Program Support Group
The program support group (PSG) is a team of people that work collaboratively to develop, write, monitor and evaluate the individual learning plan – a document which links the specific needs of the student to the three strands.
The PSG represents a collaborative partnership in the educational planning process between the parent/guardian/carer, the student and the school. It works towards developing a pathway plan for educational progress for students with disabilities.
Membership of the PSG comprises the student (where appropriate), parent/guardian/carer of the student, a parent/guardian/carer advocate, principal or the principal’s nominee and a class teacher (primary) or teacher/s nominated as having responsibility for the student (secondary). The PSG may also co-opt other members with knowledge or information relevant to the educational and social needs of the student.
When planning and developing programs for a student with a disability, the PSG is advised to use the following sequence as devised by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD). The PSG should:
- share an understanding of the student as a learner so as to deliver the most effective educational program for the student
- identify student strengths, skills, preferences and abilities
- identify the preferred learning style and those which need strengthening
- understand the learning environment by considering the layout and location of facilities and equipment requirements
- focus on planning for future education and training, employment or desired life style
- set educational goals for both the long and short term
- set goals that are appropriate for individual students
- decide on what needs to be taught when program planning, ensuring content relates to that which the rest of the class is learning
- select priorities for the content to be taught so that it builds on and extends the strengths of the student
- select teaching methods
- determine organisational strategies
- develop evaluation and review procedures.
Further information on Program for students with disabilities (www.education.vic.gov.au/healthwellbeing/wellbeing/disability/default.htm) is located on the DEECD website.
The PSG establishes shared goals for the student’s educational future. Important considerations for the PSG when setting educational goals are to:
- build on the strengths and skills of the student
- ensure the goals are a priority for the student
- reference personal and program goals to the Standards
- develop goals within the appropriate curriculum level for the student
- ensure that all parties are in agreement with the goals
- ensure they are achievable, measurable and have a review date
- set goals to enable effective reporting
- understand the difference between long- and short-term goals.
In association with classroom teachers, the PSG assesses individual requirements for achieving within the classroom and then collaboratively develops long-term and short-term goals at the appropriate curriculum level within the strands, domains and dimensions of the Standards.
- long-term goals are broad general statements of expected learning outcomes that may focus on social, academic or life skills. Expectations of the parent/guardian/carer, the student and the school are key factors to consider.
- short-term goals are measurable. They identify the sub-skills that are required for a student to achieve a long-term goal. Written in observable and measurable terms, they indicate what is to be accomplished within a short period of time.