, and combined), language and specialist schools will be allocated Tier 2 school-level funding.

Tier 3 – Student-level funding

Tier 3 provides additional funding to support schools to deliver adjustments to meet the individual nature and acute impact of students with complex needs.

Tier 3 support builds on the tailored and flexible inclusive support provided through Tier 2 school-level funding, and the quality teaching and differentiated practice for all students, including students with disability provided through Tier 1 SRP core student learning allocation funding.

This ensures students with the highest needs receive the intensive support they require to enable participation, in addition to adjustments schools have put in place through Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Refer to: Tier 3 student-level funding for more information.

Tier 3 allocation

Tier 3 student-level funding is allocated through the SRP. The level of additional funding is based on a student’s Disability Inclusion Profile. Refer to: SRP – Disability Inclusion Tier 3 student-level funding.

Schools’ Tier 3 allocations are updated termly to account for new profile funding outcomes and student movements.


Changes to other funding allocations

Changes to other funding allocations

The following program changes will be implemented as part of the transition to the new tiered funding model:

  • the Program for Students with a Disability (PSD) will be progressively replaced by the new Disability Inclusion funding and support model
  • the Language and Learning Disabilities Support Program (LLDSP) funding allocation will be progressively replaced by the Tier 2 funding
  • transition support funding will be progressively phased out from 2022, as the Disability Inclusion Profile and process is introduced.

Funding through these programs and allocations will continue to be available to schools until they transition to Disability Inclusion during the staged 5-year roll-out schedule between 2021 to 2025.

The new tiered funding model includes a significant increase in investment, well above the existing budgets of these existing programs.

The Inclusive Schools Fund is separate to school and student based funding, and will continue to operate rounds of grants for small innovative building projects. The Inclusive Schools Fund is not affected or changed by the introduction of Disability Inclusion.

Use of Tier 2 funding to support the mental health and wellbeing of students

Schools can use their Disability Inclusion Tier 2 funding to purchase programs and resources to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students with disability.

Purchases from the Mental Health Fund and Menu should primarily be funded from the School’s Mental Health Fund allocation. Where schools have exhausted their Mental Health Fund allocation and see benefit in targeting or expanding a program or initiative from the Menu to strengthen support for a group of students with disability, Tier 2 funding and other equity funding allocations can be used.

Disability Inclusion and Student Resource Package equity funding allocations

In some cases, schools may already be providing support and programs for students with disability by using other Student Resource Package equity funding allocations, such as Equity (Social Disadvantage) funding. Student backgrounds and needs can be intersectional and individual students may be identified in both target cohorts.

Where this is the case, schools may consider:

  • the broader cohort of all student needs across their school (social disadvantage, catch up and disability and additional needs)
  • opportunities to build on or expand current programs or interventions for students with disability and additional needs, utilising Disability Inclusion funding and other resources available to the school.

Target group for Tier 2 school-level support

Target group for Tier 2 school-level support

It is expected that schools direct Tier 2 funding to supports for students with disability who require supplementary, substantial or extensive reasonable adjustments to participate in and derive substantial benefits from their education. For more information on this classification of adjustments, refer to the section below ‘Identifying students in the target group in a mainstream school’.

These learners will benefit from more targeted support, classroom and school-wide adjustments and approaches. More broadly, by strengthening school-wide capacity and capability, these practices and support are also expected to indirectly benefit all students.

Tier 2 school-level funding and support assists schools to make reasonable adjustments for students with a disability across their school, with increased capacity to:

  • identify student learning needs
  • plan supports
  • consult with the student, their families and treating practitioners (as appropriate)
  • purchase school resources.

Identifying students in the target group in a mainstream school

Where possible, schools should use data and evidence to identify student needs and prioritise adjustments and support known to work for these needs.

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability (NCCD) provides a systematic process that allows schools across Australia to identify, in a consistent manner, students with disability receiving adjustments to access education and classify the level of adjustment. The NCCD is an annual collection of information about the adjustments that Australian schools make for students with disability. For more information, visit: Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability.

The NCCD process can support schools to determine students in the Tier 2 target group by considering:

  1. Does the student have a disability or additional need?
    • Schools use learning, wellbeing, engagement and health information to identify students who meet the broad definition of a person with disability, as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
  2. Is the school providing supplementary, substantial, or extensive adjustments so that the student can participate in their education?
    • Schools determine which of their students’ educational needs are being met by provision of reasonable adjustments. For the Tier 2 target cohort supplementary, substantial and extensive adjustments are most relevant.

Schools may also identify students in the Tier 2 target group through:

  • local school processes and planning that identify the learning needs of students – this should be analysed through multiple points of data such as curriculum-based student learning attainment, standardised assessment data and classroom observations (refer to resources below)
  • considering students across the school with individual education plans (IEPs), and if there are any students with disability and additional needs who may benefit from an IEP and/or student support group (SSG) if they do not have one
  • discussions with area based staff including Student Support Services and regional disability coordinators.

Resources

Schools can then consider how to best utilise additional school capacity and capability resourced through Tier 2 school-level funding to meet the needs of these students.


Tier 2 school-level funding expenditure requirements

Tier 2 school-level funding expenditure requirements

Schools must spend Disability Inclusion funding in the year that it is received.

The way that schools implement Disability Inclusion to increase capacity, capability and adjustments will vary depending on the intensity and frequency of student need, the characteristics of the cohort of students in a school, and other factors such as school size, location, access to local workforces and expertise.

Allowable uses of Tier 2 funding

Schools have flexibility to determine how to use Tier 2 school-level funding to deliver support that will best embed inclusive practice, provided it falls within the following categories:

  • Professional learning for school-based staff – this is defined as Professional Learning activities to build school capability in inclusive education and evidence-based approaches for supporting students with disability in the classroom and at school.
  • Education workforces and/or assigning existing school staff to inclusive education duties – this is defined as new and/or existing education workforces who support students with disability in the classroom, school and/or through school processes (refer to example outline of responsibilities for a Disability Inclusion Leader).
  • Other workforces to support students with disability – this is defined as the engagement of services and professionals external to the school, to support whole-school teaching and learning of students with disability.
  • Teaching and learning programs and resources – this is defined as programs and resources that can be purchased to support whole-school teaching and learning of students with disability.
  • Equipment, adaptive technology, devices, or materials to support learning – this is defined as equipment, adaptive technology, devices, or materials to support whole-school teaching and learning of students with disability.
  • Minor building or internal environmental modifications under $5,000 (GST inclusive) – this is defined as minor adjustments or modifications to school facilities to meet accessibility needs of students with disability in school.
  • Casual relief teaching (CRT) replacement – this is defined as staffing replacements for time release of school-based staff to attend professional learning and school planning activities in relation to inclusive education and support for students with disability, including attending Disability Inclusion Profile meetings for students identified as requiring Tier 2 support.

Examples of activities and adjustments

There are a wide range of practices and school activities that can be supported through Tier 2 school-level funding.

Building school capacity and capability to support inclusion

Examples of school capacity and capability building activities schools can implement with support from Tier-2 school-level funding include:

  • professional learning on inclusive education for education workforces
  • employing specific disability/inclusion roles in schools, such as disability inclusion coordinators and inclusion leaders (refer to example outline of responsibilities for a disability inclusion leader) to build leadership capacity
  • employing education workforces (teachers, allied health, education support)
  • access to specialist services or expertise in disability.
Resources
  • Master in Inclusive Education (MIE)External Link – schools can use Tier 2 school-level funding to cover CRT replacement, in addition to that provided through the MIE placement, to support the MIE participant in completing course, assessment and/or practicum requirements.
  • Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties) (GCE)External Link – schools can use Tier 2 school-level funding to cover CRT replacement to support participants in completing course and/or assessment requirements. Schools can use Tier 2 school- level funding to purchase additional Graduate Certificate placement(s) for teacher(s) to strengthen the delivery of contemporary, evidence-based inclusive practice that supports all learners.
  • Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) is an assessment and reporting tool. ABLES Professional LearningExternal Link helps school staff understand how to use ABLES to assess students, create reports and track progress. There are 5 modules, each focusing on a specific element of the ABLES suite of resources and each requiring approximately one hour of online participation per module.
  • Inclusive Classrooms Professional Learning ProgramExternal Link – a suite of evidence-based professional development courses that includes: human rights approach to diversity and inclusion, individual education planning professional learning, supporting students with autism, supporting students with learning difficulties including dyslexia, supporting students with learning difficulties including dyscalculia, supporting students with hearing loss, supporting students with oral language and learning, supporting students with vision impairment and supporting student behaviour.
  • Inclusive Foundations for Children with Disability – Primary SchoolExternal Link – this AllPlay Learn Online Professional Learning Course provides practical strength and evidence-based strategies and resources to help primary school teachers and schools create inclusive education environments for children with disability and developmental challenges. This course takes 4 to 6 hours to complete.
  • Inclusive Foundations for Children with Disability – Secondary SchoolExternal Link – this AllPlay Learn Online Professional Learning Course provides practical strength and evidence-based strategies and resources to help primary school teachers and schools create inclusive education environments for children with developmental challenges and disabilities. This course takes 4 to 6 hours to complete.
  • Education Support Staff Working in Classroom Support Roles policy and guidelines supports principals and school leaders to make decisions about the effective use of education support staff in the classroom.

Planning adjustments

Examples of planning adjustments schools can implement with support from Tier-2 school-level funding include:

  • dedicated and ongoing planning for students across the school, including student support groups, individual education plans (IEPs) and behaviour support plans. IEPs, for example, are a useful record of adjustments that are being provided to the student. The school is required to ensure ongoing consultation with parents and monitor the student’s progress, modifying adjustments as needed.
  • consultations with allied health professionals and specialist consultants, educators, and specialist support organisations
  • planning and orientations for transitions between year levels/schools
  • parent engagement activities.
Resources

Teaching, assessment and reporting adjustments

Examples of teaching, assessment and reporting adjustments schools can implement with support from Tier-2 school-level funding include:

  • pedagogical adjustments and educational interventions including provision of study notes or research materials in different formats
  • small group teaching and targeted instruction
  • curriculum adjustments for groups of students
  • targeted classwork, lesson plans or homework
  • targeted assessments, tasks, tests or presentations tailored to ability level or individual learning plan
  • informal forms of assessment, alternate assessment tools and online assessment tools
  • behaviour management interventions and programs
  • literacy, writing and reading support intervention programs
  • numeracy support and math intervention programs
  • vocational, recreational, health, wellbeing, personal development, re-engagement and life skills programs.
Resources

Environment and resources adjustments

Examples of environment and resource adjustments schools can implement with support from Tier-2 school-level funding include:

  • use of visual, tactile timetables
  • strategic use and modifications to classroom spaces and seating
  • services such as interpreters and specialist staff providing consultancy support or professional learning and training for staff
  • specialist equipment and assistive technology or expertise to support access and inclusion:
    • specialised communication systems
    • learning technologies and applications (apps)
    • customised or adjustable furniture
    • mobility equipment and resources
    • ability switches and switch-adapted toys
    • portable amplification equipment
    • literacy aids
    • communication software
    • inclusive recreation equipment and resources.
  • minor building or internal environmental modifications under $5,000, to support students with disability and/or strengthen inclusive school environments, for example:
    • installing handrails
    • installing lighting
    • labelling of steps paths
    • designated routes – consideration of surfaces (slippery, textured or uneven)
    • steps of varied heights to aid access
    • adaptation to provide wheelchair access (ramps, wider doors)
    • accessible bathrooms and toilets.
Resources
  • The Inclusion and Diversity Policy templateExternal Link (login required) has been developed by the department's Legal Division as a school-wide policy for inclusion.
  • Student Engagement Policy provides advice, resources and strategies to assist schools to create an effective local student engagement policy which provides the basis on which schools develop and maintain safe, supportive and inclusive school environments.
  • Equipment and assistive technology professional practice guidesExternal Link support schools to identify, purchase and implement inclusive equipment and assistive technology that will best meet the needs of their students. Practice guides are available on inclusive equipment and assistive technology, portable Soundfield systems, inclusive software, and Boardmaker.

Planning for expenditure

Planning for expenditure

The following section provides illustrative examples that schools may consider pursuing, based on department resources and evidence-based practices.

Principles for inclusive practice and what this looks like in the school

Available evidence on inclusive practices can be synthesised into 4 key principles. Schools should consider how they can adopt these principles in their setting, and use resources strategically to implement a mix of tailored and school-wide supports that promote inclusive practices and benefit all students in the school.

Principle 1 – Focus on inclusive practice at whole-of-school and in-class level

Whole-of-school practices include adjustments to:

  • culture, policies and practices
  • development of support structures
  • provision of, and access to, equitable learning opportunities.

At an in-class level, research suggests good inclusive practice includes:

  • differentiating curriculum or introducing alternative curricula
  • application of universal design
  • use of information technologies
  • individual planning through individual education plans (IEP)
  • focus on quality teaching for all students.

Principle 2 – Value specialist expertise

Effective inclusive practice relies on teachers, specialists, allied health and support staff with sufficient confidence and capabilities to support students.

Principle 3 – Set a strong inclusive school culture through strong leadership

Both a positive school culture and positive staff attitudes towards inclusion are repeatedly cited in the literature as crucial to ensuring positive outcomes for students with disability.

Principle 4 – Collaborate and engage parents, families and the community

Collaboration between teachers, students, parents, carers, guardians, education and health professionals is essential to consistently meet the needs of students and improve their learning experiences.

Examples of priority initial activities

The following activities provide examples of priority initial actions schools can start with to build capacity and capability and embed a culture of inclusion in their school. Schools are recommended to work through these activities in 2 steps:

  • Step 1 – Focus on priority actions which are applicable to the whole school
  • Step 2 – Focus on priority actions that strengthen support and intervention for students

Step 1 – Examples of priority actions for the whole school

Examples of priority actions
  • Appoint a disability inclusion coordinator/leader (refer to example outline of responsibilities (DOCX)External Link ).
  • Distribute roles and responsibilities to lead inclusive education, considering school leadership and middle leaders.
  • For example:
    • prioritise resources and time to identify and consider the needs of students with disability
    • determine whether other students with additional needs could benefit from an IEP
    • review school processes for student support groups, personalised goal setting and IEPs
    • build staff capacity to understand and implement IEPs
    • embed inclusion and disability expertise in strategic planning and recruitment practices
    • embed evidence-based inclusive education and human rights obligations into school policies and plans.

Options for funding include:

  • increase teaching staff time fraction
  • elevate to leadership role
  • higher duties.
Examples of priority actions
  • Provide specialist disability/inclusion support to the school’s Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), for example, by training PLC Instructional Leaders in relevant inclusive practices.
  • Plan whole school professional learning on priority areas of inclusive practices, for example Universal Design for Learning frameworkExternal Link and Universal Design for Learning webinarExternal Link .
  • Build staff knowledge and understanding of inclusive education and associated legislation and policy.
  • Implement evidence-based professional development – Inclusive Classrooms Professional Learning ProgramExternal Link , including:
    • a human rights approach to diversity and inclusion
    • individual education planning professional learning
    • support for students with:
      • autism
      • speech and language delay/disorder
      • learning difficulties including Dyslexia
      • learning difficulties including dyscalculia
      • hearing loss
      • vision impairment
      • behaviour.

Options for funding include:

  • professional development
  • Casual relief teaching (CRT) coverage, where possible.
Examples of priority actions

Appoint an inclusion learning specialist to build the capability of school staff to meet the educational needs of students with disability through coaching, observation and co-teaching/team teaching.

Options for funding include: learning specialist.

Step 2 – Focus on priority actions that strengthen support and intervention for students

Once schools have considered their whole school approaches, including policies and processes and approach to capability building and professional learning, funding can be used flexibly to focus more intently on strengthening support and interventions for individual students and groups of students. Examples are provided below.

Examples of priority actions
  • Undertake individual education planning using the personalised learning and support process and IEPs.
  • For example:
    • Use data and evidence from a range of sources to identify the types of adjustments required to support students.
    • Engage with the student and their family/carer to identify the student’s aspirations, goals, strengths and needs.
    • Identify options and select adjustments, interventions and other supports that will be provided to address the student’s identified learning needs and build on their strengths.
    • Design age-appropriate learning tasks, resources and learning materials.
    • Implement appropriate teaching strategies to facilitate effective learning.
    • Review supports provided on a regular basis to ensure that the adjustments made are still relevant and required.
  • Examples of specific supports and interventions include:
    • Establish targeted support programs/small group programs, for example to provide extra support with reading and writing skills, or deliver a targeted literacy intervention program.
    • Deliver a small group social skills program to build social skills with peers.

Options for funding include:

  • teaching staff
  • allied health staff (school-based or external)
  • increase time fractions.
Examples of priority actions
  • Consult with professionals with specialist expertise.
  • Implement programs developed by professionals with specialist expertise.
  • Have specialists coach school-based staff on designing interventions and programs themselves, for example:
    • Engage an external speech pathologist to develop a social communication program and training for teachers to deliver the program and monitor progress.
    • Engage an occupational therapist to develop Sensory Profiles, provide advice and training on equipment and technology to support learning for students with autism spectrum disorder, and implement consistent visual supports throughout the school.

Options for funding include: allied health (school-based or external).

Examples of priority actions
  • Develop and implement individualised transition plans, which combine information from the student, their family and staff who know them well. A range of supports (for example, books, videos, websites, visits) are matched as appropriate to the student’s age and ability.
  • Additional/more intensive transition and orientation support, for example, up to 10 weeks:
    • supported or reciprocal visits
    • joint planning between schools
    • input from any professionals involved, and collaboration with families
    • proactive planning for post-school pathways.

Options for funding include:

  • teaching staff
  • education support
  • CRT coverage, where possible.
Examples of priority actions
  • Utilise education support staff strategically in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning, to supplement the instructional role of teachers.
  • Prioritise time for teachers and education support staff to work together, and understand learning progress against IEP goals.
  • Education support tasks may include:
    • implementing supplemental small group and individual instruction
    • engaging in class-wide instructional monitoring of student work
    • collecting data on student performance
    • assisting students who require personal care support
    • facilitating peer interactions between students based on guidance from the teacher.

Options for funding include:

  • education support
  • teaching staff.

Tier 2 Funding Planner tool on SPOT

Tier 2 Funding Planner tool on SPOT

Schools receiving Disability Inclusion Tier 2 funding can use the new Funding Planner tool on the Strategic Planning Online Tool (SPOT)External Link , to plan how they will use their Tier 2 funding allocations, as part of their Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) development.

The Funding Planner tool enables schools to plan their expenditure of Tier 2 funding, in addition to Equity (Social Disadvantage) funding and Schools Mental Health fund allocations, in support of their AIP priorities.

Through the Funding Planner, schools can:

  • identify which of their activities will draw on Tier 2 funding
  • specify the value of Tier 2 funding to be allocated per activity
  • select the category and subcategory of Tier 2 expenditure for each activity identified as using Tier 2 funding (multiple subcategories may be selected where applicable).

Schools are required to report all Disability Inclusion Tier 2 expenditure in CASES21 and eduPay.

Information on completing the Funding Planner is available on the AIP Guidelines in the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL).


Tier 2 funding use case studies

Tier 2 funding use case studies

Case study 1 – Medium regional primary school

School profile

Medium-sized regional school located in the Loddon Campaspe Area in North Western Victoria.

The school has 225 enrolments with 36 students receiving adjustments due to disability and 15 students eligible for funding under the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD).

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards, the school will receive about $115,000 in each school year.

Examples of how this school can use Tier 2 funding include:

  • engaging staff in relevant professional learning such as Inclusive Classrooms courses and modules, Disability Standards for Education training, workforce training on diversity, or autism-specific courses
  • increasing a teacher’s time fraction to provide extra support with reading, writing and self-care skills
  • engaging an external speech pathologist to develop a social communication program and training, so that teachers can deliver the program and monitor progress
  • enabling more intensive transition programs (for example, up to 10 weeks) to ensure a successful start to secondary school, such as supported visits to the secondary school, reciprocal visits to the primary/secondary school by teaching and education support staff and input from any professionals involved.

Case study 2 – Large outer metropolitan secondary school

School profile

Large-sized outer metropolitan school in the Bayside Peninsula Area in South Eastern Victoria.

The school has 1,800 enrolments with 190 students receiving adjustments due to disability and 35 students eligible for PSD funding.

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards, the school will receive about $450,000 in each school year.

Using funding to improve capacity and adjustments

Examples of how this school can use Tier 2 funding include:

  • improving school-wide data literacy skills to support identification of students with disability needs
  • funding casual relief teaching, to enable teachers to undertake professional learning to enhance their inclusive education knowledge
  • appointing an inclusion learning specialist to build the capability of school staff to meet the educational needs of students with disability through coaching, observation and co-teaching
  • engaging staff (teachers or allied health, as appropriate) to deliver interventions or programs for small groups, for example, a targeted literacy intervention program, or weekly social skills program
  • engaging an occupational therapist to develop sensory profiles, provide advice and training on equipment and technology to support learning for students with autism spectrum disorder, and implement consistent visual supports throughout the school
  • review policies, plans and processes for individualised support to ensure alignment with Education for All policy and processes for individualised student planning via student support groups and individual education plans (IEPs)
  • support student voice activities.

Case study 3 – Large metropolitan primary school

School profile

Large-sized primary school located in the Barwon Area. The school has 650 enrolments with 110 students receiving adjustments due to disability and 20 students eligible for PSD funding.

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards, the schools will receive about $235,000 in each school year.

Examples of how this school can use Tier 2 funding include:

  • appointing an inclusion leader role to work with the school’s leadership team to:
    • embed evidence-based inclusive education and human rights obligations into school policies and plans
    • review school processes for student support groups, personalised goal setting and IEPs
    • review school processes for establishing teams to engage in rigorous problem-solving methods to use data to make informed decisions about student need
    • plan and implement a whole-school professional learning program on priority areas of inclusive practices
  • prioritising time for teachers and education support staff to work together, and understand learning progress against IEP goals
  • engaging a professional with specialist expertise to coach school-based staff on designing interventions and programs for students with disability.

Case study 4 – Small regional primary schools pooling resources

School profiles

Schools have enrolments of 35, 25 and 12 students respectively with 11, 2 and 0 enrolments receiving adjustments due to disability and 3 students across 2 schools eligible for PSD funding.

The schools have chosen to combine their resources to increase their available expenditure options through Tier 2 funding.

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards, the schools will receive about $36,000, $22,000 and $13,000 in each school year.

Examples of how this school can use Tier 2 funding include:

  • employing an inclusion leader to work across all 3 schools at a 0.4, 0.3 and 0.2 FTE respectively focussed on whole-school inclusive practices
  • releasing teaching staff to participate in an inclusion professional learning community that conducts a deep inquiry into student data and planning outcomes for students identified as receiving adjustments through NCCD
  • engaging a professional with specialist expertise to provide professional learning focussed on whole-of-classroom inclusive teaching practices and coaching staff on maximising teaching outcomes for students with disability.

Case study 5 – Small regional secondary school

School profile

Small-sized secondary school located in the Mallee Area in North Western Victoria. The school has 245 enrolments with 26 students receiving adjustments due to disability and 9 students eligible for PSD funding.

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards, the schools will receive about $130,000 in each school year.

Examples of how this school can use Tier 2 funding include:

  • combining Tier 2 funding with equity funding to appoint an inclusion learning specialist to build the capability of school staff through coaching, observation and co-teaching
  • engaging staff in professional learning such as Inclusive Classrooms courses, disability standards for education (DSE) training, workforce training on diversity, or autism-specific courses
  • engaging staff (teachers or allied health, as appropriate) to deliver interventions or programs for small groups, for example a targeted literacy intervention program, or weekly social skills program
  • covering CRT for time release of school-based staff to attend school planning activities in relation to inclusive education and support for students with disability, including attending Disability Inclusion Profile meetings for students identified as requiring Tier 2 support.

Case study 6 – Medium metropolitan secondary school

School profile

Medium-sized secondary school located in outer Eastern Melbourne. The school has 523 enrolments with 118 students receiving adjustments due to disability and 20 students eligible for PSD funding.

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards, the schools will receive about $227,000 in each school year.

Examples of how this school can use Tier 2 funding include:

  • appointing an inclusion learning specialist to build the capability of school staff through coaching, observation and co-teaching
  • engaging staff in professional learning such as Inclusive Classrooms courses, DSE training, workforce training on diversity, autism-specific courses, and/or purchase Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties) placement(s) for teacher(s)
  • covering CRT replacement to support the participant(s) in completing course and/or assessment requirements
  • engaging an external consultant to provide professional learning on an identified student need, for example, curriculum day that focuses on Inclusive Teaching practices and then provides ongoing support/guidance to the school
  • enable more intensive transition programs to ensure a successful start to secondary school, such as supported visits to the secondary school, reciprocal visits to the primary/secondary school by teaching and education support staff and input from any professionals involved.

Case study 7 – Specialist school

School profile

Specialist school located in the Barwon Area in South Western Victoria.

The school has 84 enrolments with all students receiving adjustments due to disability and all students eligible for the Program for Students with Disability.

Tier 2 funding overview

From 2022 onwards the school will receive about $27,000 in each school year.

Using funding to improve capacity and adjustments

  • Increase a teacher’s time fraction to support the coordination of Disability Inclusion profiles.
  • Engage staff (teachers or allied health, as appropriate) to deliver interventions or programs for small groups, for example a targeted literacy intervention program, or weekly social skills program.
  • Enable more intensive transition programs to support students transitioning from pre-school to school and school to post-school options.
  • Engage staff in relevant professional learning such as Inclusive Classrooms courses and modules, DSE training, workforce training on diversity, or autism-specific courses.

Requirements for reporting of Tier 2 expenditure

Requirements for reporting of Tier 2 expenditure

Tier 2 expenditure must be spent on capacity, capability and support for students with disability. Schools are required to report all Tier 2 school-level funded expenditure, aligned with the allowable uses of funding and examples provided in this guidance. Reporting should be undertaken at the point of expenditure or monthly.

The following resource provides instructions for school administrators to action the reporting requirements in CASES21 and eduPay: Instructions for reporting of Tier 2 expenditure (DOCX)External Link .

Note: effective May 2023, the process to report Disability Inclusion Tier 2 credit expenditure has changed due to the discontinuation of the Salary Mischarge Adjustment Form (SMAF). To report Disability Inclusion Tier 2 credit expenditure, schools must use a custom costing in eduPay. Please refer to the updated instructions (DOCX)External Link .


Tier 3 student-level funding

Tier 3 student-level funding

Tier 3 provides additional funding to Tier 1 and Tier 2, to support schools to deliver adjustments to meet the individual nature and acute impact of students with complex needs.

Schools must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that students with disability can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability. Additional resources provided to schools do not define or limit the support provided for student with disability. Refer to: Students with Disability.

For further information on the Disability Inclusion vision for inclusion, refer to vision for inclusive education (PPTX)External Link .

How the Disability Inclusion Profile informs Tier 3 student-level funding

The Disability Inclusion Profile (profile) and surrounding process is designed to help schools and families identify the strengths, needs, and educational adjustments schools can make for students with disability in Victorian government schools.

Schools will need to prepare for, co-ordinate, and participate in the profile process, with parent/carer(s), to receive Disability Inclusion Tier 3 student-level funding. Refer to Disability Inclusion Profile for more information on this process.

The profile is completed through a structured meeting with the student’s student support group, led by a trained facilitator. The facilitator will support meeting participants to discuss and agree on the ‘level of adjustment’ being provided or required for the student to participate in the profile’s 31 educational-related activities. Refer to: Disability Inclusion Profile (DOCX)External Link .

Supporting information is used to confirm that the ‘level of adjustment’ accurately matches the student’s needs. Schools are required to collate and submit supporting information as part of the profile process. Refer to: Supporting information guidance for schools (DOCX)External Link .

There are 5 ‘level of adjustment’ ratings possible for each of the profile’s 31 educational-related activities:

  • present environment of supports
  • differentiated teaching
  • supplementary adjustments
  • substantial adjustments
  • extensive adjustments.

The ‘level of adjustment’ ratings identified inform both the student's eligibility for Tier 3 funding and the amount of Tier 3 funding allocated to the school.

Eligibility for Tier 3 student-level funding

A student is considered eligible for Tier 3 student-level funding where it is confirmed that:

  • the school provides either substantial adjustments or extensive adjustments for at least 8 of the profile’s 31 educational-related activities or
  • the school provides extensive adjustments for at least 3 of the profile’s 31 educational-related activities.

Important note: should the student be eligible for Tier 3 funding, the student’s levels of adjustment across all 31 educational activities contribute to the Tier 3 funding allocation. As such, schools should provide supporting information related to all relevant activities and domains within the profile and not target a subset of activities.

In addition, there must be evidence to confirm that:

  • the student has a severe functional capacity limitation, as identified by an Adaptive Behaviour Composite 70 or below on the Vineland 3 Teacher Form Comprehensive Version (completed within the past 12 months) or
  • the student has a diagnosed condition that is known to cause a substantial increase in their functional needs. Refer to: Tier 3 validation – list of conditions (DOCX)External Link .

All students are required to complete the Vineland-3 as part of the Disability Inclusion Profile process.

A Vineland-3 parent/caregiver form is not permissible unless in exceptional circumstances, for example where a student has been home schooled. Refer to: Requesting a Disability Inclusion Profile meeting.

For students with a diagnosis of a condition that is listed in the Tier 3 list of conditions, at the point of registration the principal or delegate should upload a scanned copy of the report that confirms this diagnosis. This diagnosis must have been made by a suitable practitioner, following current diagnostic assessment guidelines or criteria, for example the National Guideline for Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism. The report or letter must be signed by the diagnosing practitioner.

Where evidence of a severe functional capacity limitation or diagnosed condition is not present, eligibility may also be informed by an enhanced moderation pathway. Under this pathway, the Disability Inclusion Facilitator Service will review the supporting information provided to confirm if the school provides 8 substantial adjustments or 3 extensive adjustments and one of the extensive adjustments in one of the following profile educational-related activities:

  • managing one’s own behaviour
  • looking after one’s safety
  • regulating behaviours within interactions
  • interacting according to social rules.

Students who are found eligible through the enhanced moderation pathway will require a review of their profile within 2 years.

The department will be reviewing these criteria as the Disability Inclusion roll-out progresses.

Tier 3 student-level funding allocation

If the eligibility is determined, an allocation of Tier 3 funding will be provided as part of the Student Resource Package of the school/s that the student attends in accordance with the student’s enrolment arrangements.

For information about the timing of profile outcomes and provision of Tier 3 funding: refer to Notification of Disability Inclusion Profile outcome.

The amount of Tier 3 funding allocated is determined based on the confirmed ‘level of adjustment’ ratings across all of the profile’s 31 educational-related activities for each eligible student.

All mainstream schools (primary, secondary, and combined) and specialist schools can be allocated Tier 3 funding.

For further information about the funding allocation methodology, refer to: Student Resource Package - Disability Inclusion Tier 3 student-level funding (Reference 138).

Note: for international fee paying students, any Tier 3 funding will be allocated to the school the student attends separately to the Student Resource Package.

Implementing Tier 3 funding

When planning for the use of Tier 3 funding, schools must consider targeted, evidence-based strategies that will have lasting and long-term benefits for the individual student, as well as building the capacity of the school to provide an inclusive curriculum for students with additional learning needs.

Tier 3 funding can be used in a number of ways, including by providing:

  • evidence-based teaching strategies and programs, which may include direct instruction and targeted teaching using the response to intervention modelExternal Link
  • teaching staff
  • specialist staff, for example, a disability inclusion coordinator, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, or board-certified behaviour analyst
  • teacher professional development
  • specialist equipment/materials, including assistive technology
  • education support staff.

Where a school is allocated resources to support more than one student, the principal may choose to liaise with members of the student support groups to discuss and evaluate any common requirements, for example, the funding of therapy services or inclusive education teacher positions.


Disability Inclusion Transition Funding

Disability Inclusion Transition Funding

Disability Inclusion Transition Funding will be provided to support schools to transition to the new Disability Inclusion approach, giving schools and families more confidence to engage with the Disability Inclusion Profile process.

Disability Inclusion Transition Funding gives schools greater budget certainty to plan for and provide adjustments for Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) eligible students as they transition to Disability Inclusion.

Summary of Disability Inclusion Transition Funding settings

Disability Inclusion Transition Funding ensures that schools receive either the same amount of student-level funding or more, under Disability Inclusion.

Disability Inclusion Transition Funding applies to scenarios where a PSD-eligible student completes a Disability Inclusion Profile that results in a Tier 3 funding allocation at a rate lower than PSD funding allocation. Under these conditions, Disability Inclusion Transition Funding provides for the difference between the PSD allocation and the Tier 3 allocation, ensuring continuity of funding.

Schools do not need to complete any additional documentation to receive Disability Inclusion Transition Funding: the funding will be applied automatically through a line item in schools’ budgets where appropriate.

Timeframes

Disability Inclusion Transition Funding is time-limited, with the length of time dependent on a student’s circumstances:

  • For level 5 or level 6 PSD-eligible students, Disability Inclusion Transition Funding will apply until the student leaves school.
  • For level 1–4 PSD-eligible students whose PSD eligibility is due to cease in 2022, Disability Inclusion Transition Funding applies until the end of 2023.
  • For level 1–4 PSD-eligible students whose PSD eligibility is due to cease in 2023, Disability Inclusion Transition Funding applies until the end of 2024.
  • For all other level 1–4 PSD-eligible students Disability Inclusion Transition Funding applies until the end of 2024.
  • The Victorian Government will review Disability Inclusion Transition Funding for this cohort by 2024 and advise schools of any changes to apply from 2025 onwards.

Further support

Schools are encouraged to contact their Regional Implementation Team contact with any questions:

Your Regional Implementation Team contact can assist with any questions you may have including (for example) timing to deliver Disability Inclusion Profiles for PSD students.


Resources

Resources

Please refer to the department’s collated list of links and resources to support disability inclusion (DOCX)External Link .

General information about Disability Inclusion

Resources to support Tier 2 school-level funding implementation

Resources to support schools to target students for Tier 2 support

Resources to support schools to build capacity and capability

  • Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) is an assessment and reporting tool. ABLES Professional LearningExternal Link helps school staff understand how to use ABLES to assess students, create reports and track progress. There are 5 modules, each focusing on a specific element of the ABLES suite of resources and each requiring approximately one hour of online participation per module.
  • Inclusive Classrooms Professional Learning ProgramExternal Link – a suite of evidence-based professional development that includes: Human rights approach to diversity and inclusion, individual education planning professional learning, supporting students with autism, supporting students with learning difficulties including dyslexia, supporting students with learning difficulties including dyscalculia, supporting students with hearing loss, supporting students with oral language and learning, supporting students with vision impairment and supporting student behaviour.
  • Inclusive Foundations for Children with Disability – Primary SchoolExternal Link – this AllPlay Learn Online Professional Learning Course provides practical strength and evidence based strategies and resources to help primary school teachers and schools create inclusive education environments for children with developmental challenges and disabilities. This course takes 4 to 6 hours to complete.
  • Inclusive Foundations for Children with Disability – Secondary SchoolExternal Link – this AllPlay Learn Online Professional Learning Course provides practical strength and evidence based strategies and resources to help primary school teachers and schools create inclusive education environments for children with developmental challenges and disabilities. This course takes 4 to 6 hours to complete.
  • Education Support Staff Working in Classroom Support Roles policy and guidelines – supports principals and school leaders to make decisions about the effective use of education support staff in the classroom.

Resources to support schools plan for adjustments

Resources to support schools to make teaching, assessment and reporting adjustments

Resources to support schools to make environment and resource adjustments

  • The Inclusion and Diversity Policy templateExternal Link (staff login required) has been developed by the department's Legal Division as a school-wide policy for inclusion.
  • Student Engagement Policy provides advice, resources and strategies to assist schools to create an effective local student engagement policy which provides the basis on which schools develop and maintain safe, supportive and inclusive school environments.
  • Equipment and assistive technology professional practice guidesExternal Link support schools to identify, purchase and implement inclusive equipment and assistive technology that will best meet the needs of their students. Practice guides are available on inclusive equipment and assistive technology, portable Soundfield systems, inclusive software, and Boardmaker.

Reviewed 14 September 2021