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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 542 ..

August 2020 census, there were 2,647 students with disability representing 5.3% of the student population.

4. At August 2020, there were:

- 1563 students with disability in Primary School (years K-6) representing 5.7% of the student population

- 770 students with disability in High School (years 7-10) representing 6.5% of the student population

- 314 students with disability in College (years 11-12) representing 4.9% of the student population

5. ACT public school leaders and teachers are provided access to a range of resources, training and professional learning opportunities to support students with disability and foster inclusive school communities, such as: pedagogy including differentiation, responding to need and universal design for learning; developing individual learning plans, transition plans, manual handling and mealtime assistance planning; whole school frameworks and holistic approaches to behaviour supports and interventions to support positive interactions such as Positive Behaviour for Learning, Team Teach, Positive Behaviour Support Planning, Reducing and Eliminating Restrictive Practice, Essential Skills for Classroom Teachers, Social and Emotional Learning strategies; Trauma Informed Practice and Everyone Everyday creating inclusive school environments.

All ACT public schools have a Disability Education Coordination Officer (DECO) responsible for supporting students with disability and or diverse learning needs in the school and their teachers. The DECO is the liaison point for school staff, families and support services. They are supported through a network managed by the Education Support Office to coordinate professional discussions, learning and training programs and a community of practice.

There are also various training opportunities provided by external community organisations that teachers are supported to access.

6. Yes, teachers can request additional training and support if they feel there is a need. Teachers can talk to their school’s Disability Education Coordination Officers (DECO), school psychologists, Network Student Engagement Teams and the Education Support Office to find out about the range of resources and support available to grow their capability.

7. There are a range of specialists employed to support all students, including students with disability, in ACT public schools such as teachers, school leaders, learning support assistants, youth workers, wellbeing support workers, psychologists, school youth health nurses and other allied health professionals including occupational therapists, speech pathologists and hearing and vision specialists.

These professionals provide various types of support and make reasonable adjustments to ensure all students can access and participate in learning. They also collaborate with school staff and provide professional learning to embed whole of school systems and to ensure quality teaching through coaching and mentoring to build capacity to develop classroom teacher pedagogy.

8. The number of specialist staff that support students in schools changes on a regular basis depending on the needs of the student population.

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