The ACT education budget has focussed the bulk of its spending on delivering reforms to ACT schools arising out of the autism cage scandal.
Funding for a suite of recommendations from the independent report by Emeritus Professor Anthony Shaddock into students with complex needs and challenging behaviours, Safe Schools for All, receives the largest single funding allocation of $21.5 million over four years.
Of this, $7.3 million will be allocated this year. Almost $8 million for the total program will be funded from Education Directorate efficiencies.
A total of $12.2 million over four years will pay for 26 new staff – including four additional senior psychologists and four additional social workers with case management experience.
Education Minister Shane Rattenbury said "these additional staff will ensure early identification of students with complex needs and provide a high level of expertise to support and manage students with challenging behaviours".
Additional speech pathologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists will also be employed to work in multi-disciplinary teams to support all students – including working across specialist schools.
A further $5.6 million over three years will be dedicated to upgrade withdrawal spaces in order to ensure students with behavioural issues have a "safe sensory space" in which to go within new guidelines which were devised earlier in the year.
A program of Positive Behaviour Support will receive $1.74 million.
"It is important that we build a team of people who have a range of skills across different disciplines to respond to students with complex need, who can be affected by many different underlying issues," Mr Rattenbury said.
"Improved referral processes to Student Engagement teams and better case management will help ease workload on school-based staff and ensure students are assessed within a timely manner."
In other measures, the population boom in Gungahlin will be addressed under a $20 million plan to provide 680 new student places.
Harrison School, Neville Bonner Primary and Palmerston Preschool will be expanded for the start of the 2017 school year, while Amaroo will be expanded by the start of 2018.
But the expansion will only receive $3.6 million in its first year, and will be partially offset by more than $6.8 million in efficiencies realised in the Charles Weston School project.
Amaroo will receive an extra 300 places, Harrison an extra 200, Neville Bonner an extra 88 preschool places and 50 primary places, and Palmerston 44 new preschool spots.
The Canberra Institute of Technology will receive $1.8 million for a range of modernisation projects across the Tuggeranong, Bruce and Reid campuses.
Capital upgrades worth $14.6 million will go towards a range of projects including a replacement roof for Mt Stromlo High, a food technology area upgrade at Lake Tuggeranong College, improved learning spaces at the Woden School, and upgraded science facilities at Dickson College.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.