Going to school One of the biggest Government specialist schools decisions you will make There are over 90 government School options as a parent is where your specialist schools across Victoria for students with a disability. • Government schools child goes to school • Government specialist schools Specialist schools have criteria which • Independent and Catholic schools As for kindergarten, it is important to must be met before you can enrol. • Dual enrolment start planning and getting organised Students who live within the school’s • Home schooling for school well in advance. designated transport area are eligible • Distance education for travel support to the school. Give yourself plenty of time to investigate school options for your Independent and Catholic schools child before they are due to start. Distance education There are many independent and In Victoria, students from prep to As well as visiting and enrolling Catholic schools throughout Victoria Year 6 can access distance education in a school, there are funding as well as a small number of specialist if they meet the eligibility criteria applications to be completed for independent and Catholic schools. in one of four categories: Distance, eligible children, school orientation If you are likely to send your child to Medical, School referral, and Traveller. sessions to attend, and preparing an independent school, keep in mind your child for the school year ahead. Some students may also be eligible that there may be a long waiting list. for Assistance for Isolated Children School starting age which helps families with a primary Dual enrolment Students must be at least five years or secondary student who is unable Some children enrol at both a local to attend an appropriate State of age by 30 April of the year they primary school and a nearby specialist school on a daily basis because of start primary school. Attendance school and spend part of the week at geographic isolation or because the at school is compulsory for all each. This is known as dual enrolment. student has a disability or special children from the age of six years. Some parents choose dual enrolment health-related or education need. School options so that their child can benefit from Choosing a school There are many things to consider the different experiences and resources that mainstream and School open days and tours will when deciding on a school. In addition specialist schools have to offer. give you a general feel for a school to your child’s specific needs, you may and some idea of the facilities. also want to think about travel time, Home schooling finances, whether you want all your You will get a sense of whether the children to go to the same school, In Victoria, home schooling is a school is right for your child from and before and after school care. recognised alternative to attending the welcome you receive, how staff school. Some parents choose home interact with parents and children, Government schools schooling because it provides an the approach of the principal and All children of school age in individually tailored environment. the responses to your questions. Victoria have the right to go to If you choose home schooling, you Make an appointment with the principal their local primary school. will assume overall responsibility to discuss how the school can support Many children with a disability go to for the planning, implementation your child. You may also want to talk government primary schools and there and assessment of your child. to the kindergarten teacher about is support available to facilitate this. You must also register your child how to share important information with the Victorian Registration about your child with the school. and Qualifications Authority. “Funding is essential to provide the support that my child needs at school, but just as important is a positive approach, which flows from the principal through to all staff and students.“ Support for children Funding for students with a disability with a disability at school For more information There are specific funding programs There is a range of support for for students with a disability in ‘Welcome to school booklet’ children with a disability at school. school. The level of funding available Department of Education and Student Support Group varies between government, Early Childhood Development Catholic and independent schools. www.education.vic.gov.au A Student Support Group (SSG) is a co-operative partnership Ask the school what funding is Schools Online - a listing of all between the parent/carer, school available and how to apply. Victorian government schools representatives and professionals It is up to the Student Support and links to Catholic and to ensure co-ordinated support for Group to plan how these Independent schools your child’s educational needs. funds are used and to make www.education.vic.gov.au/ The Department of Education and recommendations to the principal. schoolsonline Early Childhood Development have developed guidelines for Language Support Program Program for Students with Disabilities Student Support Groups. You In government schools, the Language Department of Education and should familiarise yourself with the Support Program supports schools Early Childhood Development guidelines so that you understand and teachers to improve the oral www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/ the educational planning processes. language skills of students with wellbeing/disabil/index.htm a severe language disorder. Individual Learning Plan Catholic Education Office It aims to create a link between www.ceo.melb.catholic.edu.au The Student Support Group classroom programs and the intensive should develop an Individual speech and language programs Association of Independent Schools Learning Plan that identifies provided by speech pathologists. www.ais.vic.edu.au your child’s learning needs. Members of the group should Commonwealth Special Association for Children agree on your child’s learning Education Program with a Disability goals and any changes that need The Commonwealth Special Phone 9818 2000 or to be made to the curriculum. Education Program is a one-off grant 1800 654 013 (rural callers) for children who are unable to attend www.acd.org.au The Student Support Group school due to a severe disability. It should meet regularly to monitor is used to supplement the cost of and evaluate your child’s accessing home-based educational Individual Learning Plan. programs and assist with strategies to help children get back to school. Student Support Services In government schools, there is Ask for more information support available from Student This is only a summary of information Association for Children with a Disability Support Services Officers such as about support for children with a guidance officers, psychologists, social This series of Kindergarten Inclusion Tip Sheets was disability at school. Ask the schools developed by the Association for Children with a Disability workers, visiting teachers (for students in partnership with the Victorian Government’s Office for you are interested in for more with visual, hearing and physical Children and Early Childhood Development. information about their eligibility impairments), speech pathologists criteria, processes and resources. and curriculum consultants.