Nova Scotia adds 173 new positions to help with inclusive education
There will be more staff in schools to address inclusive education needs for students in the next school year.
Nova Scotia announced Thursday, they will be hiring an additional 173 positions including 11 autism specialists.
The $15 million put towards inclusive education this year includes over $3 million for training and development. The government is also working with Autism Nova Scotia on a pilot program to train education assistants on working with students who have autism.
Additional training was one of the main goals of the Report of the Commission on Inclusive Education released in March of last year. As a goal, the report recommended for the province to invest in staff preparation and professional development.
The report called on the Department of Education “to partner with the network of universities and NSCC and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to educate the workforce needed to support inclusive education.”
It also called for the development of “a program at NSCC to educate communication disorders assistants to work in the schools under the supervision of speech-language pathologists.”
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This is the second year of a five-year roll-out for changes in inclusive education. Last year the province announced 191 new positions to support inclusive education, which were all filled by the end of September.
The positions announced Thursday brings the total of inclusive education positions added over the last two years to 364.
The new positions for the 2019/2020 school year are:
- 30 education assistants
- 32 child youth care practitioners
- 13 African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq student support workers
- 11 pre-primary inclusion coaches
- 18 guidance counsellors
- 11 autism teacher specialists
- 11 resource teachers
- 6 teachers and support staff
- 1 teacher for youth in care
- 2 child youth care practitioners for youth care
- 1 provincial lead teacher
- 18 community outreach workers
- 8 Schools Plus facilitators
- 8 school psychologists and speech language pathologists
- 3 student health partnership nurses
In addition to the new positions the province also announced they are in the process of hiring an external person to evaluate progress and provide the province with ongoing feedback.
“This would not be an employee of the department, someone who works under the Minister or deputy,” said Education Minister Zach Churchill.
“This would be an independent third party who will provide an objective third party independent assessment of how we’re doing.”
The progress reports will be made available to the public and Churchill says he expects the first one will be completed near the end of the next school year.
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