This section provides information on some of the opportunities the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers to school-aged participants to enable them to achieve their goals. Terminology used throughout this guidance is defined under the Definitions chapter.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS provides eligible participants with choice and control over what, when, where and by whom their disability supports are provided. It is a whole-of-life approach to the support needed to help a person to participate in the community and achieve their goals. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) administers and delivers the NDIS. To access the NDIS and become a participant in the scheme, a person must meet a number of legislated residency, age and disability criteria. For more information refer to the Eligibility checklistExternal Link on the NDIS website.

NDIS plan

Once NDIS eligibility has been determined, each participant creates an NDIS plan.

Most NDIS participants will have a local area coordinator (LAC) to help them understand and use their plan. Participants younger than 9 will work with an early childhood partner.

Note: students, parents and carers may provide a copy of a student’s NDIS plan to their school to complement holistic student planning, however, students are not compelled to share their NDIS plans with schools.

For more information refer to: NDIS funded plansExternal Link .

Therapy in schools

Therapy to enable access to education

If therapy is considered to be a reasonable adjustment that is required for a student to access their education, the school is legally obliged to provide the student with access to this therapy. Such therapists may be accessed from Student Support Services.

NDIS funded therapy

The therapies funded by the NDIS are related to the participant’s functional whole-of-life support needs and not for educational purposes.

The NDIS works as a social insurance scheme. As such, if the NDIA decides (after consideration of relevant evidence, such as special reports, assessments and advice from the student’s parents/carers) that a particular therapy is a ‘reasonable and necessary’ support for the student, the NDIS is obliged to fund that support as part of the student’s NDIS plan.

Participant ‘choice and control’ is a key benefit of the NDIS, which means students and their parents/carers have:

  • choice and control over what, when, where and by whom NDIS funded supports are delivered
  • choice about how their NDIS plan will be managed.

Refer to Principles to determine the responsibilities of the NDIS and other service systems (PDF)External Link for further guidance on what the NDIS will and will not fund in schools. The general rules are that:

  • schools are responsible for personalising learning and support for students that primarily relate to their educational attainment (including teaching, learning assistance and aids, school building modifications and transport between school activities) in accordance with relevant anti-discrimination laws
  • the NDIS funds supports that are associated with the functional impact of the student’s disability on their activities of daily living (those not primarily relating to education attainment). These include personal care and support, transport to and from school, and specialist transition supports to and from school to further education, training or employment.

The department will continue to deliver Personal Care in Schools (PCIS) and student transport (through the Students with Disabilities Transport Program) in-kind until the end of the 2024 school year, while future arrangements are decided.

Other NDIS funded supports

Students with Disabilities Transport Program

Student transport is in scope of the NDIS, however student transport for eligible Victorian government school students is currently delivered in-kind by the department through the Students with Disabilities Transport Program (SDTP). This arrangement will continue until the end of the 2024 school year, while future arrangements are decided.

The department will continue to work with the Australian Government to agree future arrangements. Schools will be informed of any developments in this work.

To access the department’s student transport support, all students must meet the SDTP eligibility criteria. If an NDIS participant does not meet these criteria, parents and carers will need to talk to the NDIA about options to get to and from school.

Once a student is receiving transport assistance through the SDTP, if they are an NDIS participant, student transport will appear in their plan as an in-kind item. Families do not need to pay anyone for this service, and they cannot use the funds for a different transport provider.

For more information, refer to the Students with Disabilities Transport Program page on PAL.

For queries about their SDTP services, schools can contact the department’s Student Transport Unit at or call 03 7022 2247.

Personal care in schools

Personal care in schools (PCIS) broadly refers to one-to-one assistance provided to students with disability to support their activities of daily living. Supports may include assistance with toileting, eating and drinking, dressing, mobility and complex health or medical support. These supports are usually provided by school Education Support (ES) staff.

PCIS is in scope of the NDIS, however personal care for NDIS participants in Victorian government schools is currently delivered in-kind by school staff. This arrangement will continue until the end of the 2024 school year.

The department will continue to work with the Commonwealth to agree future arrangements.

Schools will continue to employ and allocate staff with responsibilities for providing personal care.

Students and their parents/carers should continue to be consulted regarding personal care supports through the Student Support Group. Parents/carers may also recommend applicants for Education Support positions to be considered for employment under merit and equity principles.

School leaver and employment supports

The NDIS funds a range of post-school supports to assist young people with disability to move into employment or other options.

NDIS supports may include assistance across a range of life areas such as:

  • social and community participation
  • building life skills
  • mobility or communication technology
  • further study or finding and maintaining a job.

Some NDIS participants can access Disability Employment ServicesExternal Link to receive assistance to find work.

School leaver and employment supports (SLES) is an NDIS funded support for participants who are school leavers and who are ineligible, or unlikely to be eligible, for Disability Employment Services. SLES builds on and strengthens the skills that students have gained at school.

SLES is not the only post-school support the NDIS funds and it is not for everyone.

NDIS participants may be eligible to receive SLES in addition to other supports that are deemed reasonable and necessary.

For more information visit: NDIS school leaver employment supportsExternal Link .

Chapter in the NDIS guidelines outlining the reasons why schools may be experiencing an increase in requests for NDIS funded therapists to provide therapy on school grounds

Reviewed 17 January 2024

Was this page helpful?