Some of the terms that you might come across during your child’s schooling.
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The Department of Education’s access request application is a document that is submitted by your local school with your input, to apply for integration funding, distance education or a support class placement, if your child meets the Department’s disability criteria and this is what you want.
It is not the same process as applying for a NDIS Access Request. You will be notified about the result of the application by your child’s school.
Adjustments are ways that teachers and schools make changes to teaching and learning programs, lessons, assessments or the school environment for children with disability and additional learning and support needs.
This allows all students to access and participate in education on the same basis. See also: Reasonable Adjustments.
Assisted school travel
Some children may be eligible for assisted school travel to help them get to and from school. The child must:
be enrolled in a support class within a mainstream school or school for specific purposes specifically for students with disability; or
require high-level assistance for mobility purposes (for example, use of a wheelchair or other form of mobility aid) if enrolled in a mainstream class,
have parents/carers who have demonstrated their inability to provide or arrange
travel for the student to and from school either fully or in part; and
be assessed as being unable to travel independently; and
be enrolled in the closest appropriate school to their home.
They also need to:
live less than 40 kilometres from the school.
have a maximum transport time of 90 minutes one way.
Disability confirmation sheet
The school counsellor/school psychologist refers to the department’s Disability Criteria to establish a student’s eligibility for support.
A Disability Confirmation Sheet is prepared and signed off by the senior psychologist education. The range of supports available to students includes itinerant support teachers, integration funding support and access to support classes in mainstream schools and schools for specific purposes.
You can talk to the school counsellor/school psychologist about this document, supporting documentation required and how it is reviewed.
Early intervention programs
Early intervention programs are run by the NSW Department of Education and other government and non-government agencies. Early intervention programs provide services for children with disability from around the age of 3 years to school entry.
For children that are eligible, early intervention support may include:
Early intervention itinerant support
Early intervention support classes which provide sessional educational programs that prepare children for transition to school
Health care plan
An individual health care plan is needed for children with complex health care needs. Information from the student's doctors, provided by parents and carers, will help parents and carers and schools plan together to meet the child’s needs at school.
An individual health care plan must be developed for: severe asthma, type 1 diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis, and any child who is diagnosed as having a condition that may require an emergency response.
The principal will arrange a meeting with parents and appropriate school staff to discuss the management of the student's health care needs.
Integration funding support
If your child has a disability, and meets the department’s Disability Criteria, extra support may be provided in mainstream classrooms through Integration funding support.
To do this, an access request application will be completed. If this is successful, it means that funding may be available to support your child in a variety of ways. This may include extra staff, such as teachers or school learning support officers (SLSOs, otherwise known as teacher’s aides) to support your child.
It may also mean that your child’s classroom teacher is given more time for professional learning and to plan for your child.
Itinerant support teachers (hearing or vision)
These teachers work with students who have a confirmed hearing and/or vision loss prior to school and in NSW public schools. They may visit your child at specific times throughout the week, and may work in partnership with your child’s class teacher.
Learning and support teacher
The learning and support teacher provides specialist help to teachers and students in mainstream classes with disability and additional learning and support needs and their teachers.
Learning and support team
Every school has a learning and support team. To support students with disability and additional needs, the team:
works closely with teachers to ensure students with disability and additional needs are identified and supported
coordinates the planning process, and designs the supports for students with disability and additional needs, including resources
works with the whole school community and other professionals to improve learning for all students.
Schools may accept enrolments from outside their local zone if places are available. Such applications are subject to department policies.
Contact the out-of-area school for further information.
If the school is able to accommodate out-of-area enrolments, they will advise you of any non-local enrolment selection criteria.
If the demand for local enrolment exceeds the number of places available, out-of-area enrolments will not be available.
Personalised learning and support plan
To create a plan for your child's personalised learning and support (also sometimes called an individual education plan, or IEP) you, teachers, support staff and other professionals work together to assess your child's education needs and provide adjustments and support to meet those needs.
The plan is used to support teachers in implementing identified adjustments to assist your child in reaching their educational goals.
The plan is reviewed regularly, and adjusted as needs change in consultation with you and your child.
A local support class placement panel is made up of specialist staff from student support services, principals and senior psychologist education representatives who meet to consider all the requests for support class placement for schools within that area.
The centralised integration funding support team considers all requests for funding.
In NSW, the term public school refers to government primary schools for students in kindergarten to year 6. Every child is entitled to be enrolled at their local school, based on their home address.
As defined by the Disability Standards for Education 2005, an adjustment is reasonable if it helps your child participate in their schooling on the same basis as other students, while balancing your child's needs and the interests of everyone who is affected.
This means taking into account both your child's needs and the interests of the school, the school staff and the other students. The school is not required to make changes that would create unjustifiable hardship for it.
School learning support officer (SLSO) also known as teacher's aides, work under the direction and supervision of the classroom teacher. They help the teacher to provide assistance to students with disability and additional learning and support needs enrolled in mainstream classes, and in support classes in mainstream schools and Schools for Specific Purposes.
Support classes are only available in some of our schools. They support some students with intellectual disability, mental health disorder or autism spectrum disorder, students with physical disability or sensory impairment, and students with learning difficulties or behaviour disorders.
They cater for students who meet the department's disability criteria, and places are determined by the regional placement panel after an access request application is submitted. Class sizes in support classes are smaller than in mainstream classes.
School for Specific Purpose (SSP)
SSPs are separate schools that support some students with intellectual disability, mental health disorder or autism spectrum disorder, students with physical disability or sensory impairment, and students with learning difficulties or behaviour disorders.
SSPs provide intensive levels of support in a specialised educational setting. They cater for students who meet the department's disability criteria, and places are determined by the local support class placement panel after an access request application is submitted. Class sizes in SSPs are smaller than mainstream classes.
SSPs provide intensive levels of support in a specialised educational setting. A range of support services, depending on the needs of the students, are also provided. Personalised learning and support plans are collaboratively developed, implemented and monitored.
This is a term used that includes funding that is applied for via the access request process. It includes Integration funding support for support in mainstream classes, and placement in support classes at mainstream schools and Schools for Specific Purposes.