All schools in the Parramatta diocese have Special Education teachers. The allocation of Special Education teachers is based on the size of the school and the needs within each particular school. The Special Education teacher works with the whole school community, including parents, to provide consultation, assessment, planning and referral services for students with a variety of learning and special needs.
Special Education teachers work in a number of different ways such as:
- providing direct service delivery to students
- consulting with and supporting class teachers with curriculum differentiation
- coordinating the Individual Planning process and
- liaising with the Catholic Education Office in areas such as assessment and funding applications
Further assistance can be provided by:
- school-based special education teachers and teacher assistants
- itinerant teacher support programs for students with a hearing or vision impairment and for primary students with a communication disorder
- educational psychologists who support groups of primary and secondary schools
- speech pathology assessment and advice
- Transition programs to employment or further studies/ training for secondary students with disabilities
- a secondary support class for students with moderate intellectual disabilities
- a satellite class in conjunction with St Gabriel’s School for Hearing Impaired children, Castle Hill, for secondary students
- autism satellite classes in conjunction with Aspect Australia
- individual planning processes for students
- professional development activities for teachers, teacher assistants and parents
A key part of the education program is to establish an Individual Plan for students. Individual Plans (IPs) are the written outcome of a planning process required for all students with diagnosed disabilities. The plans involve parents/caregivers, teachers, special education teachers and other support personnel in setting goals for the students for the school year. These goals focus on areas that need development. Individual Plans may focus on curriculum, personal care, safety and health, transition and/or behaviour.
Parents of students with disabilities are encouraged to begin the enrolment process at least a year in advance of the normal enrolment period to allow for assessment of the support and adjustments required for your child.
Initial contact should be made with the principal of your local Catholic school.
You may be asked to provide copies of assessments or reports concerning your child’s needs. It may be suggested that further assessments be undertaken by the special education teacher at the school or by staff from the Catholic Education Office.
The enrolment process involves consultation and clarification of student needs. Available support and resources are investigated with parents, school personnel and special education division members.
Students that receive special education support are commonly identified with the one or more of the following conditions:
- intellectual disabilities
- physical disabilities
- hearing impairment
- vision impairment
- communication disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- mental health condition (emotional disorders)
Further information about Special Education services may be obtained by contacting your local Catholic school directly or the Catholic Education Office.