The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is changing how Australians with disability are provided with the supports they need to live an ordinary life. Central to the NDIS is the core objective that individuals have choice and control over how they select their services and supports to facilitate their participation in the community.
This happens through individualised funding for reasonable and necessary supports, aligned to a participant’s goals. Under the NDIS, participants choose the providers that will deliver their supports and services, rather than providers being contracted by government.
Supported school transport is provided to some children and young people with disability so that they can travel to and from school. Currently, supported school transport is funded and delivered by state and territory governments and arrangements are different in each jurisdiction.
Governments have agreed that supported school transport is the responsibility of the NDIS1 where a child is a NDIS participant. The intention is that the NDIS will be responsible for reasonable and necessary ‘transport to and from a school/education facility required as a result of a person’s disability (where no other option, such as public transport, is available or suitable and not substituting for parental responsibility)’. This means that supported school transport may be funded in an NDIS participant’s plan when deemed reasonable and necessary.
The Australian Government, and state and territory governments have been working together to understand if and how supported school transport could be delivered in the NDIS.
This paper asks for feedback on how to make sure that if supported school transport is in the NDIS, it is safe, flexible, affordable and reliable. It explores how supported school transport could work in the NDIS in a nationally consistent way.
The potential model for delivery under the NDIS would be a big change from how supported school transport is currently delivered. It is important to carefully consider the risks and benefits of any changes.
There may be other options or models for supported school transport in the NDIS that need to be explored. There is also an option of maintaining current arrangements delivered by state and territory governments outside of the NDIS.