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.

From 2020, there will be a new approach to assisting students with disability to engage in learning. The new approach, called “Educational Adjustments” seeks to better align school supports and educational adjustments to the needs of students with disability in Tasmanian Government schools.

The new model is aligned to the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) levels of educational adjustment:

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

A student is included in the NCCD 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 functional impact of the student’s disability results in the school actively addressing their individual education needs by providing reasonable adjustments.
  3. There is evidence at the school that the student has been provided with adjustment/s for a minimum period of 10 weeks of school education (excluding school holiday periods) in the 12 months preceding the NCCD reference date.

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

This number is the additional number of students included in the NCCD levels from Supplementary to Extensive that are not already counted within the SDR and IQ55-70 supports as the NCCD allows for more students to be included, for example students with diagnosed high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder are now included.

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 so schools do not have to undertake two processes.

NCCD data is required to be completed annually by August census each year. The Department also requires the data for Educational Adjustments funding in early August to be able to give schools their interim funding for the following year (by October interim funding notifications).

The Educational Adjustments funding will be accessible from 2020 in School Resource Packages.

Resourcing

On Friday 18 October, schools received their Interim SRP Advice which included specific information about their indicative Educational Adjustments funding for students with disability in 2020.

Within this advice, a Frequently Asked Questions resource has been provided for Principals and School Business Managers to understand the new funding model.

A copy of this resource is available at Educational Adjustments Disability Funding Model FAQs.

 

Both SDR and IQ55-70 allocations will continue to be funded during 2019 and will cease in December 2019. The new Educational Adjustments funding allocations will be applied from the beginning of the 2020 school year for students with disability.

There was no SDR moderation undertaken in 2019.

The new Educational Adjustments funding model will commence in 2020. During 2019, school staff are undertaking professional learning and moderation processes to align the needs of their students with disability to the new funding approach.

Commencing from 2020 also ensures the new approach can establish new processes which align to the underpinning principles of the model – by ensuing equity and fairness, accountability, promoting inclusive practice, transparency and simplicity, integrity in needs assessment, transitional fairness, and financial sustainability.

Contingency supports are available for eligible students, including:

  • those who arrive from outside of our school system (including from the Catholic and Independent School system, and Interstate)
  • Children entering Kindergarten who have not been involved with ECIS.

Each term there will be a contingency moderation process in Week 5 and Week 10 for eligible students to access disability funding support.

A moderator will visit your school to assist with determining contingency support, if eligible.

A flowchart outlining the timeline and process for disability funding is available at: Understanding Educational Adjustments Flowchart.

To request Contingency Support – please complete the Contingency Moderation Request Form and email to  DisabilityFunding@education.tas.gov.au

For students enrolling in Department of Education schools from outside our system (e.g. Catholic Education, Independent School, Home School or inter-state), the process for families enrolling the child should include sharing all available information on the student and their learning needs with the school. This could include assessments, medical information, supports that may be current within an NDIS plan, and current learning outcomes.

If the student requires educational adjustments on the basis of disability, a moderator will visit the school and work with the support staff to moderate the level of educational adjustment needed.

Contingency supports will apply if the student is eligible. Please contact staff at your intended school of enrolment to discuss further.

Further information about Contingency Supports is available on the Schools page.

 

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

Support teacher allocations will come within the school staffing profile and will not be able to be converted to cash.

This is where the Department’s Disability Educational Adjustment Moderators will support schools to identify the most appropriate level of educational adjustment for each individual student based on the evidence available. The basis of the model is that the funding will be applied on the evidence of the adjustments being provided, so in the example above if the evidence is that supplementary adjustments are being provided that is what will be funded.

The NCCD model is based on evidence of current adjustments. Each year the appropriate adjustments can be moderated and changes can be made if required.

The Guidelines for Special School Placement and criteria for enrolment will be re-written for future enrolments. The special school population will not change markedly due to this process or the new Educational Adjustments approach and funding model.

The enrolment criteria for both Special/Support Schools and Autism Support Program is currently available on the Department’s website.

Yes – we are currently looking at how other jurisdictions (especially South Australia and Victoria) are funding their special/support schools through a needs-based funding model. In these specialised contexts there are some economies of scale due to critical mass and some educational adjustments that are context specific which need to be taken into consideration.

The Principal of Southern Support School has been a member of the Department’s Funding Model Working Group and has provided feedback on the development of the specialist settings model.

The Department will provide further information with school communities when available during 2019.

The educational adjustment descriptor tool will be utilised annually at the time of the NCCD collection and the issue of key transition points can be considered for students within the 12 month period e.g. Year 6 to Year 7.

Some of the descriptors within the Educational Adjustments Descriptor Tool consider adjustments related to transition.

The Educational Adjustments Disability funding allocation is provided to schools to fund the educational adjustments for students with disability in your school.

This resource is provided and schools have the autonomy to decide how this funding is used to best support the educational adjustments required for your students.

The Base allocation (incorporates both Support Teacher FTE and cash) supports cohorts of students with similar supplementary level of educational needs, which is typically led by a teacher.

The Targeted cash allocation, which is provided for students from Substantial Low to Extensive High, funds the individual educational adjustments provided for these students.

These educational adjustments should be documented in individual student learning plans.

Schools will remain accountable for reporting the learning outcomes and progress made by all students included in the NCCD and this includes those students with supplementary adjustments.

Students impacted by trauma, socioeconomic factors, transience or students displaying challenging behaviours that are not due to impact of disability are out of scope for this program, however if there is a co-morbid condition of disability and also needs in relation to trauma then the student can be included if the following criteria is met:

  1. Meeting the DDA definition of disability
  2. Requiring educational adjustments to engage in an appropriate teaching and learning program
  3. Evidence that appropriate adjustments have been made for a period of longer than ten weeks.

School Moderation Process

Budget and Resource Services expect to have interim allocations from the needs based funding model to schools with the interim School Resource Package (SRP) in October.

Yes, the NCCD is an annual process. This process requires schools to review the educational adjustment level provided to each student with disability on an annual basis as part of the NCCD.

For the new Tasmanian Educational Adjustments disability funding, moderation will take place when the following occur:

  • Students are in Kinder
  • Students are in Prep (first full-time year)
  • At points of key transition e.g. students moving from Year 6 to 7 and Year 10 to 11
  • When adjustment levels change
  • When students arrive from interstate or non-government sector
  • Students re-engaging in education.

Disability Education Adjustment Moderators will be visiting schools to undertake a moderation consultation session. We will work together during the visit to moderate your school’s students with disability against the Tasmanian Educational Adjustment Descriptor tool.

There is no need for schools to undertake extra work prior to this visit – however, schools may wish to consider collating the evidences from your normal school NCCD processes. Evidence required includes the following:

  1. evidence of eligibility for inclusion in the NCCD
  2. evidence of level of adjustment being provided to students within the NCCD
  3. evidence of the broad category of disability for student.

Schools should seek input from classroom teachers in relation to the adjustments they are making for their students – this could be by way of sharing planning notes for curriculum differentiation, timetables for students that show small group programs participation or Learning Plans. Evidence comes in many forms as noted in the evidences documents on the NCCD portal

School staff who could be involved in addition to Principal and Support Teacher may include Professional support staff e.g. Respectful Schools Support Team Leaders, School Psychologist, Speech and Language Pathologist; Vision and Hearing services.

Professional support staff should still undertake assessments as referred by schools to:

  • Assist with the evidence that is required that a student meets the definition of disability
  • Determine individual strengths and areas for improvement to inform educational adjustments in collaboration with class and support teacher/s
  • Provide recommendations to school staff and families in relation to current presentations in social and learning contexts; next steps for learning; appropriate strategies etc.

Professional judgement will be required in relation to the currency of information – ideally, recommendations will be based on relevant and/or recent assessment procedures.

Professional reports should not make comments on eligibility or define levels of adjustment as such decisions can only be made by the class room teacher, planning team, and Disability Educational Adjustment Moderator.

There is no deadline for professional reports to be loaded in SSS.  The deadline for the NCCD data to be uploaded into the Student Support System (SSS) is the first Friday in August each year.  This is the data-set that will inform school funding for the following year.

Work is underway nationally to improve the quality assurance processes for the NCCD with an Australian Government budget allocation of $20m.  Tasmania (DoE) is participating in all of the quality assurance projects.

The quality of the Tasmania data will be improved even further in 2019 as all judgements regarding the level of educational adjustment will be made with the input of the external moderators during their visit at each school during the year.

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

Parents

If you think your student needs additional supports and adjustments to tailor teaching and learning speak to your class teacher.

At each school, teachers and support teachers will be working to:

  • identify the individual needs of the student with disability
  • demonstrate the adjustments being provided at school to the student to address their individual needs based on their disability
  • consult and collaborate with the student and/or parents and families.

Your teacher and/or support teacher will continue to collaborate with you and your child to develop a Learning Plan which describes the adjustments that support engagement and learning.

Learning Plans are used for a broad range of students, not all of whom attract disability funding. Please refer to the Learning Plan Procedure for further information.

In order to inform Kinder Support funding for 2020, the Department’s Inclusion and Diversity Services (IDS) will work with ECIS staff during 2019 with context specific adjustment descriptors to define kinder support funding for 2020.

If you are new to Tasmania, your child will be included in the new Educational Adjustments moderation process for supports in 2020. If they require contingency supports in 2019, please contact your school principal and this can be arranged on a needs-basis.

Please speak to your classroom teacher and/or support teacher to communicate your concerns. Explore and seek to understand the type of supports and adjustments currently in place for your child (student with disability), and the Learning Plan for your child.

You can request a review of your child’s learning plan to discuss the types of educational adjustments provided to your child’s teaching and learning.

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

If the matter remains unresolved, please refer to the Department’s Grievance Guidelines.