Inclusive Practice in Education Scholarship open for applications

A teacher and a student complete a task together at a school desk

Permanent, temporary and casual teaching staff can apply to study a graduate diploma or a masters until 10 August 2020.

The Inclusive Practice in Education Scholarship meets a commitment under the department’s Disability Strategy to improve staff capacity and increase the number of people studying inclusive/special education by 50% by 2022.

Staff who receive the scholarship in 2020 will receive up to $23,000 to complete their choice of three qualifications: a masters in inclusive/special education, a masters with specialisation in the area of deaf and hard of hearing or blind and low vision or a graduate diploma in inclusive/special education.

Upon completion of their qualification, temporary and casual teaching staff will be offered a permanent role with the department.

Department of Education Secretary Mark Scott said he hoped the decision to offer further study options would build on the success of the program.

“This year we’ve supported more than 160 scholars to commence study in inclusive and special education, and we are delighted to expand,” he said. “Rising demand, as well as an increasing shortage of staff with specialist training means our system is facing unprecedented pressures. That is why, whether you are a casual, temporary, permanent or executive teacher, we are investing in you to improve your skills, improve your confidence and improve your capability in supporting children and young people with disability.”

Scholars inspired by principal’s journey

Two teachers at Punchbowl Boys High School have been awarded an Inclusive Practice in Education Scholarship in 2020.

Principal Robert Patruno completed a Master’s in Special Education in the early 2000s and said his own studies changed his educational journey and enabled him to quickly progress from teacher to Head Teacher.

“I really encourage my staff to do [further studies] because the complexities across our system are increasing and we need to be able to set up schools that are inclusive,” Mr Patruno said.

Careers Advisor, Michelle Crutchfield, will apply her master’s knowledge to develop strong transition plans for students to go on to further education or employment. One of her former students, Francis Floresca, is now an English Teacher at Punchbowl Boys and is also taking up the scholarship this year.

Mr Floresca said: “There are many students with disability in the school and I feel like it’s my professional obligation to do everything I can to ensure my students’ needs are met.”

More information about the scholarship can be found at the Disability Strategy’s scholarship webpage. Interested staff can apply at Teach.NSW’s scholarship webpage and sign up via Zoom's Webinar Registration webpage to ask their questions at our 4 August webinar

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