My child doesn’t have a diagnosis, can I expect support in a mainstream class at my local school?
The school’s learning support team will support the teacher to identify students needing additional support. Talk to your child’s class teacher, or to the school’s Learning Support Coordinator, if you feel your child needs additional support.
Even if your child doesn’t have a diagnosis, but they have movement, learning, communication, behaviour and/or psycho-social difficulties, which are reported by medical or allied health specialists, you may be able to negotiate adjustments or additional supports to suit your child’s needs at school.
My child has a diagnosis, can I get additional support?
Your child may have a diagnosed disability that might benefit from additional support. Funding for this support in public schools is known as the Individual Disability Allocation (IDA). To be eligible for the IDA, you need to have evidence that your child has extra support needs. Evidence can come from medical, psychology and/or therapy reports and may include results from IQ and Adaptive Skills tests. Some children who have a diagnosed disability may still not be deemed eligible for additional funded-supports if it is thought their level of need can be met within the class by the class teacher without additional resourcing.
Most students with disability in Western Australia are supported directly in their local school in mainstream classes with additional support. Students with disability may be eligible for additional funding support provided through the Individual Disability Allocation (IDA). See Section 5 for more information on funding support at the local school.
What can I do if I want my child to go to their local school, but the school says they will not be able to provide a 1:1 education assistant for my child?
Not all students require one–to-one assistance for all school activities. Some children benefit from having time when they don’t have direct assistance, but are enabled to work at their own pace, sometimes with the help of peers, or in a quiet space, working on their own. Supports need to be provided at the times and in ways which best suit your child and this may include an Education Assistant supporting several students at once. The supports your child requires may not be about having extra staff, it may be about the teaching strategies used and the relationships teachers have with your child.
Discussions and negotiations about the level and time of education assistance for your child need to occur before your child starts at the school, and in an ongoing way as their needs for support may change over time.
Education authorities provide funding support to schools to support a broad range of adjustments for students with disability, not only Education Assistants. In some cases, additional teachers or specialist support services are provided to help in the classroom.