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Overview

The third annual progress report on reforms to enhance outcomes for students with disability in NSW was tabled in the NSW Parliament on 25 November 2021. The report demonstrates improvements for the more than 172,000 – or 1 in 5 - students learning with disability in NSW public schools.

2021 has been a challenging year for all school students, particularly for those with a disability due to restrictions on face to face learning. Through collaboration, communication and technology the department has been able to break down a number of barriers as it continues to build a more inclusive education system.

Initiatives actioned during the 2021 COVID-19 learning from home period have included:

  • The Learning from Home Hub, offering a range of resources and activities for teachers to use to support students learning from home, including students of all abilities, and across all stages of learning;
  • Online professional learning for teachers;
  • Live online webinars for parents and carers;
  • Priority technology supports for students with disability;
  • A Disability Learning and Support virtual staffroom for teachers and support staff across the state.

With the return to face to face learning, we continue to further invest in our leaders, teachers and support staff to equip them with the tools, learning and confidence they need to provide high-quality education for all students. The department continues to offer Inclusive Practice in Education Scholarships to enhance teacher expertise in supporting students with disability, with 79 new scholars in 2021.

In 2021, NSW mainstream public schools received $300.6 million for specialist teachers and resources to support students with disability and $270 million in Integration Funding Support for more than 12,800 students.

More than $89 million was also invested in three new schools for specific purposes in Sydney’s South West, and $61.8m in projects to improve access to school facilities across our wider NSW public school network, including installing lifts, ramps, accessible toilets, high-visibility markings and bollards.

In 2021 the department also released its new Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 2021-25. The DIAP remains a cornerstone of the NSW Government’s plans to reform disability support. It includes initiatives to improve the accessibility of public schools, strengthen teacher expertise to support all students, and reform how resources are allocated to support student needs.

A number of new initiatives are scheduled for future implementation, including the launch of an Inclusive Education Policy for Students with Disability, and additional evidence-based resources to support learning and wellbeing.

Find out more

Please contact the Disability Strategy team if you would like a copy of this report in alternative formats.

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