Special Education covers the education of children with particular needs. In this instance, we have concentrated on students who exhibit special requirements in the areas of behaviour disorders and learning, physical, hearing or vision impairment. Gifted students, who also have specific needs, are treated separately.
Special Education provides programs and support through several methods. This may be through the regular classroom, with support of modified curriculum or additional human resources, placement in special classes within regular schools - which may be smaller in size, allowing for more individual attention or, if impairment is significant, it may mean placement in special schools, again with smaller class groups and other modifications.
In addition, other resources are available such as transport, building modifications, Individual Education Plans and technology, all designed to make learning as easy, enjoyable and effective as possible.
Even collection of data has changed, as can be seen through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability process.
All systems prefer an inclusive approach wherever possible, taking into account the level of impairment involved, the special needs of an individual student and the needs of other students who may be affected.
This page looks at general information from all Australian states & territories.
You might also consider inclusions on the Special Education Resources page for possible options.
Neither page attempts to target specific impairments or disorders. These are found on other, specific pages.
States & Territories
Australian Capital Territory
- Disability Education
[Education & Training Directorate]
Covers services, NDIS Trial, multiple Programs, Specialist School Programs, more. Related areas include :
- Contact Us
Includes Contact details for Students with a Disability programs, transport, etc..
- Disability Criteria for ACT Students
- Disability Education Reference Group
Terms of Reference, Minutes for multiple meetings.
- Specialist Schools and Education Centres
Provides school/centre details including contact information.
- Student Centred Appraisal of
‘This booklet is designed to assist parents, carers and staff to prepare for the Student Centred Appraisal of Need meeting. It contains information about the process and the groups of descriptors’.
- Students with a Disability : Meeting their Educational Needs
Policy from the Department of Education.
- The National Disability
Insurance Scheme [NDIS]
Provides information about its implementation in the ACT and the link with disability support in schools.
- Transport for Students with Disabilities
New South Wales
Learning and Support
‘Programs and services available in schools offer students personalised support to meet their individual needs’. Related sections include :.
- Assisted School Travel Program
‘Students with disability who are unable to travel to and from school under the Transport for NSW’s School Student Transport Scheme may be eligible for transport assistance under the Assisted School Travel Program’.
- Assisting Students with Learning Difficulties Policy
Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2020
‘The NSW Department of Education’ strategy to better engage people with a disability’.
Options [Primary School]
‘The department provides a range of options to support students with disability and additional learning and support needs across the primary years’. Regular classes, Specialist Support class, Support at school.
- Educational Options [Secondary School]
‘Regular classes, Specialist support classes, Support at high school, School learning and support team, Adjustments to learning and teaching’.
- Disability Support [NSW Department
‘Support is available for students from early childhood through to leaving high school’.
- Getting ready for school - A Guide for Parents of a Child with Disability
- Learning and Support
‘Supports students experiencing difficulties in learning in regular classes. Includes support for students with significant learning difficulties, mild intellectual disabilities and language disorders’.
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
‘National Disability Insurance Agency, Transitioning to NDIS, Meeting the educational needs of students with disability, NDIS fact sheets such as Frequently Asked Questions about the NDIS, NDIS Coordinators’.
- People With Disabilities - Statement of Commitment
- Resources for Disability,
Personalised Learning and Support
‘Support organisations, Handbooks and publications, National Disability Insurance Scheme, Personalised Learning and Support Signposting Tool’.
- Services for Students With
Links to all Institutes and their Disability Services. Information on who is supported, what support is available, exemptions and concessions, contact details, National Relay Service. TVET for School Students with a Disability operates through the OTEN section of TAFE.
- Special Schools in Catholic
Catholic Education Commission. You can also access Catholic Special Schools via this page by selecting “Search for a Special school”.
- Who’s Going to Teach My Child ?
“A Guide for Parents of Students with Special Learning Needs”.
- Inclusion Support
Catholic Education. Overview plus Students with Disabilities Policy.
- Special education [Department of Education]
Information on services, special education settings, philosophy of inclusion, forums, more. Related areas include :
Based Special Education Program
‘Provides grants for community-based centres to improve the educational opportunities, learning outcomes and personal development of children with disability’.
- Early Childhood
‘The aim of Early Childhood Intervention is to minimise the impact of developmental delay and disability on a child’s development and learning’.
- Enrolling Students
You can also find a listing of Approved Specialist Schools and Centres here.
- School Psychology Services
‘School psychologists provide support to students and their families across the whole school, to groups and to individuals with severe learning, behavioural, social and emotional needs’. Also check the School Counsellor Services information.
- Support Organisations
‘Information on organisations in the Northern Territory providing support if you have a child with a special need or disability or mental health support’.
- Catering for Diversity [Queensland Curriculum and
‘The needs of students with specific educational needs must be considered in a proactive way, for example through designing inclusive learning and assessment programs’. Also check the Equity in Education page.
- Disability Services Queensland
‘Leaders innovation and partnership in the disability field’.
- Equity Services
Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Information plus link to resources. Inclusive practices for Catholic schools in Queensland is a position statement of the Commission.
- Inclusive Education [Education
Overview, multiple links for special areas. Relevant sections include :
- Disability Policy
Programs and Services, Special Schools, Early Childhood Development programs and services, related links, more.
- Education Adjustment
‘A process for identifying and responding the educational needs of students with disabilities’. Support provided, web page links, Identifying Students with Disability, Important Information, Verification, more.
- Education for
Children with a Disability - A Guide for Parents
Multi-section online document.
- Learning and Disability
Guide for Parents [see above], Statewide services, specialist staff, more support for students.
Disability Insurance Scheme [DET]
‘The department’s early childhood education and care, school education and training and skills portfolios are supporting the Queensland Government's efforts to make the transition to the NDIS a smooth process for children, students, families, staff and other stakeholders we work with’.
- School Transport Assistance Programs for Students with
- AIS - Special Education
Targeted program for Special Education in S.A. Independent Schools.
- Catholic Schools Special Education
Overview, links to special schools, contact point.
- Disabilities & Information Resource Centre
‘a one-stop-shop for information on all aspects of disability’.
- Disabilities and
Multiple sections. Covers schools and beyond.
- Children with
Special Needs [DECD]
Information for families and students, Contact details. Related links include :
- Disability Support at School
Learning Difficulties/Learning Disabilities
Support available, what is a learning difficulty/learning disability, more.
- NDIS in South Australia
- Special Education Expo
For educators and parents. Held in July.
- Special Education Moodle
‘designed for sharing information and resources to support students with disabilities and learning difficulties’.
- Special Education Resource Unit
- Students with Disabilities Policy
- Disability Support
TasTAFE. Overview, contact details.
- Special Learning Needs [AIS Tasmania]
Contact point to access forms about special needs in Tasmanian independent schools.
You need to be able to log in to access this site.
- Students With Disabilities [Department of Education]
Overview and contact details for Special Education Advisors in multiple areas. Links to documents [at the bottom of the page]. Related aspects include :
Overview, links to various documents and to TASDAS which is the assessment body.
- Improved Support for Students with
‘Much remains to be done to ensure a consistent statewide application of inclusive education practices and compliance with statutory requirements in all Tasmanian schools’. Recently completed report.
- NDIS - Tasmanian Schools
The Department of Education Tasmania. For further information, visit NDIS - Tasmanian Students.
- Nurturing Unique Abilities
‘Supporting Students with Disability - 2017 Update’.
- Programs for
Students with High or Additional Learning Needs
‘Designed to provide basic skills to students with severe disabilities and/or students with high and additional learning needs’ in senior years.
- Special Schools
- Students with
Overview, Funding Support Information, Links. Includes a Frequently Asked Questions resource.
- Supporting Student Need
‘Professional Support for Students, School Information Brochures - Support Areas, Good Teaching Resources and Personalising Learning Vignettes’.
- Transport Assistance Program for
Students with Disabilities
Guidelines and procedures.
- Support for Students
Tasmanian Catholic Education Office. General statement.
- Catholic Education Commission Victoria
The Parent Handbook for Victorian Catholic Primary Schools. It has a section on Additional Learning Needs which includes this area. The Parent Handbook for Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools is found here.
- Centre for Developmental Disability Health
‘Academic unit to improve health outcomes for people with developmental disabilities through a range of educational, research and clinical activities’.
- Divine [Victoria]
‘Exciting new website written by and for people with a disability’. State Disability Plan, Tech Talk, Rights and Policies, much more.
- Disability [Department of Human Services]
Policies, legislation, advocacy information, research, resources.
- Special Needs Support [DET, Victoria]
Information on programs and initiatives. Related pages include :
- Abilities Awareness
‘To make all people aware of what they can do, not what they can’t do, and to talk about the abilities people with a disability have’.
- Handbook &
Access a range of documents and application forms in multiple formats.
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Program for
Students with Disabilities
A related page with information for parents is found at Children with Special Needs.
- Special Needs
Includes Autism Friendly Learning, Home Based Educational Programs, Supplementary Programs, more.
Information for Principals and administrators. Most is only available when signed in.
- Students with Disabilities Transport Program
- Support for Children with
‘Learn about getting your child assessed, special schools and support programs’.
- Department of Education
Related sections include :
- Inclusive Education
Four documents are listed.
- Schools of Special Educational Needs
Three groups of schools covering multiple disabilities. The Disability listing ‘provides statewide support to schools to support students with disabilities and learning disabilities’. The Sensory grouping ‘provides educational support to students with vision impairment, deafness and deafblindness’.
- Disability Allocation
‘The Disability Allocation is provided to schools to support students with disability and additional needs and comprises two components : Educational adjustment allocation and Individual disability allocation’.
- National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS]
‘The Department of Education fully supports stronger links with the disability sector and improved educational outcomes for students with disability’.
- One Classroom
‘Ideas, practical resources and collaboration to support educators of students with disability’.
- Special Transport Information
Multiple sections. Includes Behaviour and Wellbeing.
Student-centred Funding Model
Department of Education. ‘Funding is allocated to schools based on the learning needs of students and school characteristics’. Printable document.
- Students with Disability
Catholic Education Office. Enrolment, Support Centres, Support in schools, Transitioning, FAQs.