The NDIS and schools

Our site also has specific information about different disabilities.

If you have questions about your child’s development or they have a disability, your child may get support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The NDIS is how the Commonwealth government provides support for people with disability, their families and carers. It is run by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

The NDIS has been rolled out across Victoria since 2016 and all areas will be using it by July 2019. Find out when the NDIS is available in your area.

Get support from the NDIS

The type of NDIS support your child gets depends on their age and your family circumstances. You or your child may get:

  • support and advice
  • information and linking to community based supports or
  • access to early intervention.

If longer term support is required, your child may apply for the NDIS.

Some disability supports from the Victorian or Commonwealth government may mean your child’s contact details will be provided to the NDIA. This will help you get the right NDIS support for your child. What type of NDIS support and when this will happen depends on your child’s current support and where you live.

How current support may affect getting into the NDIS

There are three ways that your child's current support may affect their application for the NDIS:

  1. You may not need to provide information about your child’s disability to support their application if your child is:

    See the full NDIS list of programs for which no extra information is needed. 

  2. You may need to provide some information about your child’s disability to support their application for the NDIS if they are currently getting:
    • assistance under the Students with Disabilities Transport Program
    • PSD funding Levels 4, 5 or 6
    • a medical intervention support payment
    • other non-education disability supports such as the disability support register, respite, Early Choices, Helping Children with Autism, Better Start and outside school hours care.

    If your child is getting any of these supports listed in option 1 or option 2:

    • your contact details will be provided to the NDIA
    • the NDIA will contact you to let you know what you need to do next. This may include providing extra information to support your child’s application
    • we will monitor your child’s move to the NDIS.
  3. If your child does not get any of the above supports, your child can apply as a ‘new’ participant.

    To apply:

Providing information on your child’s disability

When you apply for the NDIS you may need to provide information about your child’s disability.  Your child’s school can help with this. This may include:

  • copies of applications for the PSD program
  • individual education plans
  • reports from student support services, like psychologists or social workers.

Schools can only provide information that already exists, they cannot arrange for new assessments or reports.

You don’t have to tell the school that your child is an NDIS participant if you don’t want to. 

Support in schools

Your child may already be getting support in school through the PSD. This program gives government schools extra funding to help them teach students with disability and high needs.   If your child gets support from the NDIS, this will not affect their PSD support.

What support the school is responsible for

Schools are responsible for supports for your child’s learning at school, including:

  • teaching
  • learning assistance and aids
  • school building modifications
  • transport between school activities.

If your child is an NDIS participant this will not affect any extra support they get at school to support their education.

What support the NDIS is responsible for

The NDIS is responsible for support your child gets for their disability to help with their daily lives, for example support with:

  • moving around
  • personal care
  • eating and drinking.

The NDIS will not pay for school costs that are not related to your child’s disability, for example:

  • school uniforms
  • course fees.


How your child may be affected by the NDIS at school

There are four programs that may be affected by the NDIS:

NDIS funded therapy and schools

You may want your child’s NDIS therapist to work with them while they are at school, for example to:

  • observe your child in the classroom or in the school environment
  • attend a student support group meeting, to monitor and tailor the support they provide to your child
  • deliver your child’s therapy at school.

The principal will decide if it is safe and practical for your child to have NDIS therapy at school. They will consider:

  • the safety of all students
  • whether having NDIS therapy at school will affect your child’s learning
  • where NDIS therapy can take place
  • the support of the school council.

If you make a request for NDIS therapy at school:

  1. You need to discuss your request with the principal
  2. You may need to complete a consent form and a request form
  3. The principal will decide whether to approve your request and let you know
  4. If approved, a meeting will be held to discuss practical arrangements. This will include you, the school and your child’s therapist.

If your request is approved:

Your child’s therapist will also need to sign work agreements with the school. These agreements apply to anyone carrying out private business on school grounds. They do not relate to the NDIS service agreement between you and your child’s therapist.

You will be responsible for letting your child’s therapist know:

  • the agreed times and conditions for therapy
  • occasions when therapy cannot take place. This may be because your child is absent or other school activities are taking place.

You will also be responsible for letting the school know:

  • if your child stops getting therapy or you change therapy providers
  • how therapy is going.

If your child is getting NDIS therapy they can still use the school therapy programs. Programs may include:

  • the visiting teacher service
  • student support services.

For more information see NDIS funded therapy in schools.

Personal care in schools

Your child may need personal care assistance at school. This may include help with:

  • toileting
  • eating and drinking
  • dressing
  • moving around
  • complex health or medical support.

Personal care is usually provided by school staff.

If your child is an NDIS participant and gets personal care it will be in their NDIS plan. The amount that’s listed is the same for all students.

You do not need to pay anyone for your child’s personal care at school and you cannot use the money in your child’s plan for a different personal carer.

Your child’s school will provide personal care until a decision is made by governments about who will deliver personal care. We are working with the NDIA to confirm how personal care will be delivered in the future.

Students with disabilities transport program

If your child gets support under the students with disabilities transport program nothing will change for your child until at least 2023. We’ll continue to fund and provide the program until then. 

If your child is an NDIS participant, school transport should be in your child’s NDIS plan. The amount that’s listed is the same for all students.

You cannot use the money in your child’s NDIS plan for a different transport provider.

If your child is an NDIS participant and does not use the Students with Disabilities Transport program, you need to talk to the NDIA about how they may help your child get to and from school. 

We are working with the NDIA to confirm how school transport for students with disabilities will be delivered in the future.

See more information on the Students with Disability Transport Program.  

School leaver employment supports

The NDIS funds a range of post school supports to help young people with disability move from school into employment or other options, for example:

  • social and community participation
  • building life skills
  • mobility or communication technology
  • further study
  • finding and maintaining a job.

Some students with disability leaving school can use Disability Employment Services (DES) to help find work.

School leaver employment supports can be used by NDIS participants who have recently left school and are ineligible for DES.

See more information on School leaver employment supports.