Budget 2017 provides $63.3 million of operating funding over the next four years to support students with additional learning needs, including more teacher aide hours and a new programme for parents and teachers of young children with autism, Education Minister Nikki Kaye says.
“This Government is committed to ensuring that every child gets the support they need to be successful in life,” Ms Kaye says.
“Budget 2017 includes $15.5 million to extend the provision of teacher aide support to an extra 625 students per year. This investment means the Government will have fulfilled its pledge to roll out in-class support to 4,000 students.
“By providing more teacher aides and programmes for children with autism, we are supporting young people who have challenges to get ahead while also ensuring teachers have more time for all the children in their classroom.”
The Government has significantly increased funding for children with additional learning needs by around 33 per cent since 2009 to $633 million per year.
As already announced by the Prime Minister, $34.7 million of new funding will provide specialist behaviour services for an extra 1,000 children, and $6 million will also be invested to support young children with difficulties talking and listening.
Further support for parents and teachers of children with autism is also being provided as part of the Budget 2017 Social Investment Package, with a $4.2 million investment to extend the Incredible Years Programme for children with high needs to parents and teachers of autistic children aged two to five.
“The early years of children’s lives are incredibly important for their development. Providing support at the earliest opportunity will give children the best start to their education journey, and help them lead better lives as young people and adults,” Ms Kaye says.