More than 100 schools across Victoria are taking part in a world-leading pilot to better assess the learning needs of students with disabilities and additional needs.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, today announced both Doveton College and Emerson School in Dandenong would participate in the revolutionary approach to understanding the educational needs of the students.

The new assessment places the student at the centre of the process, focusing on their strengths and functional needs to identify adjustments and supports at the school level.

The innovative assessment – drawing on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health developed by the World Health Organisation – shifts the focus away from a student’s medical diagnosis to their educational needs.

It was also a key recommendation in the comprehensive 2016 review of the Program for Students with Disabilities. The review found that a strength-based approach would maximise the independence and achievement of students with disabilities.

A range of primary, secondary, combined and specialist schools across both metropolitan and regional locations are involved in the six-month pilot.

Today’s announcement builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to make Victoria the national leader in inclusive education. This includes a $232.8 million package in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 of inclusive education initiatives for students with a disability and/or additional learning needs.

The Labor Government has also invested more than $167 million to re-build, expand and upgrade 43 Victorian special schools over our four budgets.

Supporting students and young people with disabilities and additional needs, and strengthening inclusive education is a fundamental part of building an equitable and excellent education system for all.