A guide to supports for students

acd resource learning together 17

This section explains how your child’s school can support them, and the resources available to schools to help meet the needs of students with disabilities.

On this page:

As explained in the section Education and your child’s rights, all schools are legally required to adjust their programs to meet the needs of all students with disabilities, whether or not they are eligible for supplementary funding programs such as the Program for Students with Disabilities.

This section of Learning Together explains how support for students with disabilities works. In the section Education planning for your child, we explain how the school should tailor your child’s education and support program to meet their needs – in consultation with you. In the section Building a partnership with school, we share tips and stories from other families about how you can effectively support your child’s education journey,.

We begin this section with an introduction to the support system:


Types of support available

Students with disabilities have a broad range of learning and support needs, which can be met by their schools in many different ways. Here we explain the different types of support:


More about the Program for Students with Disabilities

Schools have access to various resources and funding to help them meet the needs of students with disabilities. One of these, in government schools, is the Program for Students with Disabilities, or PSD. This program provides supplementary funding to help schools support students with identified moderate to severe disabilities. Approximately one in four students with disabilities in mainstream government schools are eligible for the PSD. All students in specialist government schools must be eligible for the PSD, in order to enrol.

Here we explain the PSD application process, how applications are assessed, and the process for appeals and re-appraisals. We also explain a key step for many students on the PSD in the leadup to secondary school – the PSD Year 6–7 Review.


Support and funding in non-government schools

There are many students with disabilities in Catholic and independent schools, including in mainstream, alternative and specialist settings. The Commonwealth and Victorian governments provide supplementary funding to Catholic and independent schools, through programs similar to the PSD in government schools.

Here we outline these programs, and summarise how support and funding for all students with disabilities should work in non-government schools.

To find out more about school options in the Catholic and independent school sectors, visit the relevant pages in the section Choosing a school.