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



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
  • acknowledges communication is essential for a student’s social interaction, learning and participation
  • values all forms of student communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and augmentative and alternative communication.

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

The Standards cover enrolment, participation, curriculum development, student support services and the elimination of harassment and victimisation, and provide 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 supported under individualised disability funding programs including the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) and Disability Inclusion. 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.

All students have the potential to learn and the right to participate in a learning environment that is committed to supporting their educational development and genuine participation, including students with complex communication needs.

When planning an adjustment for a student, the school must consult with the parent or carer(s) and the student, typically through the student support group process. This process applies to all students with disability or additional needs, not just those students supported under individualised disability funding programs including the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) and Disability Inclusion.

For further information on making reasonable adjustments, refer to the guidance chapter on Making reasonable adjustmentsExternal Link .

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

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

Relevant legislation

Department policy on supporting students with disability and additional needs

Reviewed 07 June 2024

Policy last updated

24 May 2024


  • Schools


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

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