Educational options

The department provides a range of options to support students with disability and additional learning and support needs across the primary years.

Regular classes

Our primary schools are well prepared to support students with disability and additional learning and support needs in regular classes.

Every regular school has a learning and support resources package that gives the school a specialist learning and support teacher who works directly in the school to support students and their teachers. Learning and support flexible funding in regular schools provides immediate support when required.

This means many students can be supported in regular classes without a confirmation of disability or the need for a formal application process or other paperwork outside the school.

Targeted or additional specialist support, however, does require a separate application process.

Classroom teachers provide adjustments for students' individual education needs and are supported by:

  • learning and support teachers who provide specialist support for students and their classroom teachers
  • flexible funding to provide additional staff in the classroom and to support professional learning for teachers
  • the Integration Funding Support program that provides funding to support eligible  students with confirmed disability following the Access Request process
  • Itinerant support teachers (hearing or vision) support eligible students with hearing or vision impairment following the Access Request process.

Parents and carers can discuss their child's learning and support needs with their local school.

Specialist support classes

Sometimes parents and carers, schools or support agencies suggest a child would benefit from enrolment in a specialist support class in a regular school or a special school.

These options are available when:

  • a child meets the department's disability criteria
  • an Access Request is completed, and
  • a placement panel considers and makes a recommendation that a placement is available in a specific type of support.

An Access Request is usually arranged by the school learning and support team but can also be organised through the local School Services team if a child is not yet enrolled in a public school.

Teams can be contacted on 131 536 and calls can be made from anywhere in NSW.

Support at school

For some students with confirmed disability planning for school can begin in early childhood.

For other students, additional learning and support needs may emerge at primary school. Support planning can be initiated at any stage of a student's school life and any time during the school year.

Support at school is flexible and is carefully aligned to each child's individual education needs as they progress.

If a student attending a regular class needs additional support, the first step is to contact the school principal or school learning and support team or the school principal.

Most students are supported at school without the need for a confirmation of disability. Students requiring targeted specialist support do need a confirmation of disability.

Local school

Use the school locator to find the local school.

Roles and responsibilities

Many people contribute to supporting students with disability and additional learning and support needs and they have a wide range of roles and responsibilities.

Professional learning

Professional learning is available to help teachers and school support staff develop and deliver quality learning experiences for all students.

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