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Modified subjects
Information sheet 17

Advice about processes and procedures for determining eligibility and providing modified subjects at Stage 1 and Stage 2. This information should be read in conjunction with the SACE Modified Subjects and Special Provisions in Curriculum and Assessment policies.
Following a review of the SACE Modified Subjects policy, schools are reminded that processes and procedures have changed for 2019.


Determining eligibility

Students are eligible to enrol in modified subjects on the grounds of documented or imputed disability that results in significant impairment in intellectual functioning and/or adaptive behaviours, which:

  • cannot be addressed through reasonable adjustments under the Special Provisions in Curriculum and Assessment Policy
  • means the student cannot meet, and/or provide evidence against, the performance standards of subjects at C/C- level or higher because of their disability
  • are, or will be, recorded on the NCCD* database as requiring extensive or substantial adjustments.

*To be included on the NCCD database, schools must have sufficient and adequately documented written evidence  of extensive or substantial adjustment(s) having been provided over a minimum period of 10 weeks in the preceding 12 months.

Schools can refer to the SACE Modified Subjects Policy and other resources to support decisions about eligibility for modified subjects.

Evidence required for eligibility

Decisions about a student's eligibility to enrol in modified subjects must be based on evidence. Evidence of eligibility can include, but is not limited to:

  • results and interpretations of standardised and/or norm-referenced assessments
  • interpretations of observations and assessment of adaptive skills and behavior using standardised assessment measures and including information about age appropriateness
  • evidence of significantly delayed intellectual functioning should the student's disability prevent standardised assessment
  • student work samples
  • assessments of adaptive skills, attainment, and developmental progress
  • school observations and notes about adjustments required by the student, which exceed those that can be provided by the Special Provisions in Curriculum and Assessment Policy.

The signed agreement of the student's parents/carers to the proposed enrolment of the student in modified subject(s) must be obtained before eligibility is confirmed.

The modified subjects eligibility decision making process is outlined in a flowchart.

Case studies provide further individual examples of eligibility.

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School and SACE Board responsibilities

School responsibilities

For students with disability, schools must meet their legal obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Education 2005. In determining eligibility for modified subjects and developing personalised curriculum and assessment for each student schools must ensure that students with disability:

  • are supported to achieve at their highest possible level
  • are not automatically enrolled in modified subjects thereby restricting curriculum offerings and post school pathways.

Schools are responsible for:

  • establishing eligibility for modified subjects
  • advising students and parents/carers of the availability of modified subjects
  • consulting students and their parents/carers about the potential effect of the enrolment on the student's independence and post-school aspirations
  • providing challenging, achievable and meaningful personalised learning goals of students enrolled in modified subjects
  • regularly reviewing, and where necessary adjusting, the personal learning goals of students enrolled in modified subjects.

Schools can seek advice from the SACE Board to support fair, flexible, and equitable access to, and management of modified subjects.

Record keeping

Schools are responsible for maintaining records about eligibility for modified subjects at Stage 1 and Stage 2. Records should include evidence used to determine eligibility and the level of adjustment provided for each student. The records should enable schools to meet any reporting obligations to sectors and for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) for the purposes of sections 4, 52(3A) and 58A of the Australian Education Regulation 2013.

School records for each student should include:

  • the grounds for eligibility
  • sufficient and adequate documented written evidence of extensive or substantial adjustment(s) having been provided over a minimum of 10 consecutive or non-consecutive weeks in the 12 months before determining
  • consultation undertaken with the student or parent/carer
  • the consent of the student or parent/carer.

A modified eligibility form for school use is available to support schools with their record keeping.

SACE Board responsibilities

In addition to the Special Provisions in Curriculum and Assessment Policy, the SACE Board meets its legal obligation to students with disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability Standards for Education 2005 by making personalised curriculum and assessment available through modified subjects.

The SACE Board has developed the following modified subjects that can be taken as 10-credit or 20-credit subjects at Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 in each learning area.

  • Business and Enterprise: Modified
  • Creative Arts: Modified
  • Cross-disciplinary Studies: Modified
  • English: Modified
  • Health: Modified
  • Language and Culture: Modified
  • Mathematics: Modified
  • Scientific Studies: Modified
  • Society and Culture: Modified

The SACE Board also makes available:

  • Stage 1 Personal Learning Plan: Modified (10-credit)
  • Stage 2 Research Project: Modified (20-credit)

The SACE Board is responsible for:

  • providing eligible students with the opportunity to complete the requirements of the SACE through the study of modified subjects
  • quality assurance of the following modified subjects: Stage 1 English: Modified, Stage 1 Mathematics: Modified, Stage 1 Personal Learning Plan: Modified, Stage 2 Research Project: Modified
  • reporting completion of modified subjects on the student's SACE Certificate and Statement of Results.

The SACE Board makes available a range of materials to support the delivery of modified subjects including:

  • information and guidelines
  • learning and assessment plans
  • student work samples
  • online professional learning.
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Grievances, appeals and investigations

A grievance, appeal and investigation process is available when a student (or an associate of the student) believes that decisions or other actions taken in relation to modified subjects have not been carried out in accordance with the SACE Modified Subjects Policy and its procedures. The SACE Board's Protocols and Procedures for Assessment-Related Grievances, Appeals and Investigations outlines the processes to be followed.

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