Over 100 schools across Victoria will take part in a pilot program that aims to better assess the learning requirements of students with disabilities and additional needs.
The new assessment focuses on a student’s strengths and functional needs, to identify any adjustments or support required at school level.
Drawing on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health developed by the World Health Organisation, the assessment shifts the focus away from a student’s medical diagnosis, instead focusing on their educational needs.
It is based on a key recommendation in the comprehensive 2016 review of the Program for Students with Disabilities, which found that a strength-based approach would maximise the independence and achievement of students with disabilities.
“Building the Education State means creating an inclusive education system that gives students of all abilities the chance to succeed and thrive in school and life,” said Minister for Education, James Merlino. “It’s vital that our schools inspire a lifelong passion for learning and having a disability or additional need shouldn’t be a barrier to that.”
A range of primary, secondary, combined and specialist schools across Victoria are taking part in the six-month pilot.
The program is part of the Victorian Government’s inclusive education initiatives for students with a disability and/or additional learning needs. In addition to this initiative, more than $167 million is being invested to rebuild, expand and upgrade 43 Victorian special schools.