Ageing, Disability & Home Care

How and when to apply

School Leavers and the NDIS

You may be aware that New South Wales is currently transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). All Post School Program applications will need to consider the roll out of the NDIS in New South Wales. For more information see School Leavers and the NDIS.

Before starting your application check your post code to determine when your District transitions to the NDIS on the NDIS NSW website.

Post School Program Eligibility Assessment Period

The Eligibility Assessment Period takes place in Term 2 of each school year. During this period, assessments are carried out for Year 12 school leavers with disability who wish to attend a Post School Program when they leave school.

Speak to your school principal if you wish to attend a Post School Program when you finish school. Your school will help you to decide if a Post School Program is right for you and organise an assessment.

Assessments are organised by your school and are conducted by teachers (or consultants).

Young people are advised of the outcome of their assessment in September.

Read more about eligibility assessment

Early or Late Entry into a Post School Program

In exceptional circumstances a young person may need a Post School program after turning 17 and before completing Year 12 (early entry) or up to two years after they finish, or were due to finish Year 12 (late entry). Eligibility for early or late entry into a Post School Program is approved on a case-by-case basis.

If you want to apply for early or late entry into a Post School Program you need to complete an Early or Late Entry Information and Consent Form (PDF).

If you or your parent/guardian needs help with your early or late entry application or need an interpreter, call the Post School Program Coordinator in your local FACS district office.

The following information will help you to determine if you can apply for early or a late entry.

Early entry application

You can apply for early entry to a Post School Program if:

  • you are eligible for support under the Disability Inclusion Act 2014;
  • you are 17 or over
  • you have completed Year 10, or will complete Year 10 by the time you leave school; and
  • you or your parent/guardian believes that school is no longer suitable to meet your support needs.
  • you live in an area which has not or is not shortly due to transition to the NDIS.

It is also important that your school can demonstrate that continuing your education is no longer the most appropriate support to meet your needs.

If you are still at school and able to remain at school until the end of the year:

  • You can submit an early entry application as part of the annual School Leaver Process.
  • The Support Teacher Transition (DoEC) or Consultant (AIS or CEC) at your school will identify whether you are eligible for early entry and will complete a Post School Program assessment with you.
  • You will also need to complete the Early or Late Entry Information and Consent Form (PDF) and provide supporting documentation. If your application for early entry is approved by the FACS District Director, your assessment will then be lodged to determine you are eligible for a program and if Community Participation, what funding band.
  • You will be informed of the outcome in writing. If you are eligible you will be able to begin in a Post School Program from January the following year.

If you cannot complete the remainder of the school year or have already left school:

  • You can apply for early entry into a Post School Program, either through your school or directly to your local FACS District office.
  • You will need to complete the Early or Late Entry Information and Consent Form (PDF) and provide supporting documentation.
  • If your application for early entry is approved by the FACS District Director you will be referred to an independent assessment organisation, Assessments Australia, who will complete your Post School Program assessment with you.
  • If you are still in contact with your school, the Support Teacher Transition or Consultant may be able to complete the assessment with you (instead of Assessments Australia).
  • You will be informed of the outcome in writing. If you are eligible you may be able to start in your approved Post School Program straight away.

Late entry application

You can apply for late entry to a Post School Program if:

  • you are eligible for support under the Disability Inclusion Act 2014;
  • it has been two years or less since you completed Year 12 or, if you left school before finishing Year 12, two years or less from the date you would have completed Year 12 if you remained at school; and
  • you require support to find employment or to access the community and other supports available do not meet your needs.
  • you live in an area which has not or is not shortly due to transition to the NDIS.

On a case-by-case basis, the FACS District Director may approve a late entry application if:

  • you were not aware of the Program or was not referred to the Program prior to leaving school;
  • you unsuccessfully attempted to secure open employment prior to applying for late entry;
  • you unsuccessfully attempted to secure employment with the assistance of a Disability Employment Service or Australian Disability Enterprise prior to applying for late entry;
  • you were accepted into the Program but decided to pursue other options;
  • your support needs have changed significantly since leaving school resulting in a higher level of support requirements that are not available through other services; or
  • you have moved to NSW from interstate and would otherwise meet the eligibility for a Post School Program.

To apply for late entry, you must complete the Early or Late Entry Information and Consent Form (PDF). Your application for late entry must be supported by information that outlines the options you have pursued since leaving school, what other supports you have accessed in this time and why they have not been suitable.

If your application for late entry is approved by the FACS District Director you will be referred to an independent assessment organisation, Assessments Australia, who will complete your Post School Program assessment with you. You will be informed of the outcome in writing. If you are eligible you will be able to start in a Post School Program straight away.

Note: If you are currently completing Year 12 at school but missed the annual Post School Programs eligibility assessment period in Term two (and are otherwise eligible to apply), your application is not considered a late entry. You should speak with your school about organising for an assessment to take place. Where this occurs, you may not receive advice about the outcome of the assessment until after the main round of school leaver outcomes have been released.

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