Program for Students with Disabilities (Overview)

Under section 32 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, education providers must comply with the Disability Standards for Education 2005.

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 set standards for education and training providers, including Victorian government schools. To comply with the Standards education providers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate a student with a disability.

The Program for Students with Disabilities is a targeted supplementary funding program for Victorian government schools. It provides resources to schools for a defined population of students with disabilities, with high needs. Under the program, resources are provided directly to Victorian government schools to support the provision of school-based educational programs for eligible students with disabilities.

Program for Students with Disabilities resources assist schools to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. They do not define or limit the support provided by a school for a student with a disability, and schools are required to consider their total budget to support a student with a disability.

The Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) provides a range of supports and initiatives to assist government school students with disabilities. These resources are incorporated into either the Core Student Learning Allocation or Students with Disabilities components of the SRP, as outlined in the table below:

Core Student Learning Allocation Program for Students with Disabilities
Regular schoolsStudents resourced by the six level Students with Disabilities funding
Deaf settings are attached to regular schools and funded accordingly.
Specialist schoolsSpecialist schools are resourced using a model of funding according to the stages of schooling of eligible and regionally approved enrolments. Eligible students with regional enrolment approval in specialist schools are also resourced by the six level Students with Disabilities funding model.
Specialist schools are resourced by school specific resource agreements.
Specialist autism schools are resourced by school based funding model and a stages of schooling index.

Schools will be resourced by the Program for Students with Disabilities funding model for students who maintain current PSD eligibility. See the Guidelines for more information on student application processes and timelines.

The Student Support Group is the primary source of advice to the principal on the personalised learning and support required. This includes the provision of specialist staff (e.g. Special Needs Coordinator, occupational therapists, speech pathologists); teacher professional learning; specialist equipment/materials; and Education Support Staff (ESS). Schools are required to establish Student Support Groups for all students supported under the Program for Students with Disabilities.

Program for Students with Disabilities Management System (PSDMS) - Allocation of PSD resources

The Program for Students with Disabilities Management System (PSDMS) is used by schools, regional and central offices to administer processes associated with the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD). Registered users can access PSDMS

PSD resources are allocated based on up-to-date enrolment information provided by schools via PSDMS prior to budget-critical dates each term.

Principals must ensure all students in receipt of PSD support are listed on PSDMS prior to these critical dates. Enrolment details for new students, or current students not listed on PSDMS, must be promptly uploaded from CASES21 and registered in PSDMS.

For further information, PSDMS user guides can be accessed from the home page of PSDMS, or at: PSDMS - Program for Students with Disabilities Management System

Administration of the PSD is dependent on schools ensuring that all relevant students are accounted for in PSDMS. Where student details are entered incorrectly in CASES21, or enrolments are not registered in PSDMS prior to budget critical dates each term, Program for Students with Disabilities funding cannot be guaranteed.

Enrolment changes – student transfers

PSD resources are allocated on a pro-rata basis according to enrolment details recorded in PSDMS at the start of each term. When a student transfers during the school year, remaining resources for the year will be adjusted and made available to the new school from the start of the next school term (pending registration of enrolment details on PSDMS). The Student Resource Package will be adjusted accordingly at the end of each term as required.

Schools should make local arrangements to transfer resources for enrolment changes occurring during term.

Specialist school enrolments

In order for students to be enrolled in a specialist school setting, eligibility needs to be established and regional approval given to ensure resources from the Program for Students with Disabilities. 

If it is deemed appropriate, a regional director has the discretion and the authority to approve the enrolment of a student ineligible for PSD support in a specialist school. The approved enrolment identified prior to the February Census enables core funding to be allocated in the SRP.

Part-time attendance

In Victoria, education is compulsory for children aged between 6 and 17 years. Students are expected to attend normal school hours (between 9.00am and 3.30pm) every school day of each term.

Where agreement has been reached that a student is enrolled and attends two schools, the allocation will be provided on a pro-rata basis consistent with the enrolment details contained in CASES21, and registered on PSDMS.

Accountability

Accountability arrangements for the Program for Students with Disabilities have been incorporated into the existing school accountability framework. Schools are required to establish educational goals for all students supported through this Program and to report on student progress towards these goals in the August Census. 

Notification of resources

Schools are notified about their level of resources for the Students with Disabilities element of their SRP as a summary in the Student Resource Package, and in the Resource Allocation Listing in PSDMS. Individual outcome notifications are provided through PSDMS.

Important note concerning Indicative SRP

The Students with Disabilities element of the Indicative Student Resource Package is based on the information provided by the annual round and other application processes and all relevant enrolments identified on PSDMS at Term 3 of the year prior. This can result in significant variation between the indicative budgets for this element and the confirmed SRP.

Reconciliation processes

Current PSD allocations can be viewed in the PSDMS Resource Allocation Listing and corresponding SRP. It is the principal's responsibility to review this information throughout the year. All questions regarding confirmed PSD allocations should be logged via the DET Service Gateway, in line with processes in PSD reminders sent via the DET School Update. Reconciliation requests can only be considered on a one-term basis. Requests for budget adjustments cannot be considered beyond the previous term.

Further information