Access request process
What is the process of applying for an Access request, and what is your role as a parent or carer?
Your local school might apply for an Access request as part of the ongoing process of providing support for your child.
Find out more about what an Access request is, and why your child’s school might submit one.
Before the Access request
Before an Access request is suggested by your local school, you will have already talked to them about your child’s strengths, what they’re interested in, and what their needs are.
Preparing and submitting an Access request
If an Access request is needed, you should be involved in the application process and especially in the discussions about what kind of adjustments your child might need at school.
You also have a choice about what specialist supports you might want to request for your child, and you always have the option of keeping your child in a mainstream class.
You will also be able to give your opinions and ideas for your child’s personalised learning and support.
Your school’s principal and your local school learning and support team will work together to complete the application, which they will submit online.
If the school needs any extra assessments or documentation for the Access request they will ask you to provide it. When it comes time for the school to submit the request, they will ask you to review it and agree that the information it contains is accurate.
You will be asked to sign a paper version of the request, which will be kept at school. You can also ask for your own copy for home.
What happens next
The Access request will be carefully considered by a specialist panel, who will take into account the level of support your child needs, the department’s eligibility criteria, and if the support option applied for will meet your child’s needs.
For a place in a support class - either in a mainstream school or in a School for Specific Purposes (SSP) - they will also consider class availability. Panels will meet twice a term and may be held face-to-face or virtually.
The panel will decide what is the most appropriate response to the Access request. No matter what their decision is, your child will continue to be supported by the department.
Who is on the placement panel?
Panels must have at least five core members, and will be made up of local school principals, the student support learning and wellbeing team members and a senior psychologist education. They might also include other members who are relevant to the specific placement being considered.
After the decision
If your child’s Access request was for placement in a support class and it is supported, you will be able to accept or decline the offer. You will be involved in the enrolment process if you accept.
You will also be involved in the planning for your child’s transition into that support class - especially if it is at another school. You will be included in the ongoing review of your child’s progress in the support class to ensure that they are getting the right help and adjustments.