New $10 Million Fund To Make Schools More Inclusive

Creative projects that make government schools more inclusive and equitable places for students with special needs will be supported under a new $10 million Inclusive Schools Fund.

Launching the new Fund at Mount Alexander College today, Minister for Education James Merlino said the Andrews Labor Government is committed to a Victoria where every child has an equal right to the knowledge and skills to shape their lives, regardless of their personal circumstances.

The Inclusive Schools Fund has been established to help government schools better support the social and educational needs of children with a disability, by providing funding to build inclusive school facilities.

Schools are encouraged to be creative and innovative with their ideas in their applications. There are great examples of schools making interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces which meet the requirements of all students, including those with special needs.

The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students, and fulfils a key election commitment.

The new $10 million Fund is in addition to the annual Accessible Buildings Program that is available to all government schools to provide facilities that support students, parents and teachers with injuries or disabilities.

The Labor Government has also appointed a dedicated leader to help schools  support students with challenging behaviours, is undertaking a review of the Program for Students with Disabilities, and has introduced a new Inclusive Education Award to the annual Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

Applications close on 16 November 2015, and successful projects will be announced  by the end of the year. Schools can download the guidelines and application form for the Inclusive Schools Fund at www.education.vic.gov.au/specialneedsplan

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“This new Fund will help make our schools even more inclusive and equitable for students with disabilities and special needs.”

“This Fund will support our government schools to build  inclusive school facilities, helping all students get the best start.”

Quote attributable to Member for Essendon Danny Pearson

“We’re building Victoria into the Education State, where everyone regardless of ability, circumstance or postcode, is given the skills and opportunities they need to be their best.”

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