The Disability Inclusion package will transform support for students with disability in public schools – doubling the number of children receiving extra support in their learning to 55,000 – and is expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025.
Education Minister James Merlino said the record investment would shift the focus firmly onto students' potential.
“Our kids are far more than their diagnosis. This will completely change the way we support children in our schools – focussing on what they can achieve, rather than what they can’t.
“We will work with schools and families through each step, making sure students are at the heart of every decision that is made. This is the biggest change in disability support in our schools Victoria has ever seen, and it will make a difference in classrooms and to kids across the state,” Merlino said.
A pilot in more than 100 schools will now be rolled out across Victoria, in a bid to identify and respond to the needs of students with disability.
New ‘facilitator’ roles will also be established to assist schools and families to collaborate and work together through the new approach.
The investment includes $102.8 million to provide new resources and support to build the skills and knowledge of school staff in delivering inclusive education. More than 100 extra staff will provide on-the-ground implementation support and program delivery in schools.
“This package will mean so much to Victorian students with a disability, their schools and their families – ensuring they get the support they deserve,” Luke Donnellan, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, said.
Students who may have previously been ineligible for targeted support, such as those with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours will also benefit from the new scheme.