Planning for high school

Your local school can work with you to help your child as they transition into high school.

Going to high school can seem overwhelming for all students, but there are great support options available to help your child make the transition.

Like primary schools, every high school has a learning and support team who work with class teachers to meet student’s learning and support needs.

Before leaving primary school

High schools are different from primary schools, and you can talk to your child about what this new experience will be like. For example:

  • classes are organised differently
  • there are more subjects
  • schools are often larger.

The learning and support team at your child’s primary school will be a great source of information. They can work with you to prepare your child, and help you connect with and talk to the learning and support team at your child’s new high school.

Try to begin the planning early in the year before your child will start high school, and even up to two years before they begin if your child could need help with access (for example, modifications for wheelchair access).

Access requests

If your child is placed in a support class in primary school, your local primary school will typically need to submit an access request on your child’s behalf when your child is in Year 5 for a placement in a support class in high school.

However, this is only necessary if your child is changing schools - if your child is attending a central or community school or a School for Specific Purposes, and you plan to continue their education there, then no access request is needed.

Image: Like primary schools, every high school has a learning and support team who work with class teachers to meet student’s learning and support needs.

Managing the transition to high school

Contacting your child’s local high school principal or learning and support team early gives the school time to properly prepare to provide a great education for your child.

If your child needs support with physical access then getting in touch early is even more important.

You can ask about:

  • The best educational options for your child.
  • Any adjustments they need at school to enable learning. This includes access to technology, large print, visual supports or building modifications.
  • The right people to contact at the school for different things.
  • How to prepare a timeline for your child’s transition.
  • Other types of advice or support your family needs.

If your child has a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan, you may wish to let the school know about NDIS supports your child is receiving if you believe this will assist the school to plan for your child's adjustments.


Enrolment arrangements for high school for your child is the same as for all students. More information is available on high school enrolment.

Support at high school

Every high school has a school learning and support team of education professionals. The team works collaboratively with students, parents and carers, other agencies and the wider school community where appropriate to meet the learning and support needs of each student.

All students can be supported from Years 7 to 12. Additional learning and support needs of some students may emerge at high school. Support planning can be initiated at any stage of a student's school life and any time during the school year.

The first step is to contact the school learning and support team or the school principal.

School learning and support team

At high school, school learning and support teams may involve different personnel at different times depending on a student's changing needs. The team may include the careers teacher, the year adviser and specialist teachers with expertise in supporting students with disability.

The school learning and support team assists teachers by personalising learning and support for students according to their individual needs. This may involve help with subject choices and deciding on a program of study that meets the student's individual needs and future goals and aspirations.

Adjustments to learning and teaching

Many students with disability will meet curriculum requirements by participating in learning based on the mainstream syllabus content and expected outcomes.

Some students may require additional support including adjustments to teaching, learning and assessments. Adjustments based on the individual needs of the student should be discussed and agreed with the student, parents and carers, and the school's learning and support team.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Additional needs
  • High school
  • Primary school

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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