Supporting students with a disability


Around one in five New South Wales public school students have a disability (183,000 students in 2022). Eighty-six per cent of students with disability learn in mainstream classes in mainstream schools, 11% learn in support classes in mainstream schools, and 3% in schools for specific purposes (SSPs). The Department of Education’s Disability Strategy (2019) committed to build a more inclusive education system and identified actions across four key reform areas:

  • Strengthen support: investing in teachers and other support staff
  • Increase resources and flexibility: enabling schools to operate with more flexibility
  • Improve the family experience: making experiences better and easier
  • Track outcomes: building an evidence base to measure progress. 

This audit will assess whether the department is effectively supporting students with disability in NSW public schools. 

Share your views

If you have experiences or views on support for students with disability in NSW public schools, you can share them with the Audit Office. This can be done anonymously if you wish.

We will consider all feedback provided as we audit the NSW Department of Education.

However, please note that: 

  • we will not examine individual matters 
  • we will not share feedback with the Department or any other party, nor publish it on our website. For more information on our confidentiality obligations, please visit Our confidentiality and reporting obligations for contributions page
  • audits focus on assessing whether NSW Government activities undertaken by government authorities are efficient, effective, economical and in compliance with the law. Under section 27B(6) of the Government Sector Audit Act 1983, the Auditor-General cannot question the merits of government policy objectives. 

To provide feedback, click on ‘Contribute to this audit’ or the message icon at the top right.

Feedback will be accepted until close of business Friday 3 May 2024.

Where to get help

If you have questions or feedback about individual matters, you can:

  • contact the NSW Department of Education through the website
  • make a complaint to the NSW Ombudsman online or by calling 1800 451 524.