Nova Scotia to hire over 190 professionals to help with classroom inclusion

More than 190 people will be hired for the upcoming school year in Nova Scotia as part of a $15 million effort to boost supports for complex classroom needs including behavioural issues and autism.

Education Minister Zach Churchill says the new hirings will include a range of professionals to support teachers whom he says "can't do it alone."

The hirings include 40 child youth care practitioners and 60 education assistants; 70 specialist teachers with expertise in supporting children with behavioural challenges; 11 parent navigators to help families get programs and services; four student health nurses; and six school psychologists and speech language pathologists.

The department is also funding eight alternative education programs throughout the province and two achieve programs to help students with complex needs to prepare for life after high school.

Teachers will also received specialized training to help deal with complex classrooms, and teacher and education assistants will also receive training in autism support.

The announcement follows the release of an independent commission's report on inclusive education in March that recommended hiring between 600 and 700 more specialists by 2022.