Master of Inclusive Education program making a difference for students with disability

Graduate Stephanie Viavattene explains how the program helped her to support students at Hume Valley School.

Seventy-six more teachers are growing their skills in inclusive education as part of the latest round of the Master of Inclusive Education Program.

The program is one of 6 system-wide initiatives delivered as a part of Disability Inclusion.

Disability Inclusion is increasing support for students with disability and additional learning needs through:

  • a new tiered funding model
  • a strengths-based Disability Inclusion Profile
  • initiatives for teachers to build their skills, such as the Master of Inclusive Education program.

Through the Disability Inclusion, the department covers course fees for participants such as teacher Stephanie Viavattene, who completed a Master of Special Education at La Trobe University.

Stephanie continued teaching in the classroom at Hume Valley School while completing her studies.

'Even with COVID-19 lockdowns, the course confirmed what I had been doing over the years, gave me new strategies and strengthened my teaching philosophy,' Stephanie said.

Stephanie said that the course materials particularly taught her a lot about autism.

'Many of the strategies were things we already do, but there were several strategies that were new and interesting; for example, ways to try to communicate with non-verbal students before we use visuals – known as "pre-visuals",' she said.

Stephanie was keen to encourage mainstream teachers to apply for the scholarship program.

'No matter where you end up working, there will likely be a child with a disability in your classroom,' she said.

'It is so important to know how to support them – alongside all your other students – and help them to feel they belong.'

As Stephanie studied, she also took on an additional role as professional learning community leader at the school.

'I am a strong believer that all students can learn, no matter what the circumstances are,' she said.

Hume Valley School principal Diane Bassett said Stephanie has made a significant contribution, applying some of the lessons learned in her master's course.

'Stephanie has supported collective teacher efficacy across the school, leading inquiry into student data to inform teaching practice and improve student outcomes,' Diane said.

Save the date

The next round of the Master of Inclusive Education opens on Monday 30 January 2023.

We will share more information about how to apply in In Our Classrooms later this year.

Find out more

For more information about the program, refer to the Master of Inclusive Education.

For further enquiries or to register your interest, contact the Inclusive Education Scholarships Unit: