About this guide

acd resource learning together 2

Learning Together can help families to build positive relationships with their child’s school, and to resolve any problems as they arise.

Who is it for?

Learning Together is for parents and carers of students with a disability or additional needs in Victorian primary and secondary schools – mainstream and special settings. We hope that many young people with a disability will themselves find it useful.

It will also be of great interest to educators and school leaders, as will our Inclusive Classroom School Resource.

For all students with disabilities and additional needs, across all sectors

Learning Together often refers to the Victorian Government’s Program for Students with Disabilities, or PSD. The PSD provides additional help for schools to support and educate students with a moderate to severe disability. That’s about one in four students with a disability. However, Learning Together is relevant to all students with a disability or additional needs, whether or not they are eligible for the PSD.

The bulk of Learning Together is directly relevant to all three school sectors: government, Catholic and independent. It provides very detailed information about the support system in government schools, but also includes a lot of information about the school choices, the supports, and the complaints system in Catholic and independent schools.

Learning Together aims to help parents and carers navigate the system for raising concerns and making complaints in relation to their child’s education. Those pages that describe the system within government schools provide the counterpart, for parents and carers, of the Victorian government schools resource Addressing parents concerns and complaints effectively. Learning Together also provides information to complement corresponding resources in the Catholic and independent schools systems (see the relevant pages in A guide to the complaints process for details).

Of course, parents and carers of students across all three sectors are entitled to seek assistance from external complaints mechanisms and rights bodies – see A guide to the complaints process.


Thanks to the many parents and carers who shared their ideas, stories and experiences for Learning Together with generosity and courage. Thanks also to the project’s critical readers – families and professionals – whose input made Learning Together more focussed and useful.

Please contact ACD ay any time with feedback or ideas on how we can improve Learning Together.

ACD developed this guide with support from the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET).

Project team

  • Project direction and support: Elizabeth McGarry and ACD staff
  • Primary author, project manager, video production and research: Sarah Marlowe. Learning Together includes content integrated and redeveloped from ACD’s Positive Education Planning and Transition to Secondary School resources, written by ACD staff.
  • Lead researcher, critical reader and coordinator for community languages content: Cara Brough
  • Research with Aboriginal families and cultural consultation: Jody Barney. See also Rock Solid, a resource for Aboriginal families that grew out of the Learning Together project, co-authored by Jody and Sarah.
  • Website: Dvize
  • Videographer: Martin Wurt, Working Photos
  • Video subtitles and English captions, and text translations: CTC – Commercial Translation Centre
  • Cultural consultation, and facilitation of research and focus groups with culturally and linguistically diverse families: ADEC, Nga Do, Connie Sanjose, Jenny Fang and Atarjit Brar, with thanks also to Elizabeth Wheeler for support.


Published June 6, 2015 - Updated October 14, 2015