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Making it count for students with dyslexia and learning difficulties

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Campaign Media Release

Minister for Education Bill Shorten



23 AUGUST 2013

For the first time ever in Australia, students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties, will be included in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability, thanks to Federal Labor’s Better Schools reforms.

Students with disability or learning difficulties will be identified based on the educational adjustments being made for them rather than on their diagnosis.

It means the level of support for students with disability will no longer be based on the school they go to, the state they live in or how many other kids are competing for the same bucket of money.

The Rudd Labor Government’s Better Schools Plan will make a huge difference to the students that will benefit directly but also provide some extra comfort to their families.

The data collection is a major development in the way schools and education authorities recognise, report on and understand the number of students with disability and learning difficulties in Australian schools.

All education ministers agreed to the phased implementation of the data collection from this year, with schools across Australia to be involved from 2015.

This data collection will be used to deliver more funding for people with disability through the ‘disability loading’ in 2015 and there will be an interim disability loading next year.

An Australian Council for Educational Research study (October 2011) estimates that one in 10 students in Australia is dyslexic.

Students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties are also benefitting from the More Support for Students with Disabilities (MSSD) initiative.

The initiative provides additional funding to education authorities to help build the capacity of schools and teachers to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities.

Federal Labor has committed $100 million to More Support for Students with Disabilities for the 2014 school year following an investment of $200 million in 2012 and 2013.

MSSD activities that will benefit students with dyslexia include:

 targeted professional development for school staff in understanding and

responding to dyslexia and other learning difficulties;  the use of assistive technology (e.g. iPads); and  specialised literacy resources.

More information on the MSSD initiative is available from: