Support needed and provided

Students with disability who experience difficulty in education may need additional support to help them participate. Not all who need support receive it.

School students (primary and secondary)

Most school students with disability receive support at school. Around 2 in 5 (42%) do not.

Of those who receive support:

  • 2 in 3 (63%) have special tuition
  • 2 in 5 (39%) have a counsellor or disability support person
  • 1 in 3 (35%) have special assessment procedures (Table 1).

Table 1: School students with disability who receive support at school, by type of support received at school, 2015 (%)

Type of support received

%

Special equipment (including computer)

18.4

Special tuition

63.2

Special assessment procedure

34.5

Counsellor or disability support person

38.7

Special access arrangements

5.6

Special transport arrangements

11.1

Other support

14.7

* Multiple supports may be identified

Source: ABS 2016; see also Table S6.

Some school students with disability need more support than they receive, including:

  • 1 in 11 (9%) who do not receive support but need it
  • 1 in 4 (23%) who receive support but need more (Table 2).

School students with disability attending a regular class in a mainstream school only are the least likely to need or receive support—42% do not receive or need support (Table 2). A further 29% receive support and do not need more. However, almost 1 in 3 (29%) need support but do not receive it or need more support than they receive.

School students with disability attending a special class in a mainstream school are the most likely to need more support than they receive (42%) (Table 2). But almost half (47%) receive support and do not need more.

School students with disability attending a special school are the most likely to receive support and not need more (51%) (Table 2). But almost 1 in 3 (33%) need more support than they receive.

Table 2: Whether school student receives enough support, by type of school or class attended, 2015 (%)

Support received

Attends special school

Attends special classes in mainstream school

Attends regular classes in mainstream school only(a)

Total

Do not receive or need support

21.0

**4.6

42.2

32.5

Do not receive support but need support

**1.5

*4.9

12.9

9.3

Receive support but need more

33.2

42.0

16.1

23.3

Receive support and do not need more

50.7

47.1

28.7

35.4

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

** Estimate has a relative standard error of greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

(a) Does not attend special classes in a mainstream school.

Source: ABS 2016; see also Table S7.

Non-school students

Most (82%) non-school students with disability do not receive any support from their educational institution.

When they do, the most common types are:

  • special assessment procedures (38%)
  • a counsellor or disability support person (27%)
  • other support (34%)
  • special tuition (21%) (Figure 1).

Some non-school students do not receive all the support they need:

  • 74% do not receive support and do not need it
  • 8% do not receive support but need it
  • 7% receive support but need more
  • 12% receive support and do not need more (Figure 2).

References

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: disability, ageing and carers, Australia, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0.30.002. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of TableBuilder.