The Andrews Labor Government is boosting funding for Victorian schools to support kids with disability, to ensure they have the tools they need to learn and thrive in the classroom and in life.
Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that all government schools across the Outer Eastern Melbourne, Mallee, and Central Highlands areas will receive further funding support to make their school more inclusive for all students, under the Labor Government’s unprecedented Disability Inclusion reform.
Schools can use the funding to implement whole-school practices that support the inclusive education of students with disability and diverse learning needs such as autism and learning difficulties.
Initiatives could include professional development for staff, employing new disability and inclusion staff, and purchasing programs, interventions or specific equipment and technology – depending on the needs of their students and the school.
The schools receiving the funding boost are in the second year of the five-year Disability Inclusion roll-out and will all receive a base level of funding with additional funding provided depending on the individual school’s characteristics.
This new funding support is ongoing and is in addition to support already provided through other programs and initiatives, including the Program for Students with Disabilities.
Schools in the first year of the Disability Inclusion roll-out, including government schools in the Barwon, Loddon Campaspe and Bayside Peninsula areas, started to receive this funding in 2021 and will receive a new allocation 2022 calendar year.
Disability Inclusion will be rolled out progressively, reaching all Victorian government schools by 2025.
The Victorian Budget 2020/21 made a record investment of nearly $1.6 billion to make sure Victorian kids living with disability are supported at school through the Disability Inclusion package.
All schools across the state are also already benefitting from Disability Inclusion initiatives that will help build knowledge and skills in inclusive education across the school system, including the recently announced Diverse Learners Hub.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“Every Victorian kid deserves the chance to learn and thrive at school, no matter their abilities, which is why we’re boosting funding to make schools more inclusive.”
“The funding is the biggest change in disability support Victorian schools have ever seen, enabling them to support more students with disability, so that they can get the great education they deserve.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Anthony Carbines
“We are working hard to make Victoria more accessible and inclusive for everyone – and this investment will support children with disability to flourish.”