TASMANIAN public schools will receive a minimum 5 per cent funding boost as part of an almost $16 million plan to support disability funding next year.
Education Minister Nick McKim announced the Respectful Schools funding model yesterday, which includes $3 million to provide targeted support to students with an IQ of 55 to 70, and $12.9 million to provide a minimum 5 per cent increase to the high and additional needs funding of students.
It's the first time targeted funding has been available to Tasmanian students with an IQ over 55 and aims to wipe out the ``IQ gap'' complained of by disability advocates who say children in this range need extra assistance to function at school.
Mr McKim said the boost to the high and additional needs fundingcom, which previously catered to those students, meant schools could provide discretionary support to other high needs students at the same time as making sure students with a lower IQ had individual support.
``We're expanding that now to also provide individualised direct tagged funding for students with an IQ between 55 and 70 and that's something that disability advocates have been calling for for a long time,'' he said.
``It is required to be spent directly on that student.''
Australian Education Union state president Terry Polglase said he was ``85 per cent happy'' with the new money.
Mr Polglase said he would wait until schools find out their school resource packages for next year at the end of October ``before he is 100 per cent happy''.
``From the union's point of view, it would seem the minister has looked at what we thought were flaws (that we highlighted in our submission) and has acted on them, provided there is additional funding there for those that need it,'' Mr Polglase said.
Association for Children with Disability chief executive Caroline Pegg said the new funding plan was ``great news''.
``There were plenty of other students with a higher IQ that had functional difficulties day to day at school that needed to be addressed, so hopefully with this funding model we will be able to provide better outcomes,'' Ms Pegg said.
Disability Education Reform Lobby founder and mother of three children with autism Kristen Desmond said she was keen to get more detail, as she had concerns about exactly how much this would mean in real support.