Special Education covers the education of children with particular needs. Gifted students, who also have specific needs, are treated separately.

Special Education provides programs and support through several methods. This can be through the regular classroom, with support of modified curriculum or additional human resources, placement in special classes within regular schools, which may be smaller in size, allowing for more individual attention or, if impairment is significant, it may mean placement in special schools, again with smaller class groups and other modifications.

In addition, there are other resources such as transport, building modifications, Individual Education Plans and technology, all designed to make learning as easy, enjoyable and effective as possible.

Even collection of data has changed, as can be seen through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability process.

All systems prefer an inclusive approach wherever possible, taking into account the level of impairment involved, the special needs of an individual student and the needs of other students who may be affected.

This page looks at general information from all Australian states & territories.

You might also consider the range of inclusions on the Special Education Resources page for further information. These include links to associations, curriculum information plus Australian and International Resources including technology, apps and software.

This page does not attempt to target individual impairments or disorders. These can be found from a variety of other, specific sources.

States & Territories


  • Disability Gateway - ACT - Primary and High School
    Includes ‘ Disability rights for young people, NDIS supports, School resources for education providers, School support and services for families, Support for Indigenous Australians and Support for new migrants’. There are also similar pages for ACT - Early Childhood Education and ACT Tertiary Education.
  • Students with Disability [Education ACT]
    Covers Programs and Supports, Transitions [see below], Enrolments - from 2023 all ACT Public Schools will offer Disability Education Programs [Small Group Programs] for those families who choose this option, Eligibility for programs, Enrolling, Transfers in from other systems, Appraisal of Need, Individual Learning Plans, NDIS and School Education, Contact numbers and more. Most of these are detailed below :
  • Contact Us
    Includes Contact details for Disability Education and Special Needs Transport.
  • Disability Criteria for ACT Students
    11 page document covering all criteria. January 2021.
  • Disability Education Reference Group
    ‘The reference group provides an opportunity for the community to have an important role in formulating advice to the Directorate on the education of students with a disability in ACT public schools’. Multiple documents available including Minutes, Communiques and the actual Terms of Reference.
  • Specialist Schools and Education Centres
    Provides school/centre details including contact details, address, telephone, website and map.
  • Strengthening Inclusive Education
    ‘As part of the Future of Education Strategy, the Education Directorate is working with people with disability to create a future of education underpinned by inclusion and equity – where a universal sense of belonging is fostered and students with disability are included at school’. Further details can be gained from this site.
  • Student Centred Appraisal of Need
    ‘This booklet is designed to assist parents, carers and staff to prepare for the Student Centred Appraisal of Need meeting. It contains information about the process and the groups of descriptors that have been divided into ten areas of educational need. It is these ten areas that will be discussed in detail at the appraisal meeting’.
  • Students with a Disability : Meeting their Educational Needs
    ‘This policy confirms the Education and Training Directorate’s commitment to supporting students with disability in ACT public schools’. Links to related policies.
  • Students with Learning Difficulties
    ‘Students with identified Learning Difficulties are supported in public schools through a range of services and programs in order for them to reach their full educational potential. This information provides an overview of these programs for parents and carers’.
  • The National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS]
    Provides information about its implementation in the ACT and What Education Related Supports will the NDIS Fund ?.
  • Transition Toolkit
    ‘The Transition toolkit is available to help parents and carers support students with disability and developmental delay with the transition to school or next year level’.
  • Transport for Students with Disabilities
    Covers Special Needs Transport. For further information on applying for the SNT program go to the   Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate website.


  • Students with Diverse Needs [AISNSW]
    ‘The Student Services team works in collaboration with AISNSW member schools to assist in addressing the needs of students who may require additional planning, support and adjustments arising from’ the factors indicated. Several sections for teaching staff, particularly Planning Tools and Resources and the contents of the AISNSW Resource Centre.
  • Disability Gateway - NSW - Primary and High School
    Includes ‘Disability rights for young people, NDIS supports, School resources for education providers, School support and services for families, Support for Indigenous Australians and Support for new migrants’. There are also similar pages for NSW - Early Childhood Education and NSW Tertiary Education.
  • Disability, Learning and Support
    ‘In this section : Personalised support for student learning, Early childhood, Primary, Secondary, Leaving School, Programs and Services, Resources, Disability Strategy’ and more. Related sections include :
  • Assistive Technology
    Sections include ‘What is assistive technology ?; Making decisions about assistive technology; Professional learning; Accessibility options on a range of technology; Assistive technology and the NDIS; and How-to-videos’.
  • Assisted School Travel Program
    ‘The Assisted School Travel Program [ASTP] provides individualised transport to and from school for 10 500 eligible students across NSW. Find out more about how specialised transport to and from schools can be provided to eligible students with disability’. This is for the Primary School sector. There is also information for Secondary School Students.
  • Assisting Students with Learning Difficulties Policy
    ‘This policy applies to all staff employed by the department including in school and non-school based positions. It also applies to students who attend NSW public schools and has implications for each school community’.
  • Disability Inclusion Action Plan
    ‘The NSW Department of Education strategy to better engage people with a disability’. Word Format.
  • Educational Options [Primary School]
    ‘The department provides a range of options to support students with disability and additional learning and support needs across the primary years’. Sections cover Mainstream Classes, Support Classes and Support at school.
  • Educational Options [Secondary School]
    ‘Mainstream Classes, Support Classes, Support at high school, School learning and support team and Adjustments to learning and teaching’ sections are covered.
  • Getting ready for school - A Guide for Parents of a Child with Disability
    ‘A starting school guide for parents of a child with disability is available in 35 languages including English’.
  • Learning and Support
    ‘Identifying learning and support needs; Learning and support resources; and How learning and support works. Learning and support resources are available in every mainstream school to help any student experiencing difficulties in learning in a mainstream class, regardless of the cause. This includes support for students with : learning difficulties, mild intellectual disabilities, behaviour needs and autism spectrum disorders or mental health disorders [with lower level support needs]’.
  • Low level adjustment for Disability
    ‘The low level adjustment for disability equity loading is an allocation to support students in mainstream classes who have additional learning and support needs. Key messages, Fund allocation, Further information’.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme
    ‘About the NDIS; How schools can support families; Advice and support for schools; NDIS fact sheets and resources; and Frequently asked questions on the NDIS’. Scroll down for greater detail in each of these sections.
  • People With Disabilities - Statement of Commitment
    ‘The policy outlines commitment to people with disabilities, education objectives based on the principle of “normalisation” and responsibilities at state, regional and school levels. It also articulates the rights of parents, caregivers and students’.
  • Programs and Services
    ‘Programs and services available in schools offer students personalised support to meet their individual needs’.
  • Resources for Disability, Personalised Learning and Support
    ‘Locate organisations, policies and resources that can help or get further information’. Also lists links to a range of documents, some of which are already included above.
  • Schools for Specific Purposes [SSPs]
    ‘Schools for specific purposes [SSPs] provide specialist and intensive support in a dedicated setting for students with moderate to high learning and support needs. They support students with intellectual disability, mental health issues or autism, students with physical disability or sensory impairment and students with learning difficulties or behaviour disorder’.
  • Specialist Allied Health and Behaviour Support Provider Scheme
    ‘The scheme supports schools that may need to engage specialist allied health services to ensure learning adjustments are appropriate and effective for students’. In addition to the text presentation there is also a Full length video about the scheme and also a Transcript of the content.
  • Specialist Support Classes by School and Support Needs Type
    ‘This dataset is an indication of current support classes operating in NSW public schools. Data is for government schools and is updated at the beginning of each term. Parents and carers are advised to contact their local public school to discuss all support options available. Support types included’. Preview and/or download the information.
  • Disability Support Services
    At TAFE NSW, we understand that every student has individual needs that may impact on their ability to study and we are committed to supporting students who have a disability. Appointments with Teacher Consultants are free and information provided is confidential. You can call us on  131 601 or   1300 362 890 [for TAFE Digital Disability]’. What disability support do you have available ? answers most of your questions while also listing a range of related questions to follow up.
  • Catholic Schools NSW
    Access Special Schools listing by selecting either a location or a school name then selecting Special School from the options that follow.
  • Special Education
    ‘Special education refers to teaching practices that meet the individual needs of students with disability. All students are entitled to participate in and progress through the NSW curriculum. Schools need to provide adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities for some students with disability’. NSW Education Standards Authority.
  • Students with Diverse Needs
    ‘The Student Services team works in collaboration with AISNSW member schools to assist in addressing the needs of students who may require additional planning, support and adjustments arising from : disability additional learning support academic/curriculum, additional learning support for behaviour/social emotional development, mental health difficulties, gender identity and gender expression or a combination of the above’. Further details available from the site.
  • Who’s Going to Teach My Child ?
    “A Guide for Parents of Students with Special Learning Needs”. This book, while done some time ago, still reflects many of the things you want to know.

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  • About Special Education and Disability
    ‘This page has information about special education and disability in the Northern Territory, support services and specialist schools and centres’.
  • Early Childhood Intervention
    ‘This page has information on early childhood intervention [ECI] to support the development and learning needs of young children from birth to 6 years who have a disability or developmental delay’. Information on how Education Advisers will be able to assist you.
  • Enrolling Students with Disability
    ‘This page has information on the criteria and the process for the enrolment of students in specialist schools and centres’. Criteria are provided for Early Years and Primary, Middle and Senior Years, The Enrolment Process, even the Appeal Process should this be required.
  • Inclusive Education Support Grant
    ‘If you’re an eligible organisation working with children with disability, you can apply for funding for services or programs that improve their education’. Also indicates What you can get funding for, Who can apply, How to apply, After you apply and If you’re successful. Contact details are also provided.
  • School Psychology Services
    ‘School psychologists provide support to students and their families across the whole school, to groups and to individuals with severe learning, behavioural, social and emotional needs’. Also check the the information about School Counsellor Services.
  • Special Education Courses
    ‘Special education courses are available to school leaders, teachers and support staff through online courses and activities. These courses can be accessed through your regional manager or principal’.
  • Support Organisations
    ‘Information on organisations in the Northern Territory providing support if you have a child with a special need, disability or mental health support’. Listings are provided for Special education and disability and Social support and mental health.
  • Transition from school services
    ‘This page has information on the support available for students with a disability when they leave school to go to further education, employment or community access programs’.
  • Transport for students with special needs
    ‘This page has information on transport to and from school for students with special needs, the services provided, student eligibility, how to apply, notifying absences and changes to transport arrangements’.


  • Equity in Education
    Provides a brief overview and links to several documents, products and services.
  • Students with Disability
    Sections cover Reasonable adjustments, Inclusive Education and Supporting students through reasonable adjustments. It also covers legislation and several videos with transcripts plus several other areas.
  • Disability Services Queensland
    ‘Leaders in innovation and partnership in the disability field’. Primarily addressing the period after schooling but may still be of interest for those with students who are close to finishing school.
  • Equity Services
    Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Select Inclusive Education from the options. Information plus links to resources. This covers all the areas being used to assist development with those children demonstrating specific needs.
  • Inclusive Education [Education Queensland]
    Overview, multiple links for special areas including Students with Disability, Student health, safety and wellbeing and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. Relevant sections from among the groups [particularly those for students with disability] include :
  • Assistive Technology
    ‘Assistive technology in education is any hardware, software or system of technical components and processes that enhances the capacity for all students to engage more effectively with the curriculum and their learning environment. This can range from “high tech” technology, such as electronic devices or power wheelchairs, to “low tech” devices such as a pencil grip, supportive seat or a simple switch. Assistive technology can support teachers to provide teaching and learning that is accessible to all students. Assistive technology supports students with diverse learning needs’.
  • Every Student with Disability Succeeding Plan
    Programs and Services, Special Schools, Early Childhood Development programs and services, related links, more. You can download A copy of the 2021-2025 plan using this link.
  • General information for students with disability
    Includes information about ‘ Enrolment options, What are reasonable adjustments ?, Resources provided to help schools make reasonable adjustments, Early childhood and getting ready for school, Starting and finishing school, How parents and carers can be involved, Community supports and the NDIS and Making an enquiry or complaint’. There is also information for those with a specific disability.
  • Inclusive Education Policy
    ‘The Inclusive Education Policy applies department-wide including all state schools and educational settings. This policy sets out the Department of Education’s [the department’s] commitment to continue to work towards a more inclusive state education system and the principles which will guide that work’.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme [DET]
    Fact Sheet. ‘The department’s early childhood education and care, school education and training and skills portfolios are supporting the Queensland Government’s efforts to make the transition to the NDIS a smooth process for children, students, families, staff and other stakeholders we work with’.
  • Regionally allocated Specialist Support Staff Resource
    ‘Assists schools to provide for annual stock and requisites, equipment and materials for specialist support staff. All State schools with specialist support staff are eligible’. State schools will transition to the new model over 2 years in 2023 and 2024
  • School Transport Assistance Scheme
    Programs for Students with Disabilities. Explanation of what is involved in the program, e.g. eligibility, types of transport, Online applications and related links. Translink.
  • Student health, safety and wellbeing
    Sections include ‘Student Wellbeing Package, Student health, Supporting students’ wellbeing and mental health, Student support services, Students with diverse needs and Supportive school discipline’.
  • Students with Disability
    Covers a diverse range of information including ‘Who are students with disability ?, Reasonable adjustments resourcing [RAR] allocation, The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability [NCCD], Extensive plus, Prep and new students to state education, All disabilities targetted, Transition to the new model, News and stories’ and more.
  • Supports for students with disability
    ‘Queensland state schools work to ensure the success and wellbeing of every student with disability through every stage of learning in an inclusive education system. General Information and Disability-specific information. If your child has a condition, disorder or disability that is not outlined on this website, contact your child’s school for information or advice’.
  • Support to non-state schools
    ‘Non-state schools have their own systems and resources to support students with disability. The department also supports non-state schools by providing a range of disability-specific supports and services’. Details of these can be found on the above page.

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  • AIS - Special Education
    Targeted program for Special Education in S.A. Independent Schools.
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  • Barkuma - Support in Schools
    ‘We provide services to high school students with disability to create, pursue and achieve their life goals. Each service is tailored to students at different stages in their lives. Explore our school supports below’.
  • Catholic Schools Special Education
    Overview, links to special schools, contact point.
  • Disabilities and Special Needs
    Multiple sections. Covers Hearing impaired - children 0-5 years; Deaf and hard of hearing - school children; Speech and language impairments; Disability support at preschool and school; Equipment and assistive technology; Learning difficulties and disabilities; Support for complex health needs or disability; and Respite care. South Australian Government.
  • Disability Gateway - South Australia - Primary and High School
    Includes ‘Disability rights for young people, NDIS supports, School resources for education providers, School support and services for families, Support for Indigenous Australians and Support for new migrants’. There are also similar pages for South Australia - Early Childhood Education and South Australia - Tertiary Education.
  • Disability support at school
    Information for families and students, Contact details. Sections include - Schools with special needs programs, Special Education Resource Unit, Support for children with autism and Support for children with a hearing impairment. Related links include :
  • Children and Students with Disabilities Policy
    Overview of the aim of the policy plus a PDF version available for download.
  • Disability support at Preschool and Kindergarten
    Sections include ‘Eligibility, How to get support, Inclusive preschool programs, Speech and language programs, Early Intervention Service – Deaf and Hard of Hearing [EIS-DHH], Special Education Resource Unit and Specialist preschools for children with disability’.
  • Disability Support at School
    ‘On this page : Schools with special needs programs; Special Education Resource Unit; Support for children with autism; Support for children with a hearing impairment; Support with education and to explore future opportunities’.
  • Learning Difficulties/Learning Disabilities
    Information includes possible causes, What is a learning disability, Talk to your child’s teacher, Support programs and services, Resources, Related information and more.
  • Learning Plans for Personalised Learning
    ‘Personalised learning plans – known as One Plans – support school and preschool students to reach their learning potential. One Plans are developed with input from the student, their teachers, and their family’. Students with disability are included in this.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS] and educational services
    ‘Educational support programs; The NDIS in schools; Early childhood intervention services; Transport; Personal care; Post school transition; NDIS in the community; NDIS service providers; Registering for NDIS support; Privacy’.
  • School and Further Education
    Covers ‘Pre-school and school, Leaving high school and planning for the future, Further education, Studying at TAFE, Training and apprenticeships, Studying at university, Other study options and Related information’.
  • Special Education Resource Unit
    ‘Supporting the educational outcomes of children and students with disability and learning difficulty’. Sections include Resource Centre, Specialised Services and Professional Learning. You can also take a Virtual Tour of the Unit, listen to their Podcasts or take part in their Parent Forum.
    ‘SPELD SA is a not-for-profit organisation providing advice and services to children and adults with specific learning difficulties and those who care for, teach and work with them. SPELD SA works with the Department for Education, Catholic and Independent schools, as well as universities, TAFE colleges and other organisations’.


  • Support for Students
    ‘Tasmanian Catholic schools and colleges have access to our centralised Student Support Services to deliver appropriate support to students with additional needs and/or disabilities. A range of expertise, personnel and resources are provided to support all students’ access to and participation in learning’.

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  • Abilities Based Learning and Education Support
    ‘Abilities Based Learning and Education Support [ABLES] is a curriculum assessment and reporting suite. ABLES has been aligned to the teaching and learning cycle to provide advice and strategies to inform classroom practice’.
  • Assessment Service for students with Disability
    ‘Schools can refer students for assessments to help them find out if a student is eligible to apply for support under the Program for Students with Disabilities [PSD].​ The assessment categories are intellectual disability and severe language disorder with critical educational needs’. Further details from the site.
  • Autism Education Strategy
    ‘The strategy will improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for autistic students. It will build inclusive school communities that welcome and value autistic students and their families’. You can download the Autism Education Strategy [PDF - 138.08kb] and/or the Autism Education Strategy Plain text version [docx - 40.81kb]. There is also a video [and transcript] plus several additional aspects are detailed.
  • Education - Information for Parents
    ‘Practical information for Victorian parents and carers to support their child’s learning needs. Disability and Inclusive Learning’ is one of several sections linked to from this page.
  • NDIS information for Schools
    ‘Role of schools; Responsibilities of schools and the NDIS, School programs affected by the NDIS, School leavers and NDIS employment supports, Further information about the NDIS and Contact [regional information]. An Easy English version of this topic is available for parents and carers : The NDIS and your child at School [PDF - 561.34kb]’. Be sure to check the menu on the right which will take you to a diversity of related information.
  • Program for Students with Disabilities
    ‘The Program for Students with Disabilities [PSD] is one of the supports available to help schools meet the needs of eligible students with disability and high needs who attend Victorian government schools’. Several links including the link below. Be sure to check the menu on the right which will take you a diversity of related information.
  • Program for Students with Disabilities Guidelines
    ‘The Program for Students with Disabilities [PSD provides funding to assist schools to support eligible students with disability and high needs who attend government schools. The funding is provided directly to schools through the Student Resource Package’. Information covers Eligibility for PSD, Types of applications, Timelines, Operational guidelines and forms and Students turning 19 or older.
  • Resources for families of children with additional needs
    VRQA. ‘On this page : Developing an appropriate learning plan; Disability support services; Financial support; and Social support groups’.
  • Transitions and Pathways
    ‘Information on how to support students with disability or additional needs who are starting or leaving school’. 5 sections from Transition to Primary School through to Career education and workplace learning for students with disability.
  • Transporting Children : Centre-Based Services
    ‘This page includes information for centre-based services on managing transport for children’. Includes sections covering Requirements, Providing transport as part of the education and care service, Policies and procedures, Providing transport that is not part of the education and care service and Other considerations.
  • Travel education for students with Disabilities
    ‘A resource for specialist schools to create a program that gives students the knowledge, skills and confidence to travel independently to school on public transport’.
  • Statewide Vision Resource Centre
    DET, Victoria. ‘We provide specialist teaching, professional learning, materials and technologies to support Victorian students who are blind or have low vision’. Be sure to check their Resources and Educational Programs sections in particular.
  • Support students with additional learning needs
    ‘Information, teaching materials and programs to support students with disability and additional needs. If you’re a parent, see our parenting site for information on additional needs’.


  • Disability Gateway - Western Australia - Primary and High School
    Includes ‘Disability rights for young people, NDIS supports, School resources for education providers, School support and services for families, Support for Indigenous Australians and Support for new migrants’. There are also similar pages for Western Australia - Early Childhood Education and Western Australia - Tertiary Education.
  • Diverse Learning - CEWA
    ‘Catholic Education Western Australia promotes education for all, celebrating the diversity and achievements of all students and encouraging them to discover their abilities and reach their full potential. Students with diverse learning needs are supported through individual learning programs, developed collaboratively between parents, students and schools’. Students with Disability may provide the most relevant information for this area.
  • NDIS - School Education
    ‘On this page : What is the school education system responsible for ?; Examples of supports the school education system should provide; What are we [NDIS] responsible for ?; Examples of supports we may fund; and an example for one child’.
  • One Classroom - School of Special Educational Needs : Disability [SSEND]
    ‘SSEND builds the capacity of Western Australian public schools to ensure students with disability [diagnosed or imputed] are able to access the curriculum on the same basis as their peers. School principals or their delegates can request assistance from SSEND for students with eligible diagnosed or imputed disabilities’.
  • School of Special Educational Needs : Medical and Mental Health
    ‘The School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health [SSEN:MMH] provides educational support for students whose medical or mental health prevents them from successfully participating in their enrolled school programs. Support is available to both public and private school students’.
  • School of Special Educational Needs : Sensory
    ‘The School of Special Educational Needs : Sensory [SSEN : S] provides educational support for children with hearing loss and/or vision impairment. As our service is government funded it will be provided at no cost to the school, parents or guardians of eligible students with hearing loss and/or vision impairment’.
  • Department of Education
    Pages relating to special educational needs include :
  • Children with Special Educational Needs
    ‘If you think your child has special educational needs, you should consult your family doctor, paediatrician or other professional with expertise in this area. If your child is already enrolled in school you should speak with their teacher, the school psychologist and principal. Sections include : Support for my child at school; Which school is right for my child ?; Discussing my child’s needs; Support services for schools; and Sharing information about my child’.
  • Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2018–2023
    ‘This plan is our commitment to meet the diverse needs of students in public schools in partnership with parents, staff and school communities. It identifies strategies we are adopting to enable equitable access and inclusion of people with disability in our services, schools and employment’.
  • Disability Advisory Panel
    A document detailing the role and impact of this panel can be downloaded in PDF format.
  • Education Support Centres and Schools
    ‘If your child has a special learning need, they may be eligible to attend an education support centre or school. Some offer early intervention programs, specialist programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other programs for children with more specific needs. Education support centres are located alongside primary and secondary schools’.
  • Enrolment Framework for Students with Disability in Public Schools
    ‘This framework provides information and advice for the enrolment of students with a disability in public schools’. Links go to both Policy and Procedures documents with downloads for each.
  • Funding public schools
    Department of Education. ‘Funding is allocated to schools based on the learning needs of students and school characteristics. The model is the mechanism by which funding is allocated to public schools for each student enrolled and additional funding for students needing extra support. For further information on the model refer to the overview of the Student-centred funding model’. There is also a short video on the above page with information on the review of the model.
  • School Psychologists
    ‘Working in a range of educational settings, school psychologists provide services in the areas of mental health and wellbeing, disability, behaviour, learning and motivation, incident management, change management and organisational development’.
  • Service Providers in Schools
    ‘Schools and service providers have a shared interest in achieving positive educational outcomes for students with disability. Schools, families and service providers are committed to supporting students to reach their potential, enjoy meaningful relationships and participate in their communities. Watch the video to understand the process of working together’.
  • Special Education Funding
    ‘Special education funding is allocated to non-government schools for eligible students with special education and high support needs. The amount of funding received depends on each student’s year level and level of disability. The rates are outlined in the 2022 Special Education funding rates’.
  • Special Transport Information - Education Support Students
    Comprehensive information is provided under the following headings : ‘Eligibility - Educational Support Students; Entitlement - Educational Support Students; Education Support Facilities; and Travel by Education Support Vehicle’.
  • Student Health and Wellbeing
    Multiple sections. Includes Bullying, Student Health Care, Mental health, Violence, Progressing through school and more.

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