Special education: The four things to know in private schools

Does your child attend a private school or you have one in mind you would like to send him to? If that’s the case, then you must know that some schools are better prepared in helping children who may have learning challenges. 

Another thing you should bear in mind is the impact of special education law on private schools. If your child happens to qualify for special education, coupled with you sending him to a private school, there is a probability that the public school district covers for some of the special education services.

In private schools that offer special education, there are certain things you must know and verify before deciding to enrol your child. Here are some of the essential things to know:

Evaluations for Special Education Services

For students who attend private schools, there are laws in place which have made it mandatory that public school districts should make their findings/investigations on students who may have learning disorders. Meaning, the child’s teacher can decide to request an evaluation, which the public school will cover if that teacher perceives the child may have a learning disorder. 

This is why it is often recommended to speak to your child’s teacher before sending an evaluation to the district. The decision is then made whether to undergo an assessment of your child or not as the cost will be the responsibility of the public school district in your location. 

Equitable services

So your child has now been qualified for special education, you are at liberty to transfer to any nearby public school of your choice, provided he will receive all special education services needed. Or, if you continue in a private school, you can be entitled to certain privileges referred to as “equitable services.” These are services covered by the public funds for students with learning disorders who enrol in a private school. However, these funds could be limited for students who enrol in a private school than a public one.


Private schools are usually known for providing specific support structures such as more time and use of technology. They may also offer the opportunity of your child getting tutored by an assigned private teacher, even during school hours, at your own expense.

Still, there is a possibility that a private school in Brisbane may not have the adequate resources to meet your child’s needs and hence may advise you to transfer him to a public school that is more equipped/sophisticated.

Service Plan

By deciding to send your ward or children to a private school, the school, as well as the district, can create a “service plan” for you. 

A service plan is developed for students in private schools receiving special education services that describe the special education and related services the private school district will receive from the school district. This plan could be likened to the IEP (Individualised Education Program), yet a little less in-depth like the IEP.

To close, one final thing you must note is that each child is unique. And hence you cannot afford to treat child A like you would child B, even if facing similar learning disorders. So, parents should work with private schools to know the best option for their child. Be sure to conduct your research to know which option is best for you and your children.