'A different type of equality…not equal treatment, not even equal outcomes, but equal opportunity to learn and flourish in school.’
Marist-Sion College, like all schools, has responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act to ensure our enrolment process is fair. Likewise participation, curriculum development, accreditation, delivery, student support services, and the elimination of harassment and victimisation are all met or exceeded, in line with the Act. These responsibilities also lay at the heart of the school ethos and its history as a Marist and Sion School.
The Learning Support team work collaboratively with teachers, wellbeing staff, parents and outside agencies to establish learning strategies that support each student to help them reach their potential.
In conjunction with those responsibilities, the Disability Standards for Education stipulates actions to assist any student with disability, so they can ‘participate in education on the same basis as a student without disability’.
To do this, teachers make reasonable adjustments for students with disabilities. The reasonable adjustments are provided in consultation with the student and/or their parent, carer or guardian. Adjustments can be made at an individual student level, in the classroom or whole-school setting, depending on what enables the student/s to participate best. Personalised Learning Plans (PLP) are devised in response to certain student needs. Program Support Group (PSG) meeting are conducted to monitor and direct the adjustments where needed in consultation with student/parent/guardian/carer.
The functional impact of students with disability often results in the school actively addressing their needs in one of the following areas: curriculum, communication, participation, personal care and movement.
Marist-Sion College has a strong history of successfully supporting students with disability or additional needs. In recent years a Literacy and Numeracy intervention program at Yr 7 and 8 has been instigated to respond to the growing need to enhance these core foundational skills at early secondary school level.
Enrolment process for Students with Additional Educational Needs
If students have additional educational needs, whether they be physical, social, emotional, cognitive or sensory, their parents/guardians/carers are requested to inform the College in general terms only at the time of the enrolment application. The Learning Support Coordinator is often the first point of contact in such circumstances. Such information will be handled in a sensitive and confidential manner so as not to exclude the enrolment.
After receiving written consent from the family, the school will collect information to determine the student’s educational needs, with the assistance of the parents/guardians/carers. These might include: communication needs; curriculum access; emergency procedures; health issues; personal care needs; physical access; and requirement for access to specialist support. All of this information wiould need to be used to evaluate how the school can meet the student’s needs. The College Principal will then meet with parents/guardians/carers and other appropriate professionals to discuss the educational program the school can offer.
On acceptance of the enrolment of a student with significant needs, a Support Group will be established. This may consist of members including the Principal, Learning Support Co-ordinator, Psychologist/Counsellor/Chaplain, relevant Head of House/Tutor, Catholic Education Officer advisor, Primary School delegate and the student’s parents/guardians/carers.