Special education programs

A special education program is a cluster of resources – specialist teachers, teacher aides – at a particular school. A school’s special education program is dedicated to supporting the educational needs of students with disability to access, participate and achieve at school. Program specialisation is available in the following disability areas:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Physical Impairment
  • Speech-Language Impairment
  • Vision Impairment.

These are the same disability areas that are recognised in the Education Adjustment Program (EAP).

Special education programs support students across a range of ages. Programs for children of prior to Prep age are called Early Childhood Development Programs and Services.

It is important to note that schools are required to make reasonable adjustments whether or not a student with disability is identified through the EAP process, or whether or not a school has a special education program.

Additional resourcing for students with disability is provided directly to schools and not to special education programs. The resourcing pfrovided to schools is based on the number of students identified through EAP, but also takes into consideration total school enrolment with a socio-economic index overlay. This is to ensure that Queensland state schools have additional resources that are flexible and responsive to the needs of all students enrolled.

Additional resourcing is provided to schools not individual students. Principals are responsible for managing all of the resourcing within their school. Schools therefore provide support in a variety of ways. If parents have questions regarding the support being provided for students with disability at a specific school, they are encouraged to contact the principal. If not specific to a school, the Principal Education Officer, Student Services (PEO, SS) at your local departmental regional office may be able to provide assistance.

Head of Curriculum (HOC)

The HOC is a teacher whose work includes:

  • assisting in leading, coordinating the maintenance, review and implementation of curriculum frameworks and assessment and reporting in their school
  • assisting the leadership team of the school in curriculum matters.

The Head of Special Education Services (HOSES)

Special education programs of a certain size are eligible to have a HOSES to lead and administer the program. If the special education program at your child’s school has a HOSES, they will be a key person in your child’s education.

The HOSES is a teacher and often a member of the school administration team whose work includes:

  • taking a central role in the education team in curriculum planning for the student
  • teaching students with disability
  • monitoring the progress, performance and behaviour of students with disability
  • giving advice and guidance to teachers and support staff
  • coordinating and managing the staff and resources of the specialised program.

Special education programs support students with disability in state schools, and assist students and teachers in the development of their educational programs. Special education programs can be site-based or across sites. For example, a special education program may span the local primary and secondary schools, or a cluster special education program may support a number of students across a number of schools.