Policy last updated
14 July 2023
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.
- Schools must meet their legal obligations under the the and also the 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 tab.
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 and
- values all forms of student communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and augmentative and alternative communication.
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 eligible for support under targeted funding programs. Additional resources provided to schools do not define or limit the support provided for student disabilities.
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 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 an Easy English version of the policy, refer to:
Guidance – Victorian SHARE Principles for Inclusive Education
The following principles provide guidance for all members of the school community on the main features of inclusive education.
Inclusive education involves students, in collaboration with their peers and/or carers, in decision-making processes as respected partners in education.
H: Human rights focused
Inclusive education is supported by and is the realisation of a human rights based approach to education. International human rights principles and Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 provide a framework for every Victorian to be treated with dignity and respect and to enjoy their human rights without discrimination.
A: Acknowledges strengths
Inclusive education recognises that each child and young person is unique. It focuses on a strengths-based, personalised approach to education that celebrates and welcomes difference to maximize learning, engagement and wellbeing outcomes.
R: Respects legal obligations
Inclusive education enables schools to uphold legal obligations to make reasonable adjustments for all students with disability. Reasonable adjustments assist all students to participate in education on the same basis as their peers without a disability.
Inclusive education uses contemporary evidence-based practices known to be effective in responding to individual student needs and improving student outcomes.
Supporting Students with Additional Learning Needs
The Department's resource provides comprehensive information for schools, including further guidance, teaching materials and programs available to support students with additional learning needs. It also contains specific information on Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) and the roll out of Disability Inclusion.
Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities Program
For an Easy English version of the Inclusive Education Policy, refer to:
Supported Inclusion Schools Operational Manual
– A Supported Inclusion School is a mainstream school with additional professional capabilities and facilities designed to cater to a higher proportion of students with significant disability. Students with disability are provided enhanced support to receive high quality, evidence-based educational provision alongside mainstream students in a safe, accessible and supportive environment. The manual supports school principals and the department’s regional and central staff to implement the Supported Inclusion Schools model.
Reviewed 21 May 2020