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Starting school can be an exciting, yet daunting time. How does this vary if your child has a disability? Find out some planning tips in this article.

Row of coloured pencils going from yellow to grey

Starting school can be an exciting, yet daunting time for children. There are so many new experiences, and your child will be surrounded by others who have differing needs; social, cultural, physical and intellectual. How does this vary if your child has a disability?

Having a positive partnership with your child’s school is key to getting the best possible outcomes for your child. Working and planning together will make this possible.

Good communication between the school and home is essential for driving a positive relationship. Whether these are informal chats or email, or more formal communication through a communication book as an example. The school can update you on what your child has learnt and you can let the school know what is happening at home. This might impact on how your child does at school.

Positive Education Planning

Planning should begin as early as possible. Changes can be made to the plan throughout the year, as this is an ongoing process. The steps to positive education planning could take the following form:

Planning tool to provide positive education in primary schools
Depending on where you live and your local government, there may be different support mechanisms set up during your child’s education process. It is likely that there will be similarities to a Student Support Group model.

The Student Support Group is a group members who will bring expertise and a different perspective and may include:

  • Parents/carers
  • Class teacher
  • Principal or nominee
  • Parent advocate (if required)
  • The child/student (where appropriate)
  • Consultants

The responsibilities of the Student Support Group are:

  • Identify the student’s needs
  • Determine any adjustments to the curriculum and learning environment
  • Develop a personalised learning and support plan
  • Discuss the plan with teachers and provide support to implement the plan
  • Provide advice to the principal about the additional education needs of the individual and the resources required to meet those needs
  • Review and evaluate the student’s program on a regular basis

There are a number of resources available to help. From disability standards for education through to guides for teachers.

Information sourced from Positive Education Planning, Supporting children with a disability in Victorian government public schools.