Personalising learning - Meet Fiona and her son Jack

Jack is 3 years old and he loves playing with his pet dog Poppy. Jack has Autism.

Fiona and Jack are from Canberra and have just moved to Launceston. Fiona is feeling anxious as she does not know what support is available for Jack and what type of school is best for his needs.

Fiona searches on her iPhone and finds a contact number for Learning Services North from the Department of Education homepage. They set up a meeting for Fiona with the local Early Childhood Intervention Services centre.

Fiona meets the Principal/Centre Manager Judy. Judy is very supportive and is able to give Fiona clear options for what support is available for Jack. Jack attends this early learning centre for two sessions a week and his favourite activities are playing with the play dough and the moon sand.

In consultation with Judy, Fiona discusses the options for Jack’s schooling next year as he will be eligible for Kindergarten enrolment. Fiona decides to enrol Jack at the local primary school.

The school principal, Graeme has regular conversations with parents when their child enrols about what extra funding his school can provide to assist with their child’s learning. He is able to clearly outline what support and funding the school can provide. Jack has a great introduction to Kindergarten and he makes some new friends and can’t wait to go to school full time.

In Prep, the school is provided with additional funding into their School Resource Package to help support Jack’s learning needs. This figure is the same that is provided to every school when they have a child enrolled full time who is diagnosed with autism on the Register of Severe Disability. This funding is targeted to Jack and used to support his needs on top of the allocation the school receives for each student enrolled at the school.

The school uses the extra funding of $23,432 to support the following programmes for Jack:

  • Teacher assistant time
  • Assistive technology – iPad and apps to support communication
  • Professional learning for his teacher and teacher assistant
  • Motor skills group
  • Speech therapy program

Jack’s Prep teacher is Miss Douglas and she personalises a teaching and learning plan for Jack with the help and advice of Fiona and Jack’s father Brian. Miss Douglas is also provided with 0.2 FTE support which provided funds for an additional person to work with Jack the equivalent of two days a fortnight. She works this in to Jack’s Individual Education Plan through individual teaching times, small group support and the development of materials and resources specific to Jack’s program e.g. social stories.

Jack’s loves Prep and his favourite subject is Maths. Miss Douglas is proud of Jack’s achievements and hard work over the year. Next year he will be in Year 1 and the school will continue to receive the same funding allocation for Jack as they did when he was in Prep.

Tasmania’s Government schools are supporting all learners in all schools.

Some learners have greater support needs and comprehensive programmes are providing all students with access to a full range of education opportunities. 
Discover more about the support available…

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