Students with high and complex learning needs, as well as their teachers and parents, will benefit from a substantial increase to Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding, Associate Education Minister Martin announced today.
“Nearly $160 million will go towards helping these students by lifting their base support over the next four years, and by providing extra short-term support in response to the impact of COVID-19,” Minister Martin said.
The baseline increase of $128 million over four years will support students who are ORS verified by increasing the average ongoing funded teacher aide hours per week from 10 to 13 for high needs students and 17 to 20 for very high needs students. This increase will take effect from the start of term three 2020.
The actual number of teacher aide hours allocated to individual students will be based on individual need. This will enable these students with complex needs to have ongoing support to increase attendance, participation, engagement and progression.
“In addition to this, an extra $31 million response fund will be available from now until June 2021 for schools to employ additional teacher aide support for those ORS students who need extra help on their return and transition back into school due to COVID-19,” Minister Martin said.
“After an extended period away from their learning routines due to lockdown, some students who are ORS verified may need additional teacher aide support to strengthen their attendance, participation, engagement in learning, and to reduce the stress and anxiety of transitioning back to school.
“For example, I am aware that some students’ transition visits have been delayed as a result of lockdown. The response fund will assist students in these types of situations.”
The response funding can only be used for teacher aide hours to the end of June 2021. It will enable schools to employ up to an additional 1,025 FTE teacher aides for one year.
To speed access to the fund schools will complete a simple application for their ORS verified students.