As this year comes to an end and we start thinking about the next school year (in
For countries other than
If you are from the
If you are from the
Part 7 of these Standards is called the Standards for student support services. Here are some of its main points.
Where do the support services come from?
- Students with disabilities should be able to access support services within the school or Education Department available to students without a disability without discrimination. So it the school is has supports such as a mentoring system, or peer support, peer tutoring or career advisor, children with disabilities should be able to access these services in the same way as all children in the school.
- If a student with a disability needs a specialised support service to ensure that they can participate in learning or other school-based activities, and it exists within the Department of Education, then the Standards state that the “provider must take reasonable steps to ensure that the student has access to the service (but may arrange for it to be provided by another person or agency).” (p19)
- If a specialised support service is needed, and it does not exist within the Department or school, the “the provider must take reasonable steps to facilitate the provision of the service to the student by another person or agency.”
Who decides on what is necessary?
Part 7 identifies that the process of deciding on the nature of the support services needed for the child should include consultation with the student or an associate of the student.
An associate, according to Part 1.4 (p6), is:
“(a) a spouse of the person; and
“(b) another person who is living with the person on a genuine domestic basis; and
“(c) a relative of the person; and
“(d) a carer of the person; and
“(e) another person who is in a business, sporting or recreational relationship with the person.”
So, in the school situation, the Learning Support Team (who I will discuss in another post) should jointly make this decision. And parents and their child (if the child is over the age of 11) should be part of that Learning Support Team.
What services should be supplied?
- specialised equipment: which can mean anything from mobility aids to technology such as that seen on the spectronicsinoz website.
- appropriately trained staff: which usually means teachers’ aides and support teachers.
Part 7 also stipulates that staff should be aware of available support services and be provided with information about these so they can assist students to access these, including through collaboration with “specialised service providers” such as social workers, speech therapists and so on.
In the next few posts I will look at writing more about the roles of teachers’ aides, support teachers, and what might be “reasonable” in the context of funding structures and current resources.