Choosing where your child will learn

There are a range of services and programs available to support your child in NSW public schools.

Our main aim is to make sure your child can go to your local public school wherever possible.

You have an important role when it comes to deciding where your child will learn.

You are always welcome to discuss your child’s education, specific needs and support options with staff at your local school.

Mainstream classes

Most students with disability are supported directly in their local school in mainstream classes.

Your local school can give your child support in mainstream classes through personalised planning and adjustments. Schools receive resources to support the learning and wellbeing of all students, including those with disability and additional learning and support needs.

All students can be supported in mainstream classes without a confirmation of disability or the need for a formal application process. Targeted or additional specialist support, however, does require a separate application process.

“I go to school in a mainstream class with all my peers at my local school. We are all close in age. My teacher adjusts the teaching and the classroom environment to meet my needs. I may have a personalised learning plan and I may be eligible for extra help from a specialist teacher or school learning and support officer (SLSO)"

Extra support

If your child has a disability, and meets the department’s eligibility criteria, extra support may be provided in mainstream classrooms through Integration Funding Support.

To do this, an Access request application will be completed by your local school. If the application is successful it may mean the school has access to additional teachers or School learning support officers (SLSOs). It may also mean that your child’s classroom teacher is given more time for professional learning and to plan adjustments for your child.

Vision or hearing support

If your child is blind or has low vision, or is deaf or hard of hearing, an application can be organised and submitted by your local school to apply for an Itinerant Support teacher Hearing or Vision.

Video: Monty's story: Woollahra Public School

Duration: 5:12 min

Meet Monty and learn about the support he receives at his local public school.

Playful music.


On screen text: Monty.

Young boy talking to camera.

Monty Hui is my full name and I am seven years old.

On screen text: Monty’s story: Woollahra Public School.

Man talking to camera.

So when Monty was born, we discovered that there was an issue with his brain.

On screen text: Danny, Parent.

A rare disease called Ponto cerebellar hyperplasia. It generally affects all of his muscles. But apart from that, in terms of his school life, his family life, you know, he does everything the same as everybody else. 

We always wanted all of our kids to go to our local school because that's our community.

Woman talking to camera.

On screen text; Nicole Molloy, Principal.

Monty’s had a really successful first three years at Woollahra.

1, 2, 3.

Female teacher talking to camera.

On screen text: Natalie Malsem, Teacher.

Monty is a kind, caring, enthusiastic student. He is a real go-getter.

We really work on having a mindset of inclusion. There should never be a sense that any child's disadvantaged because they have any individual needs.

Young boy talking to female teacher in playground.

I also kind of like lest we forget

Sorry which one?

Lest we forget.

Oh lest we forget. That’s beautiful

Man talking to camera.

The school was very supportive in getting the school ready for Monty's inclusion. So one thing I was quite concerned about initially was how Monty would get around the school.

Young boy talking to camera.

Because I don't know how to walk.

Woman talking to camera.

These buildings were built in the 1800s with no kind of sense of a need to be inclusive and have access and meet the needs of kids with disabilities.

Man talking to camera.

Engaging the school as early as possible is something I'd encourage every family to do.

The bathroom was renovated. Ramps were put in for Monty to enter kindergarten.

Children talking.



Female teacher talking to children in classroom.

Find your space, give a little shake, wiggle out the silliness

Female teacher talking to camera.

All the children have learning needs, diverse learning needs. And so it's just getting to know Monty.

Female teacher talking to children in classroom.

Children talking.

Is it a 2 on my head?

Man talking to camera.

So teachers like Natalie are fantastic. What Monty needs is someone that has the confidence to try things.

Female teacher talking to children in classroom.

I’m thinking that mine could be naughty Natalie.

Marvellous Monty.

Playful music.

Female teacher talking to camera.

I think he can do anything he wants to. And I've really encouraged that independence.

Uplifting music.

Children playing.

3 o’clock.

Especially in collaboration with Danny and Jess, Monty's parents. He will give anything a go, and with a smile on his face.

Young boy talking to camera.

I do some dancing moves.

Female teacher talking to camera.

I use a range of things to support Monty. So there's the iPad, we use the iPad to support Monty with all his writing.

We also have to make adjustments when it comes to like cutting and pasting. So I've worked with the OT to get scissors that work with Monty.

And of course, there's the mobility.

Female teacher talking to class.

Monty can you go get your lunch?

Female teacher talking to camera.

How we're going to get Monty safely outside and fluently so he's not left behind.

Man talking to camera.

Kids just get inclusion. They don't need to be taught. And they are amazing at treating Monty like every other kid and supporting him as well at the same time, in a really nice way.

Female teacher talking to camera.

They like the feeling of helping each other. Doing it for each other. They know how important it is to learn and to grow.

Female teacher talking to class.

A polar bear.

Man talking to camera.

We ran into a few challenges last year. We had a bit of trouble getting access to the school library.

The library is Monty's favourite place. He loves to read. So I would do anything to make sure he gets that experience.

Woman talking to camera.

The lift's not going to be ready till 2021.

We've created another library space until that's ready.

Female teacher talking to camera.

It is challenging at times meeting his needs. But it's worth it. It's worth it to see it in on Monty's face like it is worth it. Sorry, but it really is because he's such a lovely boy.

Woman talking to camera.

It's important because that that's our job. No child is disadvantaged and equity drives everything that we do.

NSW Government logo.

End of transcript.

Support classes

Support classes are located in some mainstream primary schools, high schools, central schools and Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs) across NSW.

Support classes have fewer students and provide a specialist setting where your child can learn with other students who require similar adjustments.

They support students with diverse needs including those with intellectual disability, mental illness, autism, physical disability or sensory disability, and students with behaviour disorders.

Your local school will discuss what specialist supports your child is eligible for, and will complete the application with you if this is the most appropriate option for your child.

This option is available when:

  • Your child has complex support needs and meets the department's eligibility criteria.
  • An access request application is completed by the school in collaboration with you and signed by you. A placement panel considers this application and makes a recommendation.


  • Additional needs
  • Additional needs
  • Early childhood education


  • Additional needs

Business Unit:

  • Additional needs
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