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Funding in government schools – Program for Students with Disabilities

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 (PSD) and Disability Inclusion

The Victorian Government has announced a new way of funding students with disability called Disability Inclusion. Over the next few years it will replace the Program for Students for Disabilities (PSD).

Timeframe for the roll-out of Disability Inclusion

This is the timeframe when school areas are moving to Disability Inclusion.

Disability Inclusion rollout

20212022202320242025
Bayside PeninsulaOuter Eastern MelbourneInner GippslandNorth Eastern MelbourneHume Moreland
BarwonCentral HighlandsOvens MurraySouthern MelbourneOuter Gippsland
Loddon CampaspeMalleeWestern MelbourneBrimbank MeltonWimmera
South West
GoulburnInner Eastern Melbourne

What the changes mean for your child

If your child’s school is in an area that has moved across to Disability Inclusion they maybe eligible for support.

You can read more about Disability Inclusion in our fact sheet Funding in government schools – Disability Inclusion.

If your child’s school area has not moved across to Disability Inclusion, your child maybe eligible for support through the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD). This fact sheet has information about how to apply and how the funding can be used.

If your child already receives PSD funding they will continue to receive this until their school transitions to Disability Inclusion. Once their school transitions to Disability Inclusion the school will contact you to start the process.

Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD)

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

Eligibility

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
  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.

The PSD guidelines on the Department of Education website give detailed information about the eligibility criteria and the Educational Needs Questionnaire.

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.

Useful links

Program for Students with Disabilities guidelines and Educational Needs Questionnaire