Better Support For Children With Disabilities

Children with disabilities will now receive better support through a renewed focus on the training and professional development of Victoria’s teachers.

Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke today visited McClelland Secondary College to announce new requirements for all teachers to build their capability to teach students with disabilities.

Whether in training or already teaching, all teachers in Victoria will focus on improving teaching and learning strategies for students with disabilities as part of their ongoing professional development.

Under the Victorian Institute of Teaching’s registration requirements, registered teachers will now develop their capacity to teach students with disabilities as part of their ongoing professional development.

The renewal of registration and ‘full’ registration requirement will apply to registered teachers in all education settings, including government and non-government schools and early childhood services.

The next generation of teachers will also complete a teacher education component related to students with disabilities as part of their tertiary studies.

The changes will come into effect next year, with teachers engaging in the renewal of registration process in September 2016 and each year after that.

These registration requirements will support our teachers to stay up-to-date on current thinking on the teaching of children with disabilities, as new research and understanding emerges.

Today’s announcement fulfils a key election commitment and is one of nine initiatives in the Andrews Labor Government’s Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools. The Plan aims to ensure that students with disabilities are given the opportunities they need to be their best.

Other initiatives already announced include the appointment of a dedicated professional to help schools support students with challenging behaviours, a review of the Program for Students with Disabilities, a new $10 million Inclusive Schools Fund and the introduction of an Outstanding Inclusive Education Award to the annual Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Every Victorian should be given the skills and opportunities they need to shape their lives, regardless of their background, personal circumstances, or where they live.”

“These changes will mean that our teachers are equipped with what they need to best support students with disabilities to be their best.”

Quote attributable to Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke

“As a former special development school teacher, I’m glad to see that Victorian teachers will continue to develop their capacity to support children with different abilities to achieve their potential.”

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