As students return to school, we're working hard to deliver great outcomes for those with disability.
It's now been 11 months since the department launched the Disability Strategy. We are working hard to improve education and inclusion for students with disability.
Our efforts have centred on the strategy's immediate focus areas: strengthening support, increasing resources and flexibility, improving the family experience and tracking outcomes. We're working to continue our forward momentum as students return to school to begin Term 1, 2020.
In 2019 we trained a dedicated group of facilitators to deliver training on trauma informed practice, to ensure that staff within our system can better recognise and respond to behaviour that may be influenced by past or ongoing trauma.
More than 1,000 staff have now received two modules of this professional development, and will complete two more in the first half of 2020.
Additionally, the first round of recipients of the Inclusive Practice in Education scholarship will begin or continue their Masters education in 2020.
We were delighted to be able to offer nearly 200 high-quality candidates the opportunity to gain a new and essential qualification. We hope to engage with even more educators eager to build their skills in 2020.
Increasing resources and flexibility
Applications for our Innovation Program are still open! We encourage anyone with an exciting, scalable idea on how we can improve education for students with disability to work with their school's principal to submit it using our Innovation Program application form before 21 February.
One of our most exciting tasks in the coming year will be working with staff at successful schools to test their ideas and investigate how they could be rolled out to schools across NSW - we'll be profiling a number of these schools in our newsletter, so watch this space.
Improving the family experience
One of our priorities this year is improving processes to make it easier for students with disability and their families to access the support they require to improve their learning outcomes.
Our team is already working to streamline the access request process and are working in two pilot site areas to test new approaches. . We're also looking forward to spending time this year working directly with students and their families on showcasing what inclusion practically 'looks and feels like' in all of our schools.
We're eager to speak with schools in 2020 about the innovative ways they are already tracking and assessing student outcomes, and our team are already in talks with students and teachers in a number of settings.
We would love to have you join us on our journey implementing the Disability Strategy in 2020 and beyond. Sign up for updates or reach out to the team with your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.