If you have a child with disability or additional needs

Starting high school can be a big change. Children with disability or additional needs may need extra support.

Enrolment and support options include:

  • extra support in mainstream classes
  • specialist support classes in regular schools, which offer smaller classes for students who need similar adjustments
  • specialist support classes in schools for specific purposes (SSPs), for higher levels of support for eligible students in a specialised setting.

Your child does not need a formal disability diagnosis to get support in mainstream classes. However, they will need a diagnosis for specialist support.

For more information or to talk about assessment of your child's needs, call your local educational services team on 131 536.

The Raising Children website also has information on planning and supporting the transition of children with disability into high school.

      When to start planning

      Enrolment for high school students with disability or additional needs is the same as for all students.

      However, parents or carers should meet with their school's principal or learning and support team to begin planning:

      • at least 12 months before your child starts high school, or
      • up to 2 years before if your child needs help with access or mobility.

      This can involve identifying:

      • which educational option is best suited for your child’s learning and support needs
      • the school's resources and procedures to address specific student needs
      • any adjustments that may be needed, such as building modifications, visual supports and access to technology
      • key contacts at the intended high school
      • a timeline for the transition process.

      It can help to bring with you any information about:

      • your child's condition from their doctors or therapists
      • the equipment and resources they need on a daily basis
      • your child's NDIS plan, if they have one.