Low level adjustment for disability

The low level adjustment for disability equity loading is an allocation to support students with additional learning and support needs attending mainstream schools.

To better support students with additional learning and support needs, an improved methodology for the low level adjustment for disability equity loading has been introduced in the 2023 School Budget Allocation Report (SBAR).

Through the low level adjustment for disability equity loading, every mainstream NSW public school receives a learning and support teacher allocation. Learning and support teachers work directly within the school to provide additional support for students.

The loading also provides mainstream schools with flexible funding to support students with additional learning and support needs. The new methodology for the flexible funding component of the low level adjustment for disability equity loading will be phased in over 2023-2024 to support the transition.

In 2023, the low level adjustment for disability equity loading delivers funding to support approximately 141,000 students in 2,077 NSW public schools.

Key messages

  • The low level adjustment for disability equity loading supports schools to meet their obligations to students under the Commonwealth Disability Standards for Education, 2005.
  • Learning and support teacher and flexible funding allocations are determined based on student need and school enrolment data.
  • Principals and learning and support teams should consult with staff and parents or carers to determine the best way to provide personalised learning support for students additional learning and support needs.
  • The low level adjustment for disability equity loading can be combined with other school and local resources to support students who have additional learning and support needs.
  • Flexible funding can only be used for staffing. For example, to fund additional teacher time or for teacher professional development.
  • Accountability for the effective use of funding to improve student learning occurs through the annual report.
  • Targeted funding is also available for students with moderate to high learning and support needs through integration funding support.
  • The low level adjustment for disability equity loading is to be used in the calendar year for which it is received

Funding allocation

The new methodology is the first time the low level adjustment for disability equity loading methodology has changed in 10 years, and provides a data-driven, more contemporary approach to resourcing schools. The changes will ensure support for schools better reflects the needs of students with disability and school efforts to meet those needs.

The new methodology will continue to give every mainstream school access to a learning and support teacher allocation and flexible funding.

The new methodology for the flexible funding component of low level adjustment for disability equity loading uses:

  • data from the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)
  • the Student Learning Needs Index (SLNI)
  • school enrolment data.

A base flexible funding allocation for small schools will ensure they receive a minimum funding and staffing allocation, providing support to meet student needs despite typically fluctuating enrolments and student needs profiles.

The learning and support teacher allocations will continue in a 3-year cycle. Flexible funding allocations will be updated annually.

School principals have the flexibility to manage these funds to support students with disability as part of the management of their school budgets. There will be no requirement for the funds to follow specific students.

Under the new methodology, most mainstream schools will receive an increase in total funding for the low level adjustment for disability equity loading. Schools whose allocation is reduced under the new methodology will receive a one-off transition payment for the 2023 school year to support them to adjust to these changes.

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