Skip to content

Funding for students with disability in government schools

Three boys laughing together having fun in the playground at primary school.

Funding for students with disability in government schools

A range of supports is available to meet the needs of students with disability.

Schools are required to put in place reasonable adjustments to ensure all students with disability can participate in all learning activities.

For some students with disability, extra funding for schools is available.

Program for Students with Disabilities

The Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) gives government schools extra funding to help support students with disability and complex medical needs.


There are seven categories of eligibility criteria:

  1. Physical disability
  2. Visual impairment
  3. Hearing impairment
  4. Severe behaviour disorder
  5. Intellectual disability
  6. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  7. Severe language difficulties with critical educational needs

How funding can be used

There are six levels of funding. Funding can be used to pay for:

  • Teaching staff
  • Specialist staff (therapist or Special Needs Coordinator)
  • Professional development for teachers
  • Education support staff

The Principal decides how funding will be spent in consultation with the Student Support Group.

Application process

Your child’s school is responsible for submitting the PSD application. The application is developed in consultation with families.

The school will set up an Application Student Support Group meeting, to bring together the Principal (or their representative), teachers, therapists and you as the child’s family to develop the application.

The application includes:

  • Matching your child’s needs to an eligibility criteria
  • Completing an Education Needs Questionnaire
  • Reports from the specialists involved in your child’s life, such as paediatricians and therapists

The school will let you know what reports you are required to provide.

For the category of intellectual disability or severe language disorder the school will organise an assessment of the student.

Key timeframes for submitting applications

  • Students starting Prep – from October the year before they start
  • Grade 6/7 review – May of Grade 6
  • New applications – July each year
  • Reappraisal, deteriorating condition – anytime
  • Transfer from another school – within 10 weeks of transferring

Appealing the decision

If the application is unsuccessful, the school can appeal the decision within 15 days of the decision if there is additional clinical or professional evidence.

For more information

The PSD Guidelines on the Department of Education and Training website give detailed information about the eligibility criteria and includes the Education Needs Questionnaire.

Catholic and Independent schools run their own processes to identify students requiring additional support and to decide of the level of funding provided.

Read more information and resources about school.