Year 2 of the 5-year rollout of new Disability Inclusion reforms is now well underway.
Schools in outer eastern Melbourne, Central Highlands, Mallee areas and 2 supported inclusion schools will start to implement the new approach in Term 1, 2022.
This follows the new approach, which started last year for schools in the Barwon, Loddon Campaspe and Bayside Peninsula areas. Five supported inclusion schools were also among the first to transition to the new approach in 2021.
Along with initiatives to build knowledge and skills in inclusive education, Disability Inclusion introduces a new tiered funding model and the Disability Inclusion Profile. The profile helps schools identify and meet student needs.
Murrumbeena Primary School Acting Assistant Principal Fiona Sewell shared how her school used the strengths-based Disability Inclusion Profile to support a child with their transition to school.
Establishing a Disability Inclusion Profile
Murrumbeena Primary School was the first school to undertake a Disability Inclusion Profile as part of the Disability Inclusion reforms.
The profile was completed in a Student Support Group meeting, attended by the child's parents, kindergarten teacher, 2022 prep teacher, a speech pathologist, Fiona and a facilitator.
'The parents were anxious,' Fiona said. 'Like every parent, they just want the very best for their child.'
The facilitator led the conversation about the child's strengths and educational needs. The Disability Inclusion Profile helps schools and families identify the educational adjustments schools can make to help a student succeed. The process will, over time, replace the Program for Students with Disability (PSD).
Fiona said the Disability Inclusion Profile process was easy to follow, straightforward and, in this instance, less work.
'By spending 2 hours with the family we walked away so knowledgeable about the child and what we could do,' she said.
While the child didn't attend the meeting, they did complete a student voice profile with their parents' help.
The child's kindergarten teacher gave further insights and helped the school identify adjustments it needed to make to support the child's transition to school.
The profile meeting also helped the child's transition to school.
'We had the child visit and use the facilities to get them used to the environment,' Fiona said.
'We also had their prep teacher visit at kindergarten 3 times, to build that relationship.'
Fiona said the first Disability Inclusion Profile had been positive for the school, the child and their parents.
'It's a really valuable, worthwhile experience where you're all learning about the child and making the school a better place for them, and building relationships at the same time,' she said.
Reflecting on the beginning of the new school year, Principal Rochellee Plumb added: 'The student's smooth transition to school has been a testament to the process and has allowed the family and child to feel comfortable and confident in the new school environment.'
Disability Inclusion eLearning now available
Seven Disability Inclusion eLearning modules are now available on LearnED, which can be accessed through eduPay.
The modules cover Disability Inclusion and the Disability Inclusion Profile process and aim to support school staff to implement the reforms.
They are particularly relevant for wellbeing and inclusion coordinators and leaders, as well as school leaders. A specific module is available to support business managers understand and support Disability Inclusion.
To access the modules:
- log in to LearnED
- search 'Disability Inclusion'
- begin with module 1.
Find out more
For more information and to find out when your school will transition to Disability Inclusion, refer to the Disability Inclusion web page on the department's website.
The Disability Inclusion Profile guidelines are available to support schools in Year 1 and Year 2 of the rollout.