New education reform funding for students with a disability in Victoria

New funding announced could broaden options available for Support Coordinators and Plan Managers supporting students with a disability in Victoria.

The Victorian government has announced $1.6 billion in funding to ensure inclusivity for students with a disability in mainstream school.

This announcement, which will be rolled out to 340 Victorian schools this year, will have significant impacts on the choices and options available to students with a disability. Plan managers and support coordinators are integral supports enabling NDIS participants to exercise their choice and control, and make informed decisions on services including education.

The Education Minister James Melino confirmed the move is not about pushing students with a disability out of specialist schools, rather ensuring that each student can find and have access to the best suited education facility for them.

Under both State and Commonwealth laws, schools are obligated to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate students with a disability, however many families experience difficulty enrolling their children with a disability in mainstream school or felt pressure to leave mainstream schooling. This is a frustration commonly reported by DIA member providers, especially in the provision of support coordination services.

In a practice commonly referred to as ‘gatekeeping’, schools have been found to discourage enrolments on the basis that the school wasn’t the right fit for the student, or that the school was unable to accommodate the student’s needs.

DIA welcomes any initiative that aims to ensure inclusivity for people with a disability, promoting true choice and control while accessing services in their local area, as well as    broadening  the options available for plan managers and support coordinators to assist a participant maximise their plan.

Read the article here.