School operations

Student Support Groups

1  Introduction

Effective collaboration requires planning, preparation and flexibility to build and maintain open lines of communication and shared understanding. A Student Support Group (SSG) is an effective approach for the school, parent/carer(s) and the student to work together to support the ongoing education of students’ diverse learning needs, including students:

  • with a disability or diverse learning needs, including, but not limited to, students receiving support under the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD)
  • in Out of Home Care (OoHC)
  • who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • with a behaviour support plan
  • from refugee or migrant backgrounds
  • on youth justice orders or having transitioned from the youth justice system
  • who are identified as young carers.

SSGs are mandatory for students supported by the PSD and students in out of home care. For specific information regarding SSGs and students in out of home care refer to Supporting Students in Out-of-Home Care).

Meetings should occur at least once each term.

Under section 32 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, education providers must comply with the Disability Standards for Education 2005. The Standards cover enrolment, participation, curriculum development, student support services and the elimination of harassment and victimisation.  When planning an adjustment for the student, the school should consult with the parent/carer(s) and, where appropriate, the student, through the SSG process, about:

  • the proposed adjustment and consider issues such as whether the adjustment is reasonable
  • the extent to which the adjustment would achieve its intended aim, and
  • whether there is any other reasonable adjustment that would be more suitable. 

To maximise opportunities for students with disabilities to succeed, policy and practice within schools should reflect:

  • collaboration between teachers and students, parent/carer(s), education and health professionals to develop agreed understandings and responses to a student’s behaviours, needs, communication skills and learning needs
  • curriculum-based Individual Education Plan (IEP) informed by the SSG that sets out the student’s short-term and long-term learning goals based on the Victorian Curriculum, Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) assessments and other relevant information
  • teaching and learning strategies that take account of a student’s background, experiences, individual personality and individual goals
  • opportunities for the student to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours in a range of domains and contexts
  • opportunities for all students to participate in classroom activities with other students

For further information about the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 refer to:

Schools have similar obligations under the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. Further information about the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 is available at Human Rights Charter.

1.1  Inclusive Education

The Department is committed to embedding inclusive education in all school environments for students with diverse learning needs. All Victorians, irrespective of the school they attend, where they live or their social or economic status, should have access to high quality education.

For information and resources on Education for all, the Department's vision for inclusive education, refer to:

Introductory chapter to the guidance on Student Support Groups

Reviewed 21 June 2021

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