Acknowledging that not all parents seek a regular class placement for
their child, Catholic Education in WA does not have special schools but
it provides a range of placement and program options including Special
Education Support Centres or units for students with high support needs,
units for deaf and hearing impaired students and various types of
support programs in regular classes.
Alternative, modified or reduced
programs are provided in Special Education Support Centres, units and
regular classrooms or in a combination of these. Varying levels of
support are provided depending on a student’s educational needs and/or
the location of the school.
Regular Classroom Settings
The majority of Primary school students with disability may be
adequately catered for with individualised programs and support in
regular same-age classrooms in their local school. Some students are
able to work independently with minor additional support or program
modifications. Others may work at varying levels with varying amounts of
teaching assistant time.
Learning Support Programs
A number of schools that do not have access to a Special Education
Support facility, conduct learning support programs and employ a Support
Teacher to organise and facilitate learning for students with
disability and special learning needs.
The Support Teacher may take primary responsibility for assessing
student needs and learning progress. Individual classroom teachers and
the Support Teacher, work together to develop and implement
individualised education plans/programs (IEPs), devise activities,
develop strategies and materials and evaluate the program.
The Support Teacher may team teach with the regular teacher in the
classroom and/or may conduct intensive small group learning activities
in the regular classroom or on a withdrawal basis. The Support Teacher
liaises with external service providers, CEWA Special Learning Needs
Consultants and organises and facilitates student reviews.
Particular Placement Considerations
In Secondary schools the majority of students with borderline levels of
educational disability, and a number of students with borderline to
mild levels of educational disability, are able to be adequately catered
for in regular classes, providing they are given specific
differentiated curriculum provisions and considerations.
students with mild or moderate intellectual disability who were able to
be accommodated in regular Primary school programs experience
significant difficulties with the increased academic demands of the
A number of parents may resist the idea of their child being placed in a
secondary Special Education Support Centre when the student had
previously been a member of a regular primary school class. Some parents
may not fully appreciate the increased social and academic demands of a
The majority of students with a mild to moderate
intellectual disability and those with moderate and severe intellectual
disability are better catered for in Special Education Support
facilities where programs and provisions are tailored to meet their
Some students have such specific, complex and intense
developmental/educational needs that they require specialised programs,
high levels of support, specialist teaching arrangements and facilities.
The educational support needs of some students are such that a regular
school, without access to specialist teacher support and additional
para-professional staffing, particularly at the secondary level, is
unable to provide an appropriate educational program.
For this reason a number of Special Education Support Centres and units
in designated primary and secondary metropolitan schools have been
established to cater for the needs of these students.
Put simply, there are three basic levels of student participation in the regular curriculum.
Parallel - same learning area, different objectives,
different activities and materials, different outcomes, perhaps a
different time frame and/or different means of expressing and recording
information and knowledge.
Alternative or different curricula provisions and curriculum modifications are recorded and detailed in either an IEP or a CAP.
Meeting Individual Needs (IEPs and CAPs)
Schools are accountable for the learning of all students. The
Individualised Education Planning/Programming (IEP) process is the most
efficient and effective way to demonstrate educational accountability
for students who receive special education services.
It is a clear
specific written account for action. The process encourages parents,
educators and relevant service providers to collaborate and share their
skills and knowledge, and strengthens the role of each.
The IEP process is essential in identifying and planning for the
educational needs of students with special learning needs. An IEP is an
action plan/program - a written commitment for action and a statement of
responsibility and accountability. It is a record of decisions about
the educational focus and planning arrangements for the student.
provides a succinct profile of the student’s educational needs and
abilities and prioritises these needs in a rational, functional manner
to ensure that provisions and arrangements are focused on specific
individual needs and sound teaching and learning practices.
Essentially an IEP is a non-static working document which identifies a
student’s specific needs and learning priorities, and outlines how these
needs are to be addressed within a defined time frame. It serves as a
management device and source of information that details the special
education and related services to be provided and the responsibilities
of those involved.
It documents the accommodations, modifications and
adjustments made, or required to be made, for the student in parts of,
or across the general curriculum.
The IEP describes how far, to what extent, by when, and how the student
should progress towards achievement of defined outcomes. It should be a
realistic and practical plan for a student’s education and a clear and
concise source of information.
While an IEP is the centrepiece, the
heart and soul of providing educationally sound provisions for students
with special educational needs it is only part of a total process and
not an end or an entity in itself.
Key Components of an Effective IEP
Comprehensive information regarding the student’s physical, functional,
academic and developmental levels within the total environment in which
he/she operates needs to be compiled from a variety of sources -
parents, teachers and relevant involved professionals.
Parents have a
significant contribution to make and should have ongoing opportunities
to participate and provide input to the development of the IEP.
Collaboration with parents throughout the IEP process strengthens the
links between home and school and enables better communication between
While there are a number of formats that can be used to document an IEP the essential elements of the process include:
Meaningful collaboration between relevant stakeholders
Comprehensive student information
Assessment of the student’s present level of educational achievement/skill attainment/performance
Clearly articulated and prioritised long-term learning and developmental goals
Identification and a statement of priority goals
A statement outlining specific educational objectives and learning outcomes
Implementation methods that will be utilised
The teaching strategies, methods, techniques and resources to be used
The roles and responsibilities of personnel who are involved in supporting the student
The review schedule and procedures
The ways in which the student’s progress and the planning effectiveness will be assessed and evaluated
Identification of support services to be provided
Any special equipment, modifications and adjustments required
Any particular duty of care aspects that relate to health, medical and therapy support and safety.
IEP meetings provide a forum for discussion, collaboration, resolution
of issues and decisive action planning. They take into account the
knowledge, concerns, ideas and wishes of the parents and those of the
teaching staff and relevant service providers. IEP meetings provide a
mechanism for communicating with parents. While it is valuable to have
input from a variety of sources, the numbers participating in the review
meeting should be kept to a minimum. Parent participation is essential.
Written reports from relevant others can be presented by the
Curriculum Adjustment Plan (CAP)
A Curriculum Adjustment Plan (CAP) shows the evidence that the student’s skills and needs have been taken into account in the preparation of the group program. Students will achieve regular or close to regular outcomes with teacher adjustment. This is the minimum for all eligible students.