Where do children with intellectual or physical disabilities go to school in Western Australia?
Where does Mount Hawthorn ESC take students from? How do they get to school?
We have quite a wide catchment area, wider than for a primary school, we have students coming here from Nedlands in one direction to Dianella in the other and down to Perth City. If a child comes to us and we are their nearest education support centre, they are eligible to go 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. Sometimes we get a student coming from out of the bus area and that is fine but they will not get the bus and will need to be driven to school by parents.
Below is an approximate estimate of our bus map (pale blue area). If you are living near the edge of the area and may be nearer to another education support centre than to us, you should contact School Bus Services to find out which centre your child is eligible to get to by special bus.
Who can come to an education support centre in Western Australia?
Currently, in Western Australia, we have a bias towards mainstream schooling for students with special needs. To be eligible to come to an education support centre, a child must have an IQ documented as lower than 70, as well as low adaptive behaviour scores, ie an intellectual disability (ID) or very high needs autism. A full psychologist’s report is needed and/or a letter from disability services commission verifying intellectual disability is also good evidence. In exceptional circumstances, a student with high social/emotiona/behavioural issues may be able to come to an education support centre, often on a temporary basis. The Principal of a primary school would need to discuss this option with parents/carers.
Who pays for 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 Disability Resourcing, a section of the Department of Education. A student will receive Disability Resourcing funding to pay for education assistant time based on their needs. They will get this funding irrespective of the school they attend. Visit the Department of Education website about students with special needs.
How do I enrol my child to come to an education support centre?
The actual enrolment process is that the parents come to visit, usually at the suggestion of their Primary School staff or School Psychologist. The Primary School confirms that the student has a verification of ID or high needs autism. Parents then fill in enrolment forms including ones to say that they understand they have made a choice to move a child into education support, which also has to be countersigned by a District Lead Psychologist who has verified that the student is eligible to be out of mainstream.
International Students - Can my child come to education support? How much does it cost if they are fee paying?
For prospective international/fee paying students, visit this web page for important information and contacts
Where do students go to high school after they have been at MHESC?
There are education support centres in some Department of Education high schools. They are separately funded to the high school they share a campus with and have their own principal. The students undertake the majority of their studies in the centre but also access some mainstream classes and mix at various times with mainstream students. These centres have a variety of supervised workplace programs to prepare students for the time when they leave high school. Near Mount Hawthorn ESC there are Dianella Education Support Centre (formerly know as Mirrabooka ESC) and Duncraig Education Support Centre. In addition, some private schools also provide specific programs for kids with special needs; John XXIIIrd has the Mary Ward Centre, Servite College has the Blessed Joachim Centre, Christchurch has the Peter Moyes Centre and Newman College has an education support centre at their Marcellin Campus.