Inclusive education in NSW schools case studies

These case studies were originally published 17 July 2020.

The case studies outline what has worked in each school to improve inclusive education for students with disability. They identify six themes that are important in achieving inclusive education:

  • strong and collaborative leadership, including implementing whole-school approaches
  • effective use of data to identify and meet students’ needs
  • commitment to differentiation and adjustments to meet the needs of individual students
  • working closely with families and the local community to support students’ learning
  • high-quality, embedded learning and support structures
  • investment in school staff to build their capacity to deliver inclusive education.

The NSW Department of Education commits to building a more inclusive education system for students with disability in the Disability Strategy launched in February 2019.

Purpose of resource

The Inclusive education in NSW schools case studies outline practices and strategies applied in schools to improve inclusive education for students with disability.

When and how to use

The resource is a set of 4 case studies and is accompanied by the Inclusive education case studies discussion guide. School leaders and teachers can read, reflect on, discuss and implement themes and strategies highlighted in the case studies as part of school-developed High Impact Professional Learning (HIPL).

The appropriate time to use this resource may differ for each school, leader and teacher.

School leaders can:

  • unpack the case studies, using the accompanying discussion guide, as part of whole-school professional development and/or stage or grade team meetings
  • encourage teachers to share key findings during professional development
  • reflect on strategies, policies or practices currently in place to improve inclusive education at a classroom and whole-school level
  • lead discussions with staff about areas to improve across the school – you may wish to refer to the Inclusive Practice hub and the Achieving School Excellence in Wellbeing and Inclusion tool
  • support staff to find connections between What works best, the School Excellence Framework and the strategies contained in the case studies.

Teachers can:

  • read the case studies and reflect on how the themes and examples may be relevant to their specific setting · unpack the case studies, using the accompanying discussion guide, in a group setting
  • identify strategies and practices in the case studies to apply in the classroom to improve inclusive education
  • reflect on the impact of the applied strategies.


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Alignment to system priorities and/or needs:

NSW Department of Education Disability Strategy

NSW Department of Education Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools policy

Alignment to School Excellence Framework: Learning domain – wellbeing; Teaching domain – learning and development, data skills and use; Leading domain – educational leadership

Alignment with existing frameworks: Australian Professional Standards for Teachers – Standards 1, 4, 6, 7

NSW Wellbeing Framework for Schools – Connect, Succeed, Thrive

Australian Student Wellbeing Framework – inclusion

Reviewed by: Disability Strategy Implementation directorate

Created/last updated: Originally published 17 July 2020

To be reviewed: CESE publications are prepared through a rigorous process. Resources are reviewed periodically as part of an ongoing evaluation plan.


  • Case study

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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