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Disability Strategy – at a glance

Together with educators, disability experts and families, we have put together a plan for an education system that does better by children and young people with disability, and enhances support for our teachers and staff in every school context.

The Disability Strategy includes a range of new initiatives to support students with disability.

Examples include:

  • professional learning programs and expert support for all public school teachers
  • a target to increase the number of people studying special education by 50 per cent by 2022
  • an innovation fund for schools to trial and evaluate new resourcing models giving schools greater resourcing and flexibility to tailor education to students’ needs
  • online tools that make it easy for families, carers and teachers of students with similar needs across NSW to connect
  • a ground-breaking approach, developed in NSW schools, to track and report the learning progress of students with complex needs.

From rising demand to increasingly complex student needs, these factors have contributed to a wide variation in experiences.

In short, there has been a gap between the promise of inclusive education and the ‘lived reality’ that some children and their families experience in NSW schools.

During the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry, some families spoke of low expectations, social exclusion and inadequate education outcomes.

Conversely, other families reported amazing experiences and noted that their children were flourishing, academically and socially, in mainstream and specialist settings alike. We want to replicate these positive experiences in all our schools.

To deliver optimal outcomes for children and young people with disability we must address a number of challenges now facing our system:

  • Demand for disability support is growing at four times the rate of enrolment growth.
  • 9% or 6,000 teachers are approved to teach special education.
  • 61% of supporting teachers now over the age of 50.
  • From 2013-17, enrolments of students with autism increased by ~14.5% per year.
  • Currently, there is little consensus on how to measure learning outcomes for students with disability.

20 February 2019

Media release – Greater disability support for NSW students.

Online hub – Our Disability Strategy.

An implementation team is being established in the Learning and Wellbeing Directorate during Term 1 2019 to lead a number of the key initiatives and act as the co-ordination and governance team to support the work across our department.

The Disability Strategy will address seven immediate focus areas.

Contact details

Disability, Learning & Support

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