Children and Young People with Disability Enrolled in the Education System
The number of children and young people with a diagnosed disability (i.e. 12 month or more long-term condition) who are enrolled in the formal education system in the ACT.
What do we measure?
The number of children and young people aged 5-24 years living with a diagnosed disability (i.e. 12 month or more long-term condition) who are enrolled in government and non- government formal education system (i.e. attending school - kindergarten to year 12, or CIT or university).
Why is this important?
Children and young people living with disabilities may experience difficulties accessing and remaining engaged in the formal education system.34 As completing school provides many opportunities to improve both economic and social wellbeing, disengagement from the education system may create difficulties for children and young people with disabilities in obtaining and enhancing employment opportunities in later life.35
Information from this indicator can inform government policy about the initiatives that are effective in supporting the specific needs of children and young people with disability across the ACT education system.
The Education Directorate is committed to ensure positive educational outcomes for children and young people with disability in ACT Public schools. All children and young people with disability are able to attend a local school. Schools make reasonable adjustments at the time of enrolment and during the course of a student's education, ensuring they are able to access, engage and participate in education on the same basis as other students. The directorate provides a range of programs and supports for students with disability including supports within their local school, specialist schools, small group programs within schools and Hearing and Vision itinerant supports. The Education Directorate works with school leaders and teaching teams to ensure the range of programs and supports addresses the needs of the schools and their students. For more information refer to the Inclusion and Wellbeing section of the Education Directorate website.36
The ACT Government's goal is to ensure that every Canberran has the opportunity to reach their potential and contribute to the community. Towards achieving this goal, the ACT Government has ensured a diverse range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) opportunities are available for all working age Canberrans, including people with disability.
In designing Skills Canberra VET funding programs to meet the needs of people with a disability the ACT Government has put a great deal of consideration into:
- improving training affordability
- improving training qualification completions
- facilitating pathways into, and removing barriers between, vocational and higher education, and employment.
Skills Canberra recognises that other areas of the government, non-government and community sectors have an interest in maximising the participation in post-school education and employment of people with disability. Critical to achieving this is better integration of services at the local level and more tightly targeted sharing and distribution of information about the services available. Skills Canberra acknowledges that it needs to work with other agencies to achieve these outcomes.
Skills Canberra's Access and Equity agenda going forward will include unilateral activities to refine the programs as well as joint activities that can be undertaken between Skills Canberra and work units in other branches across the ACT Government and other government and non-government agencies.
How is the ACT Progressing?
Table 28: Number of ACT enrolments of students (P-12) with disability by sector, 2014-18
All schools â€” total
Source: Canberra School Census February 2018.
Note Includes students who meet the ACT Student Disability Criteria, including those students not formally assessed at the time of the census. From 2015, the National Disability Agency took carriage of the provision of the Early Intervention Program in the ACT from the Education Directorate.
In February 2018, there were 3,311 students with disability accessing special education programs, representing 4.3 per cent of the total students enrolled in public and non-government schools (77,142). The public sector continued to have the highest proportion of students with special education needs, with 69.2 per cent of total 2018 enrolments of special education needs students.
Table 29: Number and proportion (%) of ACT students aged 18-24 years with a disability (including impairment or long-term condition) enrolled in the VET system, 2013-17
VET students with disability
All VET students
Students with a disability as a proportion of all VET students
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research VOCSTATS Government-funded students and courses VET students 2003-17.
Note This provides information on government funded training activity only.
While the total number of government-funded VET students has decreased each year from 2014 to 2017, the number of students with a disability as a proportion of all VET students has increased each year from 9.2 per cent in 2014 to 13.3 per cent in 2017.
The data is sourced from the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS) VET Provider national data collection. The ACT submits this data on a quarterly basis.
The data is for 'government-funded' students. This includes funded training activity delivered by private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and funded training activity delivered by public TAFEs (Canberra Institute of Technology).
The definition of government-funded activity was revised in 2016. This data now includes only Commonwealth and state/territory government-funded training from training providers. Fee for service training by government providers (TAFE etc) is now excluded. The data series has been updated to reflect this change in scope.
In the ACT, young people between the ages of 18-24 years are identified by a combination of the 'age' field and the 'Statistical Local Area' field, which is derived from the postcode associated with the student's place of residence.
The 'Disability flag' in the VET Provider data collection is self-identified. There is no link to any formal diagnosis process.
There is potential for some overlap in the data for young people engaged in VET and young people attending school. This data does not include students studying Higher Education.
34 ABS 2014, Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings 2012
35 ACT Government 2014, A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People 2014, p.47.
36 Inclusion and Wellbeing, Education Directorate