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Inclusive Education Support program (IESP) – disability funding for students and children

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Students and children with disability can receive extra support from their school or preschool. Depending on the level of support your child needs, the applications process is different.

Children and students with disability requiring minor adjustment to their learning can access support directly from their school or preschool. This is funded through the site’s Inclusive Education Support Program grant.

For children and students who require more targeted support and interventions, there is an online application process. This will be available starting 14 October 2019.

More information about how to access support will be made available on this page.

Parent forum

The parent forum is an initiative of the Disability Policy and Programs Directorate (DPP) and was established to engage parents and carers about the services and support available for children and students with disability.

The forums are used to seek input about current and future policy, service and program development and implementation. They are held once per term, which includes a parent conference. If you would like to engage with the department and other parents via this platform, please visit the parent forum webpage or email education.parentforumconference [at] sa.gov.au

Model overview

The Department for Education’s Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP) is a new functional needs based funding model for preschool and school students with disability.  It replaces the former Preschool Support and Disability Support Programs and is aligned with the definitions of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability. The program’s name and eligibility criteria reflect its inclusion approach and principles.

The IESP is a significant reform requiring practice and cultural change across the system.

Funding is based on the documented adjustments that have been described in the child or student’s personalised plan to address their functional needs.

While the IESP was introduced in January this year, new and updated eligibility criteria, a Level of Adjustment Matrix as well as a streamlined, single application process will take effect from 14 October 2019.


The updated eligibility criteria have been developed to align with national disability legislation and guidelines. They focus on a child’s needs rather than their disability diagnosis or label.  This approach recognises all disabilities and learning difficulties, including mental health, trauma, complex behaviours and complex health care needs.

The single, online application process will also help remove a significant administrative burden for preschools and schools, allowing more time to appropriately identify and plan according to student need.

Under the new arrangements, children and students with disability requiring minor adjustments to their learning no longer need to be assessed or apply for funding. Rather, support can be accessed directly from the preschool or school via a site allocated Inclusive Education Support Program Grant.

Only children who require more targeted supports and interventions need to submit an application via the streamlined, centralised panel process. Parents and carers will be engaged and informed of support provided as part of this new on-line process. 

Transition from preschool to school

Preschools will document the goals, types of adjustment and funding allocated in a child’s preschool profile. This information will travel with your child when they start school.

Preschool children who are assessed as having extensive support needs during their preschool year will be automatically funded at this level or above when they commence school. 

This funding will reflect the type and frequency of teaching and learning interventions required and will be communicated to the preschool and enrolling school prior to the end of their preschool year.

A child’s changing needs

A child’s needs can be reassessed at any time.

Their preschool or school will work with Student Support Services to identify the types of adjustments or interventions that are needed to enable your child to achieve the goals in their personalised plan.

Once this occurs the school can apply to have a child’s level of funding reviewed to meet their changing needs.

The new on-line form means that preschools and schools requiring higher levels of adjustment can access funding for teaching and learning support via a much simpler and quicker process.

Further information

An IESP implementation team within Disability Policy and Programs is currently supporting the roll out of the reforms. They can be contacted via Education.IESP [at] sa.gov.au.


Email: Education.IESP [at] sa.gov.au