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Home > Census instructions > Students with special needs

Students with special needs

Students with special needs include:

English as a Second Language (ESL) Assistance

ESL students are those whose first language is a language or dialect other than Standard Australian English and who require additional support to assist them to develop proficiency in English. These students need support with written or spoken English in order to access the curriculum.

For an ESL student to be included on the Census form, they must have been assessed as requiring assistance before Census Day, whether they are receiving support or not. The principal is the final decision-maker, but any qualified person can undertake the assessment of whether a student receives support. Usually this would be a specialist ESL or learning support teacher.

Identification of students needing support should be done at least on an annual basis. This identification could be through any one of a range of processes, for example, through observation and analysis of work samples by the classroom teacher, through observations of the student by the principal or other qualified teacher, through the results of targeted assessment (for example, National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia ESL Bandscales) or through any other appropriate process specific for ESL. Documentation supporting the principal’s identification process (including, at a minimum, the basis for the decision) must be kept for a period of five years from Census Day, and in a way that ensures the integrity and security of the data and documents.

ESL students speak languages other than English as their first language(s). Many Indigenous students in Queensland have ESL learning needs. For many of these students, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language or Creole is their first language. Many speak more than one of these languages or dialects before starting school.

Students whose first language is not English do not always require ESL assistance. Their proficiency in the English language is determined at the local level to identify whether or not they require assistance to enable them to participate fully in mainstream classroom activities. Further information is available in Appendix 3.

ESL is also known as EAL/D (English as an additional language or dialect).

Students to be excluded

For further information, contact:

Vodcast

Click on the link to watch a short vodcast explaining the requirements concerning ESL tuition.

Indigenous students

Indigenous students are those students of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identify as an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander.

Where school records do not include this information, schools may need to rely on self identification or seek parental advice.

Records of this information need to be retained by the school/governing body for a period of five years from Census Day, and in a way that ensures the integrity and security of the data and documents.

It is important to note that Indigenous persons exercise a choice in identifying their Indigenous status, and identification of Indigenous status by other parties is to be discouraged.

Vodcast

Click on the link to watch a short vodcast explaining the requirements concerning Indigenous students.

Students with disability (SWD)

Updated in 2020

A student with disability must meet the following criteria:

Note: New!
All students enrolled at and attending a non-State school accredited for special education are eligible to be included as students with disability, regardless of whether the verification process is completed by Census Day. This does not remove the requirement for the verification process to be completed for all students with disability at non-State schools accredited for special education. If a student subsequently fails to meet the verification requirements, it is the governing body’s responsibility to inform the Board and the department so that the data can be amended and any action necessary be taken.

New!
To ensure a student with disability is eligible for inclusion in the census, the student must be verified by Census Day (excluding students enrolled at and attending a non-State school accredited for special education whose verification can be completed after Census Day). Verification is the process of confirming that a student's identified impairment, and the associated activity limitations and participation restrictions which require significant education adjustments, meet criteria for one or more of the Education Adjustment Program (EAP) categories. The verification has to be completed by Census Day and the verification also cannot have expired. A student’s verification will expire if it is not reviewed within two years of the stated review date.

Records of each student’s verification under the EAP and the specific educational adjustments, which indicate the types of educational support services and resources provided, are to be retained by the school/governing body for a period of five years from Census Day, and in a way that ensures the integrity and security of the data and documents.

A student may have educational needs arising from disability in more than one category. In this case, a student with multiple disabilities should be included on one line only in the table EAP by impairment category, but with each disability category included across that line in the table.

Disability categories for verification:

Students to be excluded

The following students are not eligible under this program and must not be included as students with disability:

For further information, refer to the EAP Handbook published by the Department, or contact:

Vodcast

Click on the link to watch a short vodcast explaining the requirements concerning Students with disability.

Last updated 31 January, 2020

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