Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards with Kalianna students.


MORE students with disabilities now have access to outside of school hours care, with two additional specialist schools to pilot a new care program.

State member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards announced Kalianna School, in conjunction with Bendigo Special Development School, will offer out of school hours care and school holiday programs in terms three and four this year.

The $7.2 million program – which will also be run at Yarrabah School and Laurimar Primary School – was announced as part of a $61m funding package to support inclusive education initiatives across Victorian schools and early childhood services.

“These programs will give students with disability much-needed support outside school hours while making it easier for parents and carers to increase their working hours or re-enter the workforce,” Ms Edwards said.

About 100 students will be able to participate at each after school hours program, which will run five days a week over the second semester.

Each school will also offer a holiday program for 40 hours a week during the term three and summer school holidays until school resumes in February 2019.

This demonstration program aims to address the gap in outside school hours care services for students with disabilities and make it easier for parents and carers to re-enter the workforce or increase their working hours.

The funding also includes $12m to buy specialised equipment to help students with their learning, $6.5m for scholarships for teachers and other school staff in special education and $6.4m to upgrade early childhood infrastructure.