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Support for Tasmanian children with additional needs

Mrs Armitage (Launceston) to ask the Honourable Leader of Government -

1. What support do children with additional needs receive who don’t qualify for funding to secure a teacher aide?

2. What money is there in the State Budget to hire staff to reduce the current nine month wait for a regional clinic appointment with the Tasmanian Autism Diagnostic Service?

Answer from the Leader of Government, Dr Vanessa Goodwin:

1. Teacher aides are only one small part of the support provided to support a student’s learning.

All schools have a support teacher allocated to them to provide support and assistance to school staff to meet the needs of students with additional learning needs. The support teacher is able to assist classroom teachers to meet the needs of students with additional learning needs to differentiate the curriculum.

An Individual Education Plan may be developed in conjunction with the students’ parents / guardians to guide the educational program and personalise the learning for the student.

Schools also have access to the services of School Psychologists and Speech and Language Pathologists to provide support for students with additional needs.

The services of Autism Consultants and Physical Impairment Consultants are available through the Learning Services.

Professional expertise is also available for students through the Vison Services Team and the Deaf and Hearing Impaired teams.

School staff have access to Professional Learning through the Professional Learning Institute to support their knowledge and understanding.

School staff also have access to the Online Disability Specific modules produced in the UK through the license purchased by the DoE.

The Department has also developed a range of resources to support classroom teachers. The Good Teaching Suite of resources are available to all staff both in hard copy and online.

2. The Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services jointly manage the Tasmanian Autism Diagnostic Service. The DoE contributes 1.0 FTE of staffing to the Service.

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