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education.vic.gov.au

School operations

Students with Disability

Policy

This policy sets out requirements to support the inclusion of students with disability and additional needs in government schools.

Summary

  • The Department is committed to embedding inclusive education in all school environments for students with disability and additional needs.
  • Schools must meet their legal obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and also 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.
  • Further information and resources, including comprehensive guidance for all school community members on the main features of inclusive education, is available under the Resources tab.

Details

The Department is committed to embedding inclusive education in all school environments for students with disability and additional 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.

An inclusive education system enables all students to be welcomed, accepted and engaged so that they can participate, achieve and thrive in school life. Inclusive education: 

  • ensures that students with disability are not discriminated against and are accommodated to participate in education on the same basis as their peers
  • acknowledges and responds to the diverse needs, identities and strengths of all students
  • occurs when students with disability and additional needs are treated with respect and are involved in making decisions about their education
  • benefits students of all abilities in the classroom and fosters positive cultural change in attitudes and beliefs about disability, in and beyond the school environment
  • contributes to positive learning, engagement and wellbeing outcomes for students

Legal obligations

All schools, as education providers, must comply with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and also the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth) (the Standards).

The Standards cover enrolment, participation, curriculum development, student support services and the elimination of harassment and victimisation, and provides guidance for schools on:

  • the rights of students with disability
  • the legal obligations on education providers
  • some of the measures that would demonstrate compliance

The Standards apply to all students with disability, not just those who are eligible for support under targeted funding programs. Additional resources provided to schools do not define or limit the support provided for student disabilities.

Reasonable adjustments

Under both State and Commonwealth laws schools must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate students with disability. An adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist students to participate in education and training on the same basis as their peers without a disability.

When planning an adjustment for a student, the school should consult with the parent or carer(s) and the student, through the Student Support Group process. This process should apply to all students with disability or additional needs, not just those who are eligible for support under targeted funding programs.

For further information on making reasonable adjustments, refer to the Department's guidance: Making reasonable adjustments.

For comprehensive information and resources relating to students with disability and additional needs refer to: Support Students with Additional Learning Needs.

For an Easy English version of the policy, refer to:

Relevant legislation

Department policy on supporting students with disability and additional needs

Reviewed 09 December 2020

Policy last updated

9 December 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Inclusive Education Division School Education Programs and Support Group (SEPS)

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