Vic students with disability receive $1.6b

Benita Kolovos
·2-min read

Victorian students with a disability will receive more support in the classroom thanks to an "unprecedented" $1.6 billion state government package.

The Disability Inclusion package, which will be included in the upcoming state budget on November 24, will double the number of students receiving extra support in government schools to 55,000.

It is also expected to create up to 1730 jobs across the state by 2025.

Education Minister James Merlino said the package "will completely overhaul the way we fund and support students with a disability".

"It will not only double the number of students with complex, high needs receiving personalised, individual support ... it's a tiered funding model, which will mean every school will receive additional funding and support," he told reporters at Keelonith Primary School in Greenvale on Friday.

Under the current criteria, students with autism, dyslexia or complex behaviours have sometimes been considered ineligible for targeted support.

"The way the system works at the moment is that there is a very strict and cold medical criteria for a student to receive additional support; you're either in or you're out," he said.

"What this will mean is that we'll be able to provide all the supports necessary for every single child to reach their full potential."

A pilot program will be rolled out at more than 100 schools to help identify and respond to the needs of students with disability, while new facilitator roles will be established to help schools and families work together under the new model.

The funding will also include $102.8 million to support school staff, including by hiring 100 extra staff to provide on-the-ground implementation support and program delivery.

"This is a big announcement. I know it's detailed and complex but the bottom line is we're going to completely overhaul the way we support students with a disability in Victoria," Mr Merlino said.

"We're going to make sure that every school is genuinely an inclusive school for every single child."