Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tasmanian schools moving to nationally consistent disability approach



Department of Education Media Release



Colin Pettit

Secretary, Department of Education
Thursday, 7 November 2013




In December 2012, Tasmania, along with all other states and territories, agreed to implement a nationally consistent approach to identifying and funding students with disability in 2015.

The Secretary of the Department of Education, Colin Pettit, said that as part of the transition, Tasmanian government schools will receive almost $16 million in additional funding in 2014.

“This includes $3 million to help schools support students with disability under the Respectful Schools Model and $12.9 million to support the learning needs of all students under Fairer Funding (Better Schools) model,” Mr Pettit said.

In 2014, the department will provide:

  • Direct funding support to meet the individual learning needs of students with an IQ score between 55 and 70.
  • Support to all students including those previously assisted through High and Additional Needs (HAN) funding through the Fairer Funding Model. All schools have been notified they will receive a minimum of a 5% increase to their School’s Resource Package (SRP).
  • Extra specialist services in each Learning Service, via a Student with Need Support Team (made up of a School Psychologist specialising in student behaviour, a Behavioural Teacher Specialist and an Inclusive Learning Leader).
  • An extra three school psychologists in Tasmania, taking the number to 59.
  • Schools who do not have an enrolled Severe Disability Register (SDR) student will receive a minimum of 0.2 FTE support teacher allocation. Professional learning will be available to develop skills and knowledge to build expertise in all schools addressing both student need and managing behaviour.

Mr Pettit said information about the nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability has been made available to parents through every school since July 2013.

“The department also undertook community consultation on the Respectful Schools Model receiving much positive feedback from teachers and parents,” he said.

“Concerns about reallocating High and Additional Needs funding to support students with an IQ between 55 and 70 were addressed by ensuring that every school will receive a minimum five per cent increase in its School Resource Package to meet the needs of all schools and students.

“This is a significant increase in the funding schools receive, helping them to better address all aspects of providing education for students with disability.

“There is much to be gained from moving to a nationally consistent approach to identifying and funding students with disability, and ensuring that Tasmanian students with disability have the opportunity to benefit from that approach.

“Quality education is based on the principles of acceptance and inclusion of all students. The achievement of successful outcomes for every student is supported through high-quality teaching and learning within the Australian Curriculum.”

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