The Inclusion Outreach Coaching (IOC) initiative is being delivered by the Department of Education as part of the Disability Inclusion reform agenda. The IOC initiative supports schools to implement inclusive education practices with advice and expertise from Inclusion Outreach Coaches.
Inclusion Outreach Coaches (IOCs) are based in specialist schools and provide strategically coordinated capability-building opportunities to partner schools. Their focus is on building the capability of school workforces, including school leaders, middle leaders, teachers and other staff.
IOCs have expertise in inclusive practices and problem-solving, a deep knowledge of teaching and learning, and the skills to coach and support others. They establish Partnership Agreements with partner schools, which identify a clear goal for improvement in inclusion, tailored to the school’s specific needs and context. IOCs support partner schools through a time-limited engagement to embed inclusive practices and improve student outcomes in learning and wellbeing. IOCs build school capacity by using a systems lens approach and data to inform decision making and strategic planning.
The IOC initiative includes dedicated place-based support from Regional Inclusion Outreach Coaching Coordinators (RIOCCs) to support the implementation of the initiative.
Schools who are interested in receiving support from an IOC can contact the Inclusion Outreach Coaching Team at: email@example.com. The team will be able to connect them with their region’s RIOCC, who can provide support through the referral process.
View the Inclusion Outreach Coaching Video.
Inclusion Outreach Coaching initiative
The Inclusion Outreach Coaching (IOC) initiative supports schools to implement inclusive practices with support and expertise from Inclusion Outreach Coaches (Learning Specialists) employed by specialist schools to provide coaching, collaboration, professional learning and support to partner schools.
Key objectives of Inclusion Outreach Coaching
The key objectives of this initiative are for Inclusion Outreach Coaches to:
- support specialist and mainstream schools to collaborate effectively
- deliver best practice support and capability development through a multi-tiered approach
- ensure all students are fully supported to participate, learn, develop and succeed within an inclusive culture.
Support provided by Inclusion Outreach Coaches
Inclusion Outreach Coaches support schools to implement a range of inclusive practices. Coaches provide whole-school, targeted and individualised support to educators including pedagogical feedback, in-class coaching and support to help build the capability of school workforces to develop inclusive school cultures.
Out of scope for Inclusion Outreach Coaches
Activities that are out of scope for Inclusion Outreach Coaches include:
- Undertaking direct student intervention alone (i.e. without other staff involved)
- Lead Program for Students with Disability (PSD) or Disability Inclusion Profile (DIP) assessments, reports, applications or support statements
- Attend home visits, transport students to appointments or outreach sessions outside of the school
- Be responsible for behaviour management or individual responses to disciplinary cases
- Lead staff meetings or Student Support Group (SSG) meetings
- Lead curriculum or take sole charge of a class
- Other activities within all school settings outside of scope of the IOC role (e.g. student welfare, yard duty, student supervision at excursions and sports days).
Rollout of Inclusion Outreach Coaching
The rollout of the IOC initiative is staged over five years in line with the Disability Inclusion reform being implemented. By 2025, every Victorian specialist school will receive funding to employ an Inclusion Outreach Coach.
Recruiting an Inclusion Outreach Coach – specialist schools
Regional Inclusion Outreach Coaching Coordinators (RIOCCs) can assist schools with the recruitment process. A template Position Description is available for specialist schools to access via Recruitment Online. Schools should select the ‘Inclusion Outreach Coach’ option under ‘Position Description’ on the first page when creating a vacancy as well as in the ‘Job Posting’ section, choosing ‘Inclusion Education Outreach Coach’ when selecting the selection criteria, role, responsibilities, and who may apply.
Accessing support from an Inclusion Outreach Coach – mainstream schools
School interested in accessing IOC support are encouraged to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Schools will be put in contact with their regional RIOCC, who will be able to support them through the referral process. This process includes regional consideration of whether the IOC initiative will be the best support for the school and its identified support need, or whether another inclusion support may be more beneficial.
Support for Inclusion Outreach Coaches
Each region has a dedicated RIOCC to support Inclusion Outreach Coaches in their role. This includes coordinating referrals, delivering, identifying and coordinating relevant professional learning and training required for Coaches; linking in with schools, Divisional and Area teams; and establishing networks and communities of practice for Coaches. Coaches also undertake a comprehensive training and professional learning program in their first term of employment.
Further information about the IOC initiative and Disability Inclusion reform
RIOCCs will work closely with the specialist schools in their region to support recruitment and engagement of IOCs and provide regular and relevant information about the IOC initiative. More information about the Disability Inclusion reform can be found on Landmark investment to support disability inclusion.
You can also contact the project team at email@example.com