Extra learning support for students with additional needs

Your child’s teacher and school have a range of tools and supports they can use to address your child’s learning needs. 

These include but are not limited to:

Reasonable adjustments

Schools can make reasonable adjustments to support your child's participation in education courses or programs, on the same basis as their peers.

Student support groups

A student support group gives you the opportunity to work with your child’s school to make decisions about their education and check their progress.

Individual education plans

Teachers use individual education plans to help them plan for and address your child’s learning needs. They’re used if your child requires support or assistance accessing their education on the same level as their peers, including if they:

  • have learning difficulties
  • are in out-of-home care.

An individual education plan can also be called:

  • an individual learning plan
  • a personalised learning and support plan.

Individual education plans may include assessments of:

  • your child’s current strengths and challenges
  • your child’s learning needs and goals
  • actions that address your child’s learning needs
  • roles and responsibilities for carrying out the plan
  • a record of important decisions, actions, student behaviour and progress
  • timelines for actions and reviews.

Your child’s plan can be reviewed at least once a term, or as needed.

​​Developing your child's individual education plan

You can work with your school to develop your child’s individual education plan. You can do this as part of their student support group. This is where a range of support people – you, school staff, allied health specialists, work together to put in place the support your child needs at school.

Your child can also be involved with developing their individual education plan, if appropriate.

Visiting teachers

If your child has a physical disability, vision impairment or is hard of hearing, visiting teachers can work with teachers to address your child’s learning needs.

Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) 

Abilities Based Learning and Education Support (ABLES) is an assessment and reporting tool that teachers can use in primary and secondary schools to identify and address your child’s learning needs.

It gives teachers resources to assess your child’s skills in:

  • speaking and listening
  • reading and writing
  • personal and social capability.

These assessments provide reports on your child’s individual strengths and abilities. This information is used to plan teaching that addresses your child’s learning needs and is linked to the curriculum.

ABLES also enables the teacher to track your child’s progress and adapt their teaching as required.

ABLES is the result of research conducted by the Department and the University of Melbourne with over 700 teachers in 70 schools across Victoria.

Assistance when sitting VCE exams

If your child has additional needs they may be able to get special arrangements to complete their VCE.

This can include:

  • extra time to complete the exams
  • rest breaks during exams or assessments
  • providing one question at a time
  • use of computers and assistive technology
  • use of a reader or scribe
  • changing the format (such as oral or typed assessment instead of written)
  • holding tests in quiet areas
  • material in accessible formats.

Special arrangements are available for VCE or VCAL at both school-based assessment and external examinations.

Talk to your child’s school about special arrangements for VCE.