Education Setting Legal Responsibilities

    Inclusive Education

    Inclusive education means that all members of every school community are valued and supported to fully participate, learn, develop and succeed within an inclusive school culture.

    The sections below outline every school's responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the policies set by the Department of Education in each State of Australia as well as Federal Law in relation to the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

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    Source: @mrsspeechiep, 'Goals'

    Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment

    The Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment makes it very clear that every child should have access to education. There are laws in place to make sure students with disabilities have the right to take part in education on the same basis as their peers without disabilities.

    The Disability Discrimination Act says it’s against the law to discriminate against someone because of their disability.

    The Disability Standards for Education explain what these laws mean for students with a disability. The standards say students with a disability have the same right to take part in their education as students without disabilities.

    'Student with a Disability' has been defined as any student who has a physical disability, visual impairment, severe behaviour disorder, intellectual disability, hearing impairment, autism spectrum disorder and/or severe language disorder with critical educational needs.

    The ways in which your child's/ren's school is required to support your child varies from State/Territory to State/Territory so it's best to refer to your State/Territory Department of Educations websites. Scroll down to find links to individual States and Territories Education Departments.

    The Victorian Government support students via their Student 'Program for Students with Disabilities' (PSD) program which assists schools to meet the needs of eligible students with disability and/or high needs who attend Victorian government schools. The 'supports' referred to is funding for support aids and other necessary resources to assist the child. Schools can refer students for assessments to help them find out if a student is eligible to apply for support under the Program for Students with Disabilities.

    The assessment categories are for the child to have an intellectual disability or a severe language disorder with critical educational needs. This criterion has been updated recently as it also included students displaying severe behaviour or conduct (which was extremely difficult to prove). For eligibility and access, cognitive and language assessments for both categories must be completed and all assessments need to be carried out by qualified and fully registered Psychologists and Speech Pathologists.

    The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) gives Australian schools, parents, guardians and carers, education authorities and the community information about the number of students with a disability in schools and the adjustments they receive.

    These schools are sometimes called private schools, independent schools or Catholic schools. They are not part of the government system and have their own enrolment process and costs.

    The Australian Education Regulation 2013 requires all schools to report the data collected for the NCCD to the Australian Government on an annual basis.

    Learn more about the NCCD here.

    Any student with a disability, funded or unfunded has the right to have 'Student Support Group' (SSGs) meetings each term with the school (principal, wellbeing coordinator, teacher and parents) to go over your child’s education and wellbeing needs.

    All Autistic children, no matter the 'level' at which they've been diagnosed, has the right to have SSGs as they fall under the 'Student with a Disability' criteria. If a school rejects or refuses a request for SSGs once per term, they are in breach of the Government's Disability Standards for Education.

    A school may use the excuse that an 'unfunded' child is ineligible for these measures which are both incorrect and, again, in breach of the Government's Disability Standards for Education.

    The Disability Standards for Education also states that schools are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the curriculum to support any student with a disability.

    Once again, a school may use the excuse that an 'unfunded' child is ineligible for these measures which are both incorrect and, in breach of the Government's Disability Standards for Education.

    These ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the curriculum are also known as an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP).

    Student with a Disaility - Guidelines and Policies

    Disability Standards for Education (2005)

    Click on the image to download the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

    The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration

    Click on the image to download The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration.

    Click below to get a copy of the roles and responsibilities of Assessments Australia, schools and student support services in the assessment of students for the Program for Students with Disabilities.

    Assessment Service for Students with Disability

    Assessments Australia are responsible for conducting assessments on behalf of the Victorian Education Department to find out if a student is eligible for support under the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD).​

    Diversity and Inclusion Support Program

    The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) provides $133 million per year to support mainstream services to build their capacity and capability in providing quality inclusive practices for all children and address participation barriers to support the inclusion of children with additional needs alongside their typically developing peers.

    The ISP is available to give the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, children with additional needs (disability or developmental delay), children who are presenting with challenging behaviours, have a serious medical or health condition, including mental health or are presenting with trauma-related behaviours.

    The ISP is not a disability program but an inclusion program, which prioritises support for children with additional needs, particularly those with disability.

    Visit the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment website and learn more about this new funding program.

    The Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) Subsidy can be claimed when:

    • the child (or children) in the IDF Subsidy approval are in attendance

    • the additional support is required in the care environment to address the barriers to inclusion, and

    • the service has employed the Additional Educator in the care environment as an extra educator, above the educator-to-child ratio requirements for the ages of children attending, as per the National Regulations.

    A DIP is a Disability Inclusion Profile. This is being replaced by the PSD (Program for Students with a Disability) model.

    For more information, visit

    Inclusion Support Program Guideline Document

    Individual Learning Plan (ILP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP)

    An Individual Education Plan (IEP) (also known by other names including Individual Learning Plan or ILP) may be developed for a student with disabilities or a complex learning profile.

    An IEP is about access and equity in education and should consider the 'reasonable adjustments' that need to be made to provide students with access to teaching, learning and the schooling experience generally. The provision of reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities is mandated by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education which apply across Australia.

    IEPs enable Australian schools to demonstrate that they have met their legal obligations to:

    • Ensure that students with disabilities participate in education and training on the same basis as non-disabled students;

    • Plan for and provide teaching and learning adjustments for students with disabilities; and

    • Consult with the student’s parents or guardian (their 'associate' under the Disability Standards for Education) in developing the educational plan and formulating any appropriate adjustments.

    • Both long term and short term goals with a clear timeline.
    • Information about the specific equipment, programs or approaches being used.
    • Information regarding the assessment, reporting and reviewing of the identified outcomes.
    • A statement about who will be taking responsibility for the implementation and coordination of the IEP.
    • The timing and frequency of reviews

    Parents are often their child’s main advocate; talking regularly to teachers, principals, tutors, psychologists and speech pathologists about appropriate remediation and accommodation strategies.

    • Expressing a belief that the student can improve their academic levels and encouraging and supporting the students to set high personal learning goals.
    • Talking to the student’s teacher about effective classroom strategies and adjustments.
    • Breaking down homework tasks into small, clear, achievable steps that can be checked off when completed.
    • Monitor the student’s ability to complete their homework independently and ensure they are able to master the set task.
    • Try to provide scaffolds to aide in the student’s learning.
    • Ask the teacher to provide regular and targeted feedback.
    • Provide the student with multiple learning opportunities to revisit, repeat and reinforce the information.
    • Ask that teachers made adjustments and modifications to assessment tasks for the student in order to cater for their specific learning needs.

    Individual Education Plan (IEP) Samples

    Below are the Victorian versions. Check your State or Territory websites for your local version.

    Click on the image below to download the Victorian IEP Template

    Click on the image below to download the Victorian IEP Checklist

    Your Literally Ausome School Support Guides

    Click on the image to download your Literally Ausome School Support Guide

    Click on the image to download your Literally Ausome School Incident Report Template

    Department of Education - Federal and State Government Links

    Australian Federal Government

    Students with Disability

    Vic Education and Training - For Schools

    Vic Education and Training - For Parents

    NSW Govt Department of Education

    ACT Department of Education

    Tas Department of Education

    Qld Department of Education

    SA Department of Education

    WA Department of Education

    NT Department of Education

    Independent Organisations and Foundations Links


    The peak body for Autistic people and their supporters (VIC). 

    Association for Children with Disability

    Advocating for children with disability and families

    Positive Partnerships

    Working with parents, carers and educators of school-aged children 

    Education Rights (VIC)

    Victorian-based information about schools, disability education policy and practice.