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Programming for students with disability in regular classes in mainstream schools
Federation regularly receives inquiries from members about the programming requirements for students with disability in regular classes in mainstream schools. Members continually report being asked to develop a separate programming document for individual students with disability, using various labels including: Individual Education Plans, Individual Learning Plans, Personalised Learning Plans and Student Profiles.
The following advice clarifies what is required of teachers in this instance and where to seek further information and support.
When programming for students with disability in regular classes in mainstream schools teachers are required to:
- know their students and how they learn
- exercise professional judgement
- consult with the student and/or their associate to determine, implement and evaluate adjustments (an associate, in relation to a person, includes a relative of the person and a carer of the person; also, see Disability Standards for Education 2005, Section 1.4.)
- engage in collaborative planning to make curriculum decisions and personalise learning and support
- follow the Department’s policies, which comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Education 2005 implement NESA syllabuses and make adjustments where necessary and reasonable (an adjustment is reasonable in relation to a student with a disability if it balances the interests of all parties affected; see Disability Standards for Education 2005, Section 3.4)
- record evidence of adjustments made (this can be done within your whole class program)
- seek information and support as necessary from the student, parents/carers, colleagues, specialist teachers, Learning and Support Team, Educational Services and/or Disability, Learning and Wellbeing Directorate.
When programming for students with disability in regular classes in mainstream schools teachers are not required to:
- develop a separate individual programming document for each student with disability in their class (the only exceptions are for Aboriginal students for whom a Personalised Learning Plan is required and for students in Out of Home Care for whom an Education Plan is required. In both instances, Federation advises that time should be provided to collaboratively develop such plans)
- take sole responsibility for programming and making adjustments for students with disability implement adjustments that are not deemed reasonable and/or that pose unjustifiable hardship.
Note: Judgements about what is reasonable for a particular student or a group of students with a particular disability can change over time.
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