Can I enrol my child at Rockingham Beach ESC?
We offer enrolment to children who will be attending kindy to Year 6.
However, your child must have:
- a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability
- a diagnosis of Global Development Delay diagnosed in the 6 months prior to the start of kindy
- a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and a demonstrated high educational need
- a diagnosis of hearing or visual impairment and demonstrated high educational need – they may enrol for up to one year with the expectation that they return to or enrol into their local school after this time
- a diagnosis of a Severe Mental Disorder and demonstrated high educational need that cannot be met at their local school
- a diagnosis of a Physical Disability and demonstrated high educational need that cannot be met at their local school.
If Rockingham Beach ESC is unable to meet your child’s need, then we go above and beyond to facilitate their enrolment at another school where they can access appropriate teaching and support for their needs.
For more information, view:
What is an Individualised Education Program?
An Individualised Education Program (IEP) outlines the special education services that your child will be receiving from Rockingham Beach ESC in addition to the general education curriculum. Their teacher works directly with you to draft the IEP once your child is enrolled.
With your authorisation, the teacher also gets in touch with your child’s therapists and psychologists to get their input to ensure that all the different recommendations, services and resources are incorporated within the IEP. As soon as their IEP is signed off, your child starts to receive the special education program services identified.
During the year, you’re invited to several meetings with the principal and teacher to review and update your child’s IEP. However, we do encourage you to reach out to the teacher at any time if you’d like to discuss the IEP.
What do you mean you’re an ‘Independent Public School’?
The Australian Government introduced a ‘students-first’ initiative in 2010 with the aim to make all schools self-managing by 2018. This was in response to evidence which shows that student outcomes improve when a government gives public schools greater autonomy and flexibility. Evidence also suggest that with greater flexibility, schools can look at better strategies to help them meet the needs of their local communities.
In 2011, as a reflection of the positive and supportive relationship that existed between the Rockingham Beach Education Support Centre and the Primary School, the two schools sought a joint Independent Public School status and together formed the Rockingham Beach School Campus.
As independent public schools, we have greater autonomy and independence than non-independent public schools. We gained more control over our budgets and staff selection and appointment. We also gained more control of how we undertake long-term strategic planning – now done in close consultation with parents, community groups and the local community.
Additionally, Rockingham Beach ESC has a flexible enrolment policy, meaning we don’t have strict zoning rules and we accept enrolments for kindy and pre-primary.
Although we share a campus, each school has legal status in its own right and is separately constituted under its own constitution. However, we’re still under the School Education Act and therefore required to meet the standards.
Read more about the Independent Public School status.
What should I ask when choosing where to enrol my child?
Choosing the right special education provider for your child is a very important decision. Perhaps friends and relatives suggested different education support centres, but how do you know which one is right for your child? We’ve asked several parents to submit the key questions they asked during their introductory meetings to help you get started:
- How will your school support my child?
- How can I help you support my child?
- Who does my child turn to if they’re upset, stressed or worried?
- My child has a physical disability, how will they be included in activities with other students?
- I’m worried that my child would get lost in a large classroom. How many students will be in their class and how many teachers and education assistants will manage them?
- What’s the age range in my child’s class?
- How will you manage my child’s medication during school hours?
- What assistive technology can my child access?
- How will you keep me informed about what’s happening with my child when they’re in your care?
- Who in the school would I contact if I feel that my child is still struggling?
- My child travels in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Where would I park when picking and dropping them off?
- How does my child transition to your school?
- How does my child transition into mainstream?
- How much does it cost per year for my child to attend your school?
- Do I qualify for any financial assistance for my child to put towards school costs?
How does my child transition into Rockingham Beach ESC?
Following your child’s enrolment, it’s important that they’re made to feel secure about their new school to help minimise the stress. They may feel very anxious about leaving their teacher, friends and the comfortable environment. They may also feel nervous about meeting new children in a new situation. It’s also important to help them understand why they’re moving to a new school. Some children may also wonder whether it’s their fault that you’re moving them, and whether they’ve failed in their last school – which of course is not the case.
Their new special education teacher, with the help of the education assistants, will help your child to settle down and make them feel comfortable in the new classroom. They’ll organise a transition plan to promote self-confidence and a sense of belonging. They would attend for several hours in the first week and gradually increase to full time.
During the transition, we recommend that you ask your child about how they’re enjoying their time at Rockingham Beach ESC. Listen to their views and concerns and answer any questions they may have.
How does my child transition into mainstream?
The decision for a child to start the process is usually informed by advice and guidance from their teacher following a review of your child’s Individualised Education Program. Their advice is based on how your child’s needs are changing as they grow, learn and develop. However, the final decision about their educational placement rests with you.
Transitioning to mainstream, even when it’s only across the Campus, can be a challenge for any child who has been attending a specialised school. It’s also a worrying time for you because you may be wondering whether they’re independent enough, can manage in a bigger class or has the social skills to make friends in the new situation. That’s OK. We’re here to assist both of you through the transition.
Your child’s special education teacher will first organise a planning meeting with you, and then work with the mainstream school teacher to devise and implement a transition plan over an appropriate period. This could start with one day per week and gradually increase to full time until your child is settled in.