Students with disabilities are set to have easier access to the help they need, with the State Government announcing a new model for supporting mainstream students and preschoolers with a disability.
The new model reduces red tape and puts in place a new, more straightforward application and assessment process for preschoolers and school students with complex needs and who need extra support.
It is estimated that the reforms will result in at least 2000 fewer children having to go through a formal assessment each year in order to attract support.
Under the new model, which will be phased in over 2019, more students will receive funding based on a single assessment, removing a significant administrative burden and allowing disability specialists to do more work directly with teachers and students.
Preschool children with a high level of need will now automatically be funded and supported at the same level from day one of primary school, providing continuity of funding to support a seamless transition from preschool to school.
The number of categories of assessed need will increase from five to nine, eliminating the need for schools to make multiple applications for top-up funding for those whose needs didn’t fit neatly into the former categories.
Eligibility criteria will also be aligned with national disability standards and legislation.
The new approach incorporates mental health, trauma, complex behaviours and complex health care needs, which under the previous model required multiple assessments and applications to attract funding and support.