Parliamentary Secretary for School Education, Senator Jacinta Collins, launched the second phase of the Gillard Government’s Positive Partnerships to provide classroom and family support for students with autism.


Senator Collins said the Gillard Government reinvestment of over $21 million is a great kick start to Autism Awareness Month throughout April.


“The first phase of the Positive Partnership initiative was so widely successful that the number of teachers and staff we expected to train in helping students with autism was exceeded,” Senator Collins said.


Since 2008, Positive Partnerships has trained more than 8,000 parents, carers and school staff across Australia in how better to meet the needs of students with autism, and has provided online resources for more than 28,000 people.


Senator Collins said Australia’s significant progress in supporting school-aged students with autism spectrum disorder is also making the jobs easier for their parents, their carers, their teachers, school leaders, teaching support assistants and occupational specialists.


"I am pleased to announce that a new consortium will train more than 450 additional teachers and 1,450 parents each year until 2015,” Senator Collins said.


The Partnerships between the Education and the Autism Community (PEAC) group will deliver the program between 2012 to 2015.


Members of this group include Autism Queensland, Autism South Australia, Flinders University and Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) who will lead the consortium.