POSITIVE POLICY

Your Child. Our Future: Support for Students with Disability

Better Support For Students With Disability and Additional Learning Needs

All students – including students with disability – deserve a great education.

When students with disability do not have the right support, it not only impacts their learning, but can make it difficult for teachers to meet the needs of the class as a whole.

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver better support for students with disability, so they can reach their potential and succeed at school.

The Your Child. Our Future plan will provide $570 million in additional support for students with disability and additional learning needs by 2019, compared to the Liberals.

This will make a real difference, and will mean more allied health support – such as speech pathologists or occupational therapists, more individual attention, and more early intervention.

Autism Hubs and Dyslexia-Friendly Schools

Labor’s plan will build the capacity of schools to meet individual student needs, including through establishing Autism Hubs in each State and Territory.

Autism Hubs will provide advice on the most effective and inclusive ways to help students with autism, deliver professional development and in-class coaching for teachers, as well as link parents and families to health and specialist services in the community.

A network of Dyslexia Friendly Schools will be created across Australia, with participating schools certified for their capacity to deliver best-practice programs in inclusive education.

Tackling bullying

No-one deserves to be bullied and to miss out on educational opportunities because they are different. Students with disability are up to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers.

Labor will establish a national approach to reducing the bullying of students with disability, and will make sure every school has anti-bullying strategies in place that protect students with disability.

School upgrades and learning technology

Labor’s plan will ensure more students with disability will get the chance to participate fully in learning and school activities, by supporting school communities so they can purchase assistive technology and improve school buildings. Labor will invest $30 million so that from 2017:

  • At least 3,000 grants of up to $5,000 will be available for schools to invest in equipment and technology to support learning for students with disability.
  • At least 500 grants of up to $30,000 will be available for minor capital works so students can access school facilities and be properly included in school activities.

Boosting teacher skills and the curriculum

More teachers will be supported to become experts in supporting students with disability and extra learning needs, with Labor investing $40 million for up to 2,000 teachers to complete a Masters in Inclusive Education.

The development of a new curriculum for students with disability will be fast-tracked so students with disability get the same learning opportunities as their peers.

Further information is available here.