In another important step towards securing the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools, the Andrews Labor Government today announced a dedicated leader to work exclusively with schools in supporting students with challenging behaviours.
Minister for Education James Merlino said the new Principal Practice Leader (Education) will report to the Senior Practitioner (Disability) and work with individual schools to observe, review and make recommendations on appropriate responses to children with behavioural issues, and develop guidelines and resources to help school staff.
The leader, working under the direction and guidance of the Senior Practitioner, will seek to foster best practice and to reduce the use of restrictive practices in schools.
The Principal Practice Leader will work with schools to ensure that physical restraint and isolation are only used when it is immediately required to protect the safety of a student or any other person.
They will spend time in schools understanding current practices, and will help build the capacity and expertise of school staff, as well as improve data collection systems.
Providing our schools with clear guidance and transparent reporting processes will build families’ confidence in the ability of their school to appropriately respond to challenging behaviour.
The appointment is one of the nine initiatives of the Labor Government’s Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools, and delivers on a key election commitment.
The Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools is helping to create more inclusive, fair and safe schools for students with disabilities.
The Government is getting on with implementing the Special Needs Plan. In addition to today’s appointment, the Government is undertaking a review of the Program for Students with a Disability, and has introduced a new Inclusive Education Award to the annual Victorian Education Excellence Awards.
Further announcements about the remaining initiatives will be made in coming weeks.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“The experienced and dedicated Practice Leader is ideally placed to gain an insight into the issues around restraint in Victorian schools, and improve culture and practices.”
“We’re creating more inclusive, fairer and safer schools to make sure every child has an equal right to the knowledge and skills to shape their lives, regardless of their personal circumstances.”
“The Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools is part of the Labor Government’s almost $4 billion investment to make Victoria the Education State, so every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020