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Enrolment Framework for Students with Disability in Public Schools

This framework provides information and advice for the enrolment of students with a disability in public schools.

framework

This framework must be read in conjunction with the Enrolment in Public Schools Policy.

1. Framework


1.1 Education Provision for Students with Disability

Education provision for students with disability includes:

  • local schools with appropriate teaching and learning adjustments;
  • local shops with access to specialist disability support services;
  • specialist programs in identified schools for eligible students with Autism;
  • endorsed specialist programs in identified schools for eligible students who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • specialist education support programs for eligible students with disability in education support schools, education support centres and identified schools with an endorsed education support program; and
  • language development centres for eligible students with speech and language impairment.

When managing the enrolment of a student with disability the principal will:

Guidance

The Department of Education complies with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.  This includes providing reasonable adjustments for students with disability at the school where they are enrolled. Students with disability should have the same opportunities and choices in their education as students without disability.  See Meet your school’s obligations under disability legislation for more information (link for staff use only).

The majority of students with disability enrol at their local school.  Schools can access specialist support services when required.  The Schools of Special Educational Needs and the School Psychology Service provide specialist support services for students with a diagnosed disability or an imputed disability. 

Enrolment conditions and the payment of tuition fees may apply to students with a visa.  Overseas fee-paying students with a visa may be required to pay a disability support fee in addition to the tuition fee.  See the Enrolment Framework for a Student with a Visa for more information.


1.2 Enrolment at a Local School

The principal will:

  • enrol a student with disability in accordance with Section 3.2 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures;
  • enrol a student with disability on the same basis as a student without disability in accordance with Section 3.1 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures;
  • if required, request assistance from the relevant School of Special Educational Needs or the School Psychology Service to provide the teaching and learning adjustments necessary to deliver an appropriate education program;
  • consider whether the student may meet eligibility criteria for enrolment at a school or centre with specialist provision for the diagnosed disability type; and
  • provide interested parents with information about available specialist support.

Guidance

All students with disability can apply to enrol at their local school. The requirement to make adjustments or to provide equipment at the school are not sufficient grounds to decline an application for enrolment. Most students with disability enrol at their local school.

The impact of a student's disability on their functional capacity and their ability to learn and communicate varies. The Department modifies a school environment in response to a student's access or physical care needs where necessary.

The principal may seek the advice of the Schools of Special Educational Needs and/or consult with the School Psychology Service regarding the teaching and learning adjustments that may be required for a student with disability.

Education support enrolment is not appropriate for students with disability who may, with appropriate teaching and learning adjustments, be able to work at or near the academic standard of students without disability in their year level.

Further information about support for students with disability is available from the Schools of Special Educational Needs.


1.3 Education Support Programs for Eligible Students with Disability

An education support program is provided at an education support school, an education support centre, and a school with an endorsed education support program.

Education Support Enrolments

The principal will:

  • accept applications for enrolment;
  • confirm the diagnosis of disability and that it results in a substantially reduced functional capacity to learn;
  • determine that the application meets the education support enrolment criteria based on the student’s age;
  • prioritise applications according to the severity of disability, the functional impact and the adjustments required;
  • apply proximity of a student’s usual place of residence to the school if the number of prioritised applications exceeds the places available;
  • prior to finalising an enrolment, ensure the parents are fully informed of the education support setting, the education program being offered and, where applicable, available transport assistance;
  • document the grounds for prioritising the application and for approving the enrolment, including the parent’s informed consent to the education support enrolment;
  • enrol approved students and coordinate the application for an individual disability allocation (link for staff use only);
  • in collaboration with parents, review the suitability of the enrolment if a student’s disability diagnosis, circumstances and/or level of adjustment change; and
  • in collaboration with parents, facilitate a student’s transfer to another school where this is appropriate.

Guidance

Education support enrolment criteria for Kindergarten aged students are:

  • diagnosis of autism, intellectual disability, physical disability or Global Development Delay;
  • the requirement for extensive adjustments and substantial supports is evident prior to enrolment; and
  • significant deficits in communication and/or behaviour that interfere markedly with development and functioning.

A Kindergarten education support enrolment does not guarantee a Pre-primary education support enrolment.  Pre-primary aged students should meet the Pre-primary to Year 12 education support enrolment criteria prior to enrolment.

Education support enrolment criteria for Pre-primary to Year 12 students are:

  • evidence that the intellectual disability, physical disability, or autism diagnosis demonstrates eligibility for an individual disability allocation;
  • the disability and any co-existing conditions result in a substantially reduced functional capacity to learn that is expected to be life-long; and
  • a substantial or extensive level of adjustment is required to provide an appropriate education program.

Diagnosis of a student’s disability is typically completed prior to considering an application for education support enrolment.  The principal may consider an enrolment application where a substantial or extensive level of adjustment is demonstrated and the disability diagnosis is not completed.   

Principals may decline to enrol eligible students if the education support program does not have available capacity.  Students will need to enrol at another school.

Education support programs meet the needs of students who have a disability that is expected to be life long.  They typically require substantial or extensive adjustments to enable them to participate in activities and achieve learning outcomes.  Substantial or extensive adjustments may include high level personal and/or medical care. 

For students with a current enrolment, the level of adjustment may be determined in consultation with that school.  This may include evidence such as current reports, documented plans, standardised or functional assessments, Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for School Students with Disability (NCCD) information or an individual disability allocation (link for staff use only).  

For students without a current enrolment, the level of adjustment may be identified through the results of standardised or functional assessments, individualised therapy or learning plans, or through consultation with parents.


1.4 Education Support Programs for Eligible Students with Disability

Kindergarten Students

The principal will also:

  • offer enrolment subject to the immunisation requirements in Section 3.1.3 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures;
  • ensure an enrolment application is submitted for Pre-primary; and
  • if necessary, facilitate transition for a student who transfers to a new school for Pre-primary.

Guidance

An education support place may not be available for a Kindergarten student.  If the number of Kindergarten applications exceeds the number of places available, parents should be referred to another education support program, school or community kindergarten close to their home which has places available.


1.5 Education Support Programs for Eligible Students with Disability

Approved Options in Years 11 and 12

The principal will:


1.6 Education Support Programs for Eligible Students with Disability

Beyond Compulsory Students

The principal will consider a request for one year of continued enrolment in accordance with Section 3.1.5 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures.


1.7 Specialist Learning Programs for Eligible Students with Autism

Specialist learning programs for eligible students with autism include:

  • the primary Specialist Learning Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at identified primary schools;
  • the secondary Specialist Learning Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at identified secondary schools; and
  • the early intensive intervention program for Kindergarten and Pre-primary students with autism at identified education support centres.

The principal managing a specialist learning program for students with autism will:

  • accept applications for the program from students with autism who reside within and outside the school's local intake area;
  • confirm a student meets the enrolment criteria for the program;
  • prioritise applications according to the enrolment criteria for the program;
  • offer Kindergarten enrolment subject to the immunisation requirements in Section 3.1.3 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures;
  • apply proximity of a student's usual place of residence to the school where the number of prioritised applications exceeds the places available;
  • enrol eligible students; and
  • for a student who exits the program, facilitate the transfer and transition to a new school where this is agreed to by the parents.

Guidance

Enrolment criteria for specialist learning programs for students with autism are:

  • a diagnosis of autism without accompanying intellectual disability;
  • the capacity to work at or near the academic standard for the student’s year level;
  • social, emotional and/or behavioural issues and challenges that are directly attributable to the impact of autism; and
  • self-management of personal care requirements.

Principals may decline to enrol eligible students if the specialist learning program does not have available capacity.  Students will need to enrol at another school.

Further information about the specialist learning programs – autism is available from the School of Special Educational Needs: Disability.


1.8 Specialist Programs for Eligible Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Mosman Park School for Deaf Children, Shenton College Deaf Education Centre and Belmont City College principals will:

  • accept applications for enrolment in the deaf education program;
  • confirm a student meets the enrolment criteria;
  • prioritise applications and offer places according to the enrolment criteria;
  • apply proximity of a student's usual place of residence to the school where the number of prioritised applications exceeds the places available;
  • enrol eligible students; and
  • if necessary, facilitate transition for a student who transfers to a new school.

In addition, the principal of Mosman Park School for Deaf Children will offer Kindergarten enrolment subject to the immunisation requirements in Section 3.1.3 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures.

In addition, the principal of Shenton College Deaf Education Centre will prioritise places for students transferring from Mosman Park School for Deaf Children.

In addition, the principal of Belmont City College will accept applications for the deaf education program from students residing within and outside the school's local intake area.

Guidance

Enrolment criteria for a specialist deaf education program include:

  • a diagnosed hearing loss that is typically severe or profound;
  • use of Auslan for communication at school and outside school; and
  • the hearing loss impacting on the student’s participation and engagement.

Principals may decline to enrol eligible students if the deaf education program does not have available capacity. Students will need to enrol at another school.


1.9 Language Development Centre Programs for Eligible Students with Speech and Language Impairment

The language development centre principal will:

  • accept applications for enrolment;
  • confirm a student has a language impairment without intellectual disability;
  • prioritise applications and offer places according to the level of language impairment and intellectual assessment information;
  • offer Kindergarten enrolment subject to the immunisation requirements in Section 3.1.3 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures;
  • apply proximity of a student's usual place of residence to the school where the number of prioritised applications exceeds the places available;
  • enrol eligible students; and
  • facilitate transfer and transition planning for a student who exits the centre to their new school.

Guidance

Principals may decline to enrol eligible students if the language development centre does not have available capacity. Students will need to enrol at another school.


1.10 Enrolment Disputes

The principal and/or Director of Education will consider declining an application for enrolment or cancelling the enrolment of a student with disability in accordance with Section 3.5 of the Enrolment in Public Schools procedures.

2. Contact information

In the first instance, general enquiries about enrolment should be directed to the school concerned or the local Education Regional Office.

POLICY

Policy manager:             

Director, Public Schools Planning

Policy contact officer:     

Manager, Schooling Planning

T: (08) 9264 4318

(To be contacted for general Enrolment Policy and Enrolment Procedures enquires). 

3. More information

This framework:

Download framework PDFEnrolment Framework for Students with Disability in Public Schools

Please ensure you also download the policy supported by this framework.


Supporting content:

Download Policy PDFEnrolment in Public Schools Policy

Download Policy PDFEnrolment in Public Schools Procedures