POST COMPULSORY ENROLMENT
Parents of students enrolled in Education Support are eligible to apply for their children to remain at school until the end of the year they turn 18, as long as the child would benefit from another year of education.
Some students may already have repeated a year when they were in primary school and so may be turning 17 in Year 11. Others will be turning 17 in Year 12. In both cases permission has to be requested from the Department for them to remain at school for another year (i.e. the year they will turn 18).
If you wish the Principal to apply for this additional year for your child, you must advise the Centre by the start of Term 3 so that the application can be made.
Where do children with intellectual or physical disabilities go to school in Western Australia?
In WA, all children are eligible to go to mainstream Primary and Secondary schools.
Children with intellectual or physical disability are valued just like everyone else and are welcome to attend their local schools. Schools will make special allowances for students with special needs and are often able to obtain extra funding for teacher and education assistant time, changing the school environment such as adding ramps and so on. Having a physical or intellectual disability is not a barrier to attending the local school. There may be times, however, when a student with an intellectual disability is not happy in a mainstream school and could benefit from being somewhere which provides smaller class size, fewer peers, a highly differentiated curriculum or a more sensory curriculum, a higher level of intervention from adults and so on. If parents feel that their child would be better in a different environment, they should approach their local primary or high school and discuss their options with the Principal. The student would then need to be assessed to see whether they meet the eligibility guidelines fall into the category of intellectual disability which would make them eligible for an Education Support Centre or school.
An Education Support Centre is a separate school located on a primary school or high school campus. An education support school runs from Kindergarten to Year 12 and is generally not as coordinated with a primary school or high school and takes children with the highest needs, sometimes with severe medical/physical issues as well as intellectual disability. These students may have a major focus on a sensory curriculum. If you want to search for education support centres or schools, go to schools online and enter the search ‘ed sup’ and all the education support centres will come up.
Where does West Coast Secondary Education Support Centre take students from?
We have a wider “catchment area” than for a mainstream high school. Generally students attend the Centre which is closest to where they live.
Transport for Students
If a child comes to us and we are their nearest Education Support Centre, they are eligible to apply for a place on the special buses run by Transperth, which is quite useful for many parents. These buses have an additional adult on them to help the students and the buses go from door to door. If a student is enrolled whose residence is outside of the bus zone, then the parents are responsible for providing transport. For more information go to http://www.schoolbuses.wa.gov.au
Who can come to an Education Support Centre in Western Australia?
To be eligible to come to an Education Support Centre, a child must have :
• An intellectual disability usually diagnosed by a psychologist who assesses cognitive functioning (usually through the administration of an appropriate IQ Test), adaptive functioning & developmental / background history.
• In some cases children with high needs autism, physical disability or diagnosed mental health issues may be able to enrol.
Eligibility is assessed by the Regional Education Support Consultant or RESC (currently Melissa Morgan, email: Melissa.Morgan2@education.wa.edu.au who is also the WCSESC School Psychologist) as appointed by the Regional Education Office (phone 9285 3600). To help determine eligibility a full psychologist’s report is useful. A letter from Disability Services Commission verifying intellectual disability may also be useful.
Who pays for extra teacher and education assistant time? Do they have to go to an Education Support Centre to get this help?
Funding for students with disabilities of various kinds comes to a school through Schools Resourcing, a section of the Department of Education. A student will receive Schools Resourcing funding to pay for teacher and / or education assistant time based on their needs. They will get this funding largely independent of the school they attend. There may be additional fees for 457 visa holders. For more information about Schools Resourcing, go to:
How do I enrol my child to come to an Education Support Centre?
To enrol your child in an Education Support Centre it is recommended that the parents make an appointment to visit and meet the Principal. Information is required from parents and the school at which your child is currently enrolled. Parents complete an enrolment form which confirms that they understand that they have made a choice to move their child into education support. The enrolment forms have to be countersigned by the RESC who verifies that the student meets education support eligibility criteria.