Where and how your child can learn in high school

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

Our main aim is to make sure your child can go to your local public high 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.

Support classes

Support classes are located in some mainstream 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.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Additional needs
  • High school
  • Primary school

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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