Students with disabilities are set to be big winners thanks to a funding boost in the upcoming State budget.
The budget, due to be handed down on Tuesday 24 November, will provide nearly $1.6 billion to make sure students with disability are supported in the classroom through an Australian-first Disability Inclusion package.
The funding will double the number of students receiving extra support in the classroom to 55,000.
It’s also expected to create up to 1,730 jobs across the state by 2025.
All schools will benefit from the change, enabling them to better support students who may have previously been ineligible for targeted support – such as those with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours.
A world-leading pilot in more than 100 schools will now be rolled out across the state, to identify and respond to the needs of students with disability.
The funding is slated to shift the focus to what students can achieve, rather than what they can’t.
For students, this will mean more opportunities to promote their own strengths, interests and learning needs, and the support they need at school.
With additional funding, schools will be able to better plan and adjust support for students throughout all stages of their schooling.
New facilitator roles will be established to help schools and families work together through this new approach.
Included in the amount is $102.8 million to deliver new resources and support to build the skills and knowledge of school staff in delivering inclusive education for every student. This will include more than 100 extra staff to provide on-the-ground implementation support and program delivery for schools.
“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,” said Education Minister James Merlino.