School disability support changes


Friday, 24 June, 2022

School disability support changes

The Queensland Government has announced a new disability resourcing model for state schools.

The announcement was made as part of the record $16.5 billion education budget, which will be phased in over 2023 and 2024.

The benefits of the new model include:

  • dedicated support for an extra 30,000 students with disability;
  • a focus on Prep students to give them a great start;
  • a new Extensive Plus resourcing category for students with the most intensive needs;
  • an easier, streamlined, single process for families without the need for additional medical or specialist reports.
     

Schools will also receive more than $80 million over the next two years — which will fund almost 500 new frontline positions — to provide continuity and certainty for schools, and ensure no student misses out, as the current Education Adjustment Program is phased out and the new Reasonable Adjustment Resourcing model is introduced.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the new model was a game changer and means state schools will be able to support thousands more students every year.

“This is a wonderful development for students with disability and their families, as well as their school communities,” she said.

“It’s a fundamental shift in how support is provided, with the focus moving from the current system, based on six prescribed types of disability only, to a model that’s based on the level of support and adjustment that a student needs to participate in education.

“A number of disabilities will be formally recognised for the first time, including dyslexia, ADHD, foetal alcohol syndrome, Tourette Syndrome and mental health conditions. While schools already support these students, there will now be more dedicated resources available.”

Grace said the $80 million announced in the budget will ensure no student misses out on support while schools move to the new model.

"It’s a major change, and schools will need time to adjust to the new way of gathering and recording information for the new model,” she said.

“We don’t want any school or student to miss out on support while the transition is taking place.

“That’s why we are investing $80 million over the next two years. This money will fund almost 500 new frontline positions to support students, and provide continuity and certainty, until the new model is fully implemented in 2025.

“The positions will come from a combination of new staff and increasing hours for existing staff.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/WavebreakMediaMicro

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