Funding for students with disability in Catholic schools
A range of support is available to meet the needs of students with disability in Catholic schools.
Schools must put in place reasonable adjustments to ensure all students with disability can participate.
Schools receive additional funding to help support students with disability. There are two funding sources: funding for the school and funding for students with complex care needs.
1. School based funding
Catholic schools receive extra funding to support students with additional needs. How much funding the school receives is based on an annual survey undertaken by the school. This survey is called the National Consistent Collection of Data of School Students with Disability (NCCD).
The school completes the NCCD survey each August. The school’s responses are based on teacher observations, specialist reports and discussions with families. Students need to have been attending the school for the previous 10 weeks to be included in the survey.
The survey identifies the level of adjustment students are being provided:
- Support – low level adjustments such as monitoring the student
- Supplementary – adjustments occur for particular activities at specific times throughout the week
- Substantial – adjustments to the education program occur at most times throughout the day
- Extensive – high support needs with high level of adjustments at all times
How the funding is used
Based on the NCCD survey, the school receives funding to support all students with disability at the school. The Principal decides how the funding is used. Funding can be used to pay for:
- Additional teaching staff
- Specialist staff
- Professional development
- Education support staff
- Equipment and minor building modifications
2. Funding for students with complex care needs
Catholic schools can also apply to the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria for equipment and therapy funding for students who have complex care needs.
Students who are identified as needing substantial and extensive adjustments are eligible. This includes students who need personal care, Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) and specialist equipment.
The school completes the equipment and therapy application. The application includes recommendations from therapists. The school’s responses are based on teacher observations, specialist reports and discussions with families. Families need to consent to the application.
Round 1 – October
Round 2 – February
How funding can be used
The Principal decides how the funding will be used, in consultation with teachers and families. Funding can be used to pay for equipment and building modifications, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
Students who receive the extensive level of support automatically qualify for a Program Support Group. This is a meeting once a term where families, teachers and school leaders discuss how funding is used, education plans and reasonable adjustments.
Even if your child does not receive the extensive level of support, you can still request a Program Support Group.