Frequently Asked Questions

A complied list of Frequently Asked Questions has been developed to help answer any questions in relation to the new Educational Adjustments disability funding model.

The Educational Adjustment model is based on student needs. The model gives resources to Tasmanian Government schools as they provide educational adjustments for students with disability. Educational adjustments are all the extra things that schools do to help a student succeed in a quality classroom program.  We use adjustments to make sure that everyone can access, participate and engage on the same basis as their peers.

The Educational Adjustments funding model is based on a simple, structured approach to funding and resourcing. It considers the additional and changing needs of students with disability over time.

In the model, students who are provided with more intense support and adjustments receive more resources than those with a lower level of support and adjustments.

The model links with the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) levels of educational adjustment. The NCCD levels are:

  • Extensive
  • Substantial
  • Supplementary
  • Quality Differentiated Teaching Practice.

 

The levels in the Tasmanian Educational Adjustment Disability funding model are:

  • Extensive
    • High Extensive
    • Mid Extensive
    • Low Extensive
  • Substantial
    • High Substantial
    • Low Substantial
  • Supplementary
  • Quality Differentiated Teaching Practice.

The Educational Adjustments Disability Funding Model allocates resources (support teacher staffing and money) to schools for students at the Supplementary, Substantial and Extensive levels of adjustment.

A student can be included in the Educational Adjustment model when all of the following apply:

  1. The student meets the definition of a person with disability as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
  2. The school has been making adjustments for the student because of their disability.
  3. The school can show that they have been making adjustments for at least 10 weeks over the past 12 months.
  4. The parent or guardian has been consulted.

For more about which students are included in the NCCD visit the NCCD Portal.

The model includes a wide range of disability in the categories of:

  • Cognitive
  • Physical
  • Social/Emotional
  • Sensory

To be included a student needs evidence that they have a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). If a school is unsure if a student meets the DDA definition of a disability, they should talk to the Moderator.

Each year, schools are planning for the following year. The timeline for the data collection will be aligned to the Commonwealth’s Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) timeline. This means that schools use one process to complete both NCCD and Educational Adjustment Disability Funding.

Moderators work with schools from March to July to decide on a level of adjustment for each student. They do this by using the information that schools provide about adjustments they have been making for at least 10 weeks in the last 12 months. Schools need to update student Learning Plans by the end of Term One, and schools need to give the information to moderators before the 31st July. This date is because the NCCD data is required to be completed by August census each year.

Budget and Resource Services (BRS) use the level of adjustment to work out school funding for the next year. In September, they tell schools about the funding for the following year in their Interim School Resource Package (SRP).

Resourcing

The family needs to contact their new school to talk about their child’s learning needs. They should share the information that they have about their child. This could include paperwork that shows a diagnosis of disability, a current learning plan, NDIS plan or other reports from professionals who work with the student.

Contingency supports are available for students with evidence of disability at the time of enrolment, including:

  • Students who come from outside of our school system – including from a registered Tasmanian Home Education (THEAC) program, the Catholic and Independent School system, and Interstate,
  • Students starting Kindergarten who have not been moderated at Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS),
  • Students with disability returning to school after a significant time of disengagement and who were not considered in the previous year moderation processes due to non-attendance at that time.

Please visit the contingency section of the website and access the form

Yes, every school has a Support Teacher allocation.  Schools must use this position to support the students identified in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD).

Support Teacher allocations are included in school staffing and cannot be converted to cash.

The Educational Adjustments Disability funding is given to schools to help the school make the reasonable and necessary adjustments for students with disability in the school.

This resource is given at the start of the year, and each school decides how this funding is used to make the educational adjustments required for each student.

The base allocation (including both Support Teacher staffing and money) supports students with similar supplementary level of educational needs. These adjustments are usually made by a teacher.

The targeted funding is given for students at Low Substantial to High Extensive level of adjustment. These resources support the individual educational adjustments provided for these students.

All educational adjustments should be documented in student Learning Plans and other documents attached to the Learning Plan for students with supplementary to extensive adjustments.

Schools are accountable for reporting the learning outcomes and progress made by all students included in the NCCD.

Students who have been impacted by trauma will only be included in the Educational Adjustment Disability Funding model if they also have a disability. To be included they must:

  • Have a disability as defined by the DDA, and
  • Require educational adjustments on the basis of the disability, and
  • Have evidence of at least 10 weeks of adjustments

School Moderation Process

The Department of Education, Budget and Resource Services, tell schools about their draft funding allocations for the following year in September. The School Resource Package gets finalised at the February census to start the school year.

Yes, moderation happens every year. All students with a disability are moderated for NCCD and the Educational Adjustment Disability Funding process each year. How a student’s level of adjustment is moderated each year is decided on by the school and the moderator.

The Disability Moderator contacts the school in Term 1 for a planning meeting. At this meeting, the school team and the moderator will talk about the process for the year, and what the school might need to do to be ready.

A moderation meeting is when schools talk about students with the moderator, and the educational adjustments in place for each student. Schools do not need to extra work before the meetings, but they can gather the evidence that they have in the school from the normal school processes of making adjutsments for students.

Moderators need look at:

  1. Evidence of disability to include a student in the NCCD and to decide on a category of disability
  2. Evidence of adjustments being made by the school

To prepare for moderation, schools need to talk to parents or carers and make sure that they are aware that the student is going to be considered as a student with disability.

The Learning Plan is the main form of evidence used to show the level of adjustments for each student who is receiving adjustments at Supplementary or above. The Learning Plan should show supports and progress over time. Teacher planning notes, teacher assistant timetables and risk/behaviour management plans are examples of other types of evidence that may be helpful for some students.

The School Support Teacher is most often involved in moderation meetings. Schools can also include any other team members they would like involved. This may include Professional Support Staff, Accessibility Services team or class room teachers in some instances.

If there is a concern, schools can email a request to: disabilityfunding@education.tas.gov.au.

The state-wide Disability Educational Adjustment Moderation Panel will review the information and assess the decision against the Educational Adjustment Descriptor Tool. They will let schools know the result.

The panel look at the evidence of the adjustments to make a decision. They will look at the adjustments that have been made for a period of 10 weeks or longer in the previous 12 months. The Moderation Panel makes decisions that are in line with the key principles of the Educational Adjustment model.

 

Professional Support Staff work with schools and students to:

  • Help schools to show that a student has a disability as defined by the DDA
  • Give schools information about a student’s strengths and areas for improvement. This will help schools to decide on the most appropriate educational adjustments for each student.
  • Give recommendations to school staff and families. This might be in areas such as how the student is doing in social and learning situations, next steps for learning and/or appropriate strategies

Professional reports should not make comments on eligibility for the Educational Adjustment Disability Funding model, or the NCCD. A statement confirming evidence (or absence) of disability is enough.

Reports also should avoid making a statement about the level of adjustment, as the level can change from year to year. The moderator will work with the school to make a decision about the level of adjustment on the basis of the educational adjustments in place for each student, each year.

Schools need to give us all information needed for moderation by the 31st July. A professional report needs to be seen by the moderator before this date. Any evidence given after this date is not included until next year.

National work is underway to improve the quality of NCCD data. This is called ‘quality assurance’. Tasmania (DoE) is joining in all quality assurance projects. The quality of Tasmania data has improved since 2019 as all schools now work together with moderators to decide on levels of adjustments.

NDIS or private provider reports can be used if permission has been given by parents.  If copies of reports have been given to schools, staff can upload them into SSS.

Parents

Speak to your child’s teacher about supports and adjustments for teaching and learning.

At each school, teachers and support teachers work to:

  • identify the individual needs of the student with disability
  • show that the adjustments being provided will help the student with disability participate and learn
  • work together with the student and/or parents and families.

Your teacher and/or support teacher will work with you and your child to develop a Learning Plan which describes the adjustments that support your child’s learning.

Learning Plans are used for a range of students. Not all students with Learning Plans receive disability funding. Please look at Learning Plan Procedure for more information.

Yes, there are strict rules to protect personal information.  The Department of Education gives data to the NCCD without student names or details.  They just give numbers of students at each level of adjustment and each category of disability.

ECIS staff help the Moderation team understand your child’s needs for support and educational adjustments in Kindergarten.  This happens during Term 3, the year before they start kindergarten, so that support is in place ready for the start of the kindergarten year.

Please speak to your child’s classroom teacher or Support Teacher to talk about your concerns, and your child’s Learning Plan if they have one already. School staff will be able to tell you about the educational adjustments that they are making to support your child. You can share information about the educational adjustments that you, and your child, believe would help them to access, engage and participate on the same basis as their peers.

If you would like to discuss this further, please speak to your school Principal.

If you still have concerns, please refer to the Department’s Grievance Guidelines.

Talk with your classroom teacher or Support Teacher and they will contact your Educational Adjustment Moderator to consider the available evidence to see if it is reasonable to impute a disability.