Model Overview

Our Commitment

The Department of Education Tasmania supports the rights of children and young people with a disability to access education on the same basis as their peers.

There are two documents that tell us about the rights of people with a disability in education. They are called The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education (DSE) 2005. These documents tell us about what schools must do to make sure that students with a disability have the same opportunities as everyone else. The documents say that schools must make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning.

The Disability Standards for Education (DSE) 2005 document is also called ‘The Standards’. Australian schools should promote equity and excellence, Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (2019). The Standards tell us that all schools must make sure that everyone can access education that is free from discrimination. This includes being free from discrimination based on gender, language, sexual orientation, pregnancy, culture, ethnicity, religion, health or disability, socioeconomic background or geographic background.

Educational Adjustment Disability Funding

The Education Adjustment Disability Funding model is based on student needs and is guided by key principles. The model delivers resources to Tasmanian Government schools to support educational adjustments that they provide for students with disability. Educational adjustments are all the things that schools do to help a student with disability. We use adjustments to make sure that everyone can access, participate and engage on the same basis as their peers.

The Department of Education worked with an independent consultancy company, KPMG, to develop the Educational Adjustment model. The model was developed using both research and consultation. KPMG’s final report is available at Development of a Needs-Based Funding Model for Students with Disability – Final Report.

Underpinning Principles

The Tasmanian Educational Adjustments Disability Funding model is guided by seven key ideas:

Underpinning Principles infographic

  1. Equity and Fairness. Schools use funding to meet student needs.
  2. Accountability. We take responsibility for our actions. We have processes to help us check that we are doing what we planned.
  3. Promote Inclusive Education Practice. The model helps school leaders and teachers to meet the needs of students. It helps them to do this in many different ways. This is so that everyone can be included in all parts of school life.
  4. Transparency and Simplicity. The model gives resources to schools in a clear and simple way.
  5. Integrity in Needs Assessment. We make sure that the model looks at student needs in a way that is honest and fair.
  6. Financial sustainability. We ensure there is a balance between the resources that we have available and the needs of students with a disability. All available resources for students with a disability are used to meet student needs.

Structure of the Model

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

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:

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

The levels of adjustment for the Tasmanian model are almost the same but there are extra levels in Substantial and Extensive. This helps us to provide resources where they are needed.

Look at the diagram below for more details about the Tasmanian disability funding levels.

Infographic about the Tasmanian disability funding levels

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

At the Substantial adjustment level there are two different levels of resource allocation: Substantial High and Substantial Low.

At the Extensive adjustment level there are three different levels of resource allocation: Extensive High, Extensive Mid and Extensive Low.

Students at the level of Quality Differentiated Teaching Practice are supported through usual school processes.

Core funding is given to schools for all students. This is used to support students in the Quality Differentiated Teaching Practice level of adjustment. Core funding for each school is worked out using the Fairer Funding Model.

Moderation and Educational Adjustment Descriptor Tool

Each year a Disability Educational Adjustment Moderator works with each Tasmanian Government school to talk about all students with disability who need educational adjustments. This is called the moderation process.

During the moderation process, moderators and school staff identify the level of adjustment using the Educational Adjustment Descriptor Tool. The tool helps us to understand each of the levels of adjustment, especially the extra levels in the Extensive and Substantial range. The Tool helps school staff to make decisions about educational adjustments that they make for students. These decisions are written in the student’s Learning Plan.

Resource Allocation

To implement the Educational Adjustments model an increased allocation of funding was made by Government. This funding is distributed on a yearly basis to support student need. This includes more Support Teachers in schools as well as more money to pay for educational adjustments that students need.

How does it work in local schools?

  • The Model gives a base allocation to every school (which includes Support Teacher staffing and money) for every student in the NCCD from Supplementary to Extensive.
  • There are two parts:
    • Formula Based Allocation (Support teacher allocation and money)
      • This is not tagged for individual students and is provided to schools flexibly to help them support students with disability.
      • The allocation is based on all students moderated at Supplementary, Substantial and Extensive levels of adjustment.
      • It provides base funding for teacher-led adjustments for students
      • This allocation stays at the school if the student moves.
    • Targeted allocation (money)
      • This funding is given to schools to support students moderated at the Substantial and Extensive levels. It is used to make educational adjustments for these students.
      • If the student moves to another Tasmanian government school, the money goes to the student’s new school.

How does it work in Support Schools?

  • The same Educational Adjustments model is used in DoE Support Schools.
  • In Support Schools, the model considers the number of students, the programs offered, and the general school running costs.

In Support Schools, the model delivers more base funding. This lets the support schools deliver quality educational adjustments to meet the needs of their students in their school context.

Background Information

The Educational Adjustments Disability Funding model matches the NCCD levels of adjustment, :

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

The levels of educational adjustments are decided by the individual needs of the student and show how teachers support students to access, participate and engage in school on the same basis as other students.

The NCCD data collection is based on the responsibilities of all schools under the

The model links to the DDA definition of disability. Only students who meet this definition of disability can have supports through the Educational Adjustments Disability Funding model.

More information is available at Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD).

A needs based funding model  was recommended by the 2014 Ministerial Taskforce Report, Improved Support for Students with Disability.

The Taskforce recommended changing Tasmania’s disability education funding model to have a needs-based approach and better support inclusive practice in Tasmanian Government schools.