Friday, 11 September 2015

Commission welcomes $10 million in funding to make schools more inclusive

The Commission welcomes the announcement of $10 million from the Victorian Government to support creative projects that will make state schools more inclusive and equitable places for students with special needs.

Access to education is a critical factor in eliminating disadvantage and protecting vulnerable children, and is essential to lifelong economic and social wellbeing.

The Inclusive Schools Fund has been established to help state schools better support the social and educational needs of children with a disability by providing funding to build inclusive school facilities.

The funding will:

  • increase participation and improve learning outcomes for students with disabilities through strengthening and developing inclusive government school environments
  • promote universal design in classroom organisation and teaching approaches that are tailored to the individual needs of all learners
  • create innovative models of inclusive best practice for other schools to consider in facility planning and design for students with disabilities
  • maximise curriculum and building access to students with disabilities, including leveraging partnership arrangements to improve inclusive design elements where possible.

Schools are encouraged to be creative and innovative with their ideas in their applications. Those that already work hard to be inclusive will be prioritised under the Fund.

Applications close on 16 November 2015, and successful projects will be announced by the end of the year.

For more information and to download the guidelines and application form visit education.vic.gov.au/specialneedsplan.

Held back: the experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools

In 2012, the Commission undertook research examining the experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian Schools to learn how schools are meeting students’ needs, as well as understanding where practice might be improved.

The research was initiated following concerns raised by the Commission’s Disability Reference Group, parents, advocates and students about discrimination in the provision of education services to students with disabilities. The landmark report Held back: the experiences of students with disabilities in Victorian schools is supported with a range of factsheets for students, parents and educators.