This report details the significant progress made since the release of the Disability Strategy in February 2019, which builds on the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Inquiry, Education of students with a disability or special needs in NSW. The Disability Strategy sets our vision for an inclusive education system, and commits the Department of Education to an ambitious agenda for achieving strong educational and wellbeing outcomes for students with disability in NSW Government schools.
The Progress Report recognises what we’ve achieved in the eight months since the Strategy’s launch and highlights our ambitious forward agenda for 2020. We recognise there’s much more to be done and further improvements we can make, to drive positive change for our students with disability.
Key achievements in 2019 and priorities for 2020 include:
- Improved teacher capability – in addition to improved professional learning, a scholarship has been launched for teachers to study a Master’s in inclusive or special education, with more than a 100 scholarships expected to be taken up in 2020.
- More inclusive learning – a new Innovation Program is being launched to provide funding for schools to test new ideas that improve the learning and wellbeing of students with disability and evaluate how initiatives that improve outcomes for students can be scaled up across the state.
- A smoother transition to high school – students who receive integration funding support will now have their funding automatically roll-over from Year 6 to Year 7, and applications for high school classes and support has moved from Year 6 to Year 5 to give students and families more time to prepare.
- Review of disability funding criteria – the Progress Report sets out an ambitious agenda for 2020 including a commitment for the Department of Education to explore new approaches to the use of disability criteria to better capture student need, as recommended by the Parliamentary Inquiry.