Special Needs Boost: Your Kids Deserve Exactly The Same Opportunities

Twenty specialist schools, including seven in regional Victoria, will have their classrooms upgraded and there will be more support for students with special needs, as part of a package of measures announced today.

The 2016-17 Victorian Budget provides a $155.8 million boost to ensure special needs students get the opportunities they deserve.

The funding includes:

  • An unprecedented investment of $68.5 million to upgrade 20 specialist schools, including seven in regional Victoria, and to make mainstream schools inclusive by doubling the Inclusive Schools Fund, which helps schools meet the learning requirements of all students.
  • $49.7 million to support an extra 1,750 students who are expected to be eligible for the Program for Students with Disability in 2017.
  • $22 million to help students with autism and dyslexia by increasing the number of speech pathologists, reading intervention programs, language screener tools, providing extra teacher training, as well as developing and delivering Victoria’s first dedicated strategy to help students with learning difficulties like dyslexia.
  • $15.6 million to help students with disabilities travelling between home and school, which includes the replacement of up to 56 older buses.

Too many students with disabilities and learning difficulties, including dyslexia and autism, still face being left out or left behind. Inclusive schools are stronger schools.

The Andrews Labor Government is making Victoria the Education State for all students – no matter what their background or circumstances.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Students with special needs are entitled to exactly the same opportunities as every other student in Victoria.”

“I want to say to every parent of a child with special needs, your kids are not out of sight and out of mind – we want to make sure they have every chance to fulfil their potential.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re getting on with providing the support that has been missing for far too long by building schools, supporting teachers and helping all kids achieve their best.”

“Staff and carers already go above and beyond to give their students the best opportunities, now they’ll also have the first-rate facilities these schools deserve.”

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