Personalised learning and support procedures

Direction and guidance on supporting the inclusion of students with disability in NSW public schools.


All staff including teaching staff and executives.

Version Date Description of changes Approved by
V01.0.0 14/03/2024

Under the 2023 Policy and procedure review program, developed new procedures that reinforce existing obligations under the Disability Standards for Education (2005).

The procedures consolidate instructions about the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability and the department’s internal websites. It includes instructions on personalising learning and support for students with disability and staff responsibilities when reporting on adjustments for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability.

The definition of inclusive education has been clarified to include a focus on students with disability.

Executive Director, Inclusive and Wellbeing

About the policy

Term Definition
Inclusive education for students with disability All students, regardless of disability, can access and fully participate in learning on the same basis as students without disability. School staff support students with disability by providing reasonable adjustments and tailoring their teaching strategies to meet students’ individual needs. Inclusion is embedded in all aspects of school life, including the school’s culture.
Reasonable adjustment Reasonable adjustments are actions taken to enable a student with disability to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students.
NCCD The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability is an annual collection of information about Australian school students who are receiving adjustments due to disability.


  • lead and oversee school staff compliance with the policy
  • promote, model and embed inclusive practices in the whole school culture that filter through to everyday practice
  • participate in professional learning for school leaders, and identify and support professional learning for staff so they can provide inclusive education for all students
  • lead curriculum implementation so students with disability are supported in developmentally appropriate ways to access the same curriculum as students without disability
  • support staff to implement reasonable adjustments for students with disability in line with the Disability Standards for Education 2005
  • facilitate and endorse the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) process annually and ensure that all staff understand the NCCD process
  • seek support and advice on complex inclusion issues from the learning and wellbeing coordinator or directors, educational leadership
  • ensure students, parents and carers can access appropriate complaint processes
  • embed a collaborative, consultative culture of continuous improvement to support the inclusion of students with disability.

Learning and support team:

  • support classroom teachers to identify, assess, respond to and monitor the additional learning needs of students with disability
  • undertake a personalised learning and support process that sets measurable learning goals and demonstrates a commitment to high expectations
  • collaborate with school staff, parents and carers, and external providers to support reasonable adjustments
  • coordinate planning and resourcing for students with disability (documentation, record keeping, communication, and monitoring and reviewing processes for adjustments)
  • support implementation of the NCCD
  • use the knowledge and expertise of their local and regional NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc. (NSW AECG) in developing and consulting on personalised learning pathways.


  • make reasonable adjustments to enable students with disability to participate in all aspects of school life
  • consult with students and their parents or carers on the student's learning goals, adjustments and progress on an ongoing basis
  • plan to meet students' diverse learning needs and maintain records of teaching strategies, including differentiation and evidence-based practices
  • collaborate with the learning and support team as well as other department staff, and seek advice from external service providers to make reasonable adjustments as needed
  • regularly monitor and review the use and effectiveness of reasonable adjustments
  • monitor the progress of individual students with disability against their learning goals, focus on strengths and address areas for improvement where needed
  • ensure the cultural needs of students with disability are understood and supported.

School learning support officers:

  • assist the classroom teacher in the teaching and learning environment, which includes the implementation of individual education, health management programs and individual transition programs
  • support students with disability to achieve educational outcomes under the supervision and direction of a teacher.

Learning and wellbeing coordinators:

  • support the development of a school culture that embeds inclusive practice
  • coordinate professional development and support for schools to enable responsive approaches to meet the learning and wellbeing needs of students with disability
  • plan, coordinate, monitor and evaluate services and resources to support schools to effectively and efficiently meet the learning and support needs of students with disability
  • provide advice to build the capacity of principals to meet relevant legal and policy obligations relating to students with disability
  • work collaboratively with directors, educational leadership and principals to manage complex issues relating to the inclusion of students with disability.

School counsellors and school psychologists:

  • work collaboratively with learning and support teams, parents and carers, and other agencies to develop school-based support for students
  • administer cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural assessments of students and report on the results
  • assist in planning, developing and reviewing personalised learning and support planning for students with disability
  • provide evidence-based interventions to support student learning and wellbeing
  • refer students and/or their families and carers to other agencies that will support the development of student learning and wellbeing outcomes.

Directors, delivery support:

  • monitor and support the implementation of this policy within their teams
  • support learning and wellbeing coordinators to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for students with disability
  • lead school access to itinerant support teachers and other delivery support services
  • lead placement panel processes for students with disability who seek additional support
  • foster a culture that drives and encourages high standards in the delivery of educational outcomes for all students, including students with disability
  • support directors, educational learning to resolve issues and complaints
  • oversee advice to schools on adjustments, including where a school believes an adjustment is unreasonable
  • seek advice from legal services when contacted by a school who has advised they cannot reach an agreement with the student and their parents or carers about adjustments.

Directors, educational leadership:

  • lead and monitor the implementation of this policy in their network schools
  • be a champion of change by identifying, supporting and modelling inclusive practices within the network
  • promote educational opportunities for students with disability, including collaboration between network schools
  • participate in professional learning
  • identify and support principals' professional learning needs
  • support principals to resolve complex issues relating to inclusion
  • collaborate with other staff, such as learning and support teams, to implement inclusive practice within network schools.

Director, Inclusive Education:

  • leads the department's engagement with the National Disability Insurance Agency
  • facilitates the NCCD.

Director, Disability Strategy and Director, Inclusive Education (joint responsibilities):

  • support the implementation of this policy across the department
  • oversee the development and implementation of research, policy and practice relevant to inclusive education
  • lead and collaborate across the department to develop evidence-based resources, professional learning, and facilitate mentoring
  • support and strengthen inclusive practice by building the capability of schools to meet the needs of their students
  • build an evidence base of best practices for teachers and school leaders to access so that students with disability have improved outcomes.

Group Director, Asset Management (School Infrastructure NSW):

  • oversees changes and upgrades to physical premises for students with disability as soon as reasonably practicable.

Group Executive Director, Operations (School Infrastructure NSW):

What needs to be done

Schools must consider the following when implementing personalised learning and support processes.

Legal obligation — education providers must understand students' needs and make reasonable adjustments to ensure students can access and participate in education on the same basis as students without disability.

Adjustments — adjustments reflect the assessed individual needs of the student. They can be made at the whole-school level, in the classroom and at an individual student level. School staff should regularly monitor and review adjustments for suitability. This must be done in collaboration with school staff, students, parents, carers and specialist staff within and outside the department where needed.

Evidence of adjustments — evidence should reflect and contextualise the individual student’s needs and strengths and should include the school’s learning and support practices. This evidence must be accessible so schools can access it when completing the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD).

The NCCD does not require schools to create new or additional evidence.

1. Personalise learning and support

Personalised learning and support are processes that aim to maximise students’ learning outcomes and wellbeing.

There are 4 areas to personalised learning and support:

  • consult and collaborate with the student and their support network (section 1.1)
  • assess individual student needs (section 1.2)
  • provide reasonable adjustments to meet the student’s assessed needs (section 1.3)
  • monitor and review the adjustment’s impact (section 1.4).

These areas are continuous, cyclical and will overlap as they are carried out.

Schools must keep evidence of adjustments for each of the above 4 areas. This evidence is useful for the NCCD.

1.1 Consult and collaborate with the student and their support network

At any time within the process, school staff:

  • will work collaboratively with students, parents or carers and specialist staff to identify and respond to the learning and support needs of students with disability
  • can consider specialist staff outside the department when individual student needs must be addressed
  • can undertake ongoing consultation as the student’s needs change.

1.2 Assess individual student needs

School staff must:

  • get to know the student
  • understand the student’s background, cultural knowledge, interests, strengths, goals, social, emotional and health care needs and physical environment
  • assess the functional impact of the student’s disability on their education. These include their educational and support needs, such as teaching and learning, communication, participation, personal care and movement
  • determine what adjustments need to be made to address the student’s functional needs.

1.3 Provide reasonable adjustments to meet assessed needs

Adjustments are actions or modifications to teaching strategies or the environment that enable students with disability to access educational content on the same basis as students without disability. School staff must provide reasonable adjustments to address the student’s functional needs.

Adjustments to curriculum

Teachers may adjust the curriculum outcomes to meet the student's personalised learning needs.

Adjustments may be made to the number of lessons, unit content or the time allocated to complete work. The teacher may consider teaching the core or critical content first and then teaching the key terminology and vocabulary needed for the subject area.

Adjustments to instruction

Teachers can adjust how they deliver lessons. This may include:

  • providing alternative representations of teaching and learning materials (for example, using multimedia, Braille, illustrated texts, simplified texts or captioned video)
  • motivating students by engaging with their personal interests and strengths, providing explicit and systematic instructions, increasing levels of prompting, and offering additional modelling and guided practice
  • providing technology and alternative communication systems.

Adjustments to environment

Environmental adjustments are modifications to the school environment that help students with disability learn on the same basis as students without disability. The learning environment is not limited to the classroom. It may include the playground, outdoor learning areas, school library, sporting fields and excursions.

Teachers may make environmental adjustments. These may include considering:

  • physical and sensory access needs
  • peer assistance (such as using buddy systems, peer-assisted learning and peer tutoring)
  • alternative equipment and furnishings
  • support personnel
  • scheduling (such as a sequence of events)
  • technology
  • augmentative and alternative communication systems
  • yarning circles and bush tucker gardens
  • modifications to buildings and classrooms.

1.4 Monitor and review the adjustment’s impact

School staff must regularly evaluate the student’s support measures to:

  • ensure the adjustments are still relevant and required for the student to achieve high quality outcomes
  • determine if the student needs further support measures. This can include reviewing student placement in support classes.

If the student requires new adjustments, modifications to equipment or new resources to support learning and participation, staff should discuss these with the student, parent or carer and the learning and support team.

The focus should always be on the student and how these support measures will assist the student to reach their goals.

2. Facilitate the national data collection process

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is an annual collection of information about Australian school students who are receiving adjustments due to disability.

The NCCD collects data in August every year.

Principals must:

  • facilitate and endorse the NCCD process annually
  • ensure that all staff understand the NCCD process
  • discuss and establish processes including moderation processes
  • verify the accuracy of their school's NCCD data
  • validate that there is evidence to support the inclusion of a student in the data collection.

The NCCD reflects obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth). Through the personalised learning and support process mentioned in section 1, schools collect evidence of suitable adjustments for students with disability. This evidence aligns with the processes set out under the Standards. Schools completing the NCCD will benefit from having a sound knowledge of the Act and the Standards.

The NCCD must include Kindergarten to Year 12 students with disability, as defined by the Act, and who receive ongoing support or adjustments because of the functional impact of disability (minimum of 10 weeks).

The NCCD does not require parent or carer consent for collecting student information, because the NCCD’s data collection is authorised by law (the Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth) and Australian Education Regulation 2013). However, every effort should be made to inform parents and carers that a student has been included in the NCCD.

Please ensure the NCCD evidence accurately reflects consultation with parents and carers regarding the student's personalised learning and support.

3. Complete the mandatory training

Principals, directors educational leadership and school executive staff must complete the mandatory Disability Standards for Education Leaders courses. These courses are accessed through MyPL.

These courses are highly recommended for all teaching staff in NSW public schools and educational support staff.

Record-keeping requirements

The NCCD provides further information and examples of evidence in the NCCD website, What evidence is the NCCD based upon?

Schools must follow these conditions:

  • (FA387,2.0.6 (PDF 106.46 KB)) keep records on department and local policies at individual schools. Disposal action: Retain for a minimum of 5 years after superseded, then destroy
  • (FA387,3.0.9 (PDF 106.46 KB)) keep records on individual need assessments and learning plans, such as personalised learning and support plans. Disposal action: Retain until student reaches the age of 25 or minimum of 7 years after action completed, whichever is longer, then destroy.

Mandatory tools and templates

Mandatory courses for principals, directors educational leadership and school executive staff – Disability Standards for Education Leaders, accessed through MyPL.

Supporting tools, resources and related information

Policy contact

Director, Inclusive Education

Leader, Support and Development

The Executive Director, Inclusion and Wellbeing monitors the implementation of this procedure, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as needed.

Reference number PD-2005-0243-02-V01.0.0
Implementation date 14/03/2024
Last updated 14/03/2024
Publicly available Yes
Policy cluster/s Access and equity


  • Student management and wellbeing


  • Access and equity

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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