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Extra $63 million to help NSW students with disability

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SENATOR THE HON JACINTA COLLINS Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations

THE HON ADRIAN PICCOLI MP New South Wales Minister for Education



More than 100,000 NSW school students with disability will have greater access to classroom support and specialised equipment thanks to $63 million from the Gillard Government’s More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative.

Australian Government Parliamentary Secretary for School Education, Senator Jacinta Collins and New South Wales Minister for Education, Mr Adrian Piccoli, said the boost in funding will help students with disability finish their schooling and secure a job.

The extra funding will help students in government, Catholic and independent schools over the next two years.

Senator Collins said that without this type of support for schools, students with disability are less likely to complete Year 12, putting them at greater risk of unemployment and social exclusion.

Minister Piccoli said More Support for Students with Disabilities would feed into the NSW Government’s initiative Every Student, Every School.

“Every Student, Every School is about giving children with disability the best possible education, by ensuring teachers and schools are more able to meet their learning and support needs.”

The national partnership was announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on 24 January this year. Funding agreements have also been signed with the Catholic and independent sectors.

Children with disability in all sectors will be benefit from this injection of funds; $47.9 million will flow to the NSW Government sector where more than 90,000 students with disability, learning difficulties or additional behaviour needs are enrolled in over 2,200 schools, $11.3 million will be for Catholic schools and $3.8 million for over 35 mainstream and special independent schools.

Executive Director of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, Dr Geoff Newcombe said: “For many years we have called on Federal and State governments to improve the funding and support arrangements for students with a disability, and this is an excellent start.”

Executive Director of the Catholic Education Commission NSW, Dr Brian Croke, said: “This funding is a welcome contribution to improving the professional capacity of teachers supporting students with a disability in NSW Catholic schools.”

The More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative will:

 provide appropriate assistive technologies to support students to work more independently in inclusive environments  train and mentor teachers and school leaders to build their skills and knowledge in special education  support the establishment of specialist teacher support in every NSW

government school  develop materials and provide professional development and other support to help teachers to adjust curriculum to meet students individual learning and support needs of students with disability  expand specialist support services and resource options for students with

complex disabilities and high support needs  provide health, allied health or other professionals to strengthen schools support for students with disability

Senator Collins said this is a practical example of the Gillard Government’s commitment to ensuring all students, regardless of their circumstances, can get the best education possible and the best chance to succeed in life.

Senator Collins’ Media Contact: Jessica Lindell 0408 642 804 Minister Piccoli’s Media Contact: David Bold 0423 202 369