“The education state: Review of the programs for students with disabilities” (2016) recognises that schools such as SMRSS have a wealth of knowledge and experience supporting students with disabilities to reach their fullest potential. A key recommendation from this review highlights the needs for specialist schools to support local mainstream schools to implement inclusive educational practices as ‘centres of expertise’. SMRSS has had a long history of supporting mainstream schools to develop inclusive practices for all students regardless of their school setting and eligibility for funding under the program for students with disabilities.
At SMRSS we act as a centre of expertise by supporting mainstream school staff through the following opportunities:
- The Inclusion Coach role which acts as an outreach service to build teacher capacity and inclusive whole school practices in supporting all students.
- Regular professional development opportunities for education support staff that are open to mainstream staff to attend.
- A welcoming ‘open door’ policy for staff from mainstream schools to visit and spend time at SMRSS as part of teacher’s professional practice days, preservice teacher practicums or any member of staff who are wanting to learn how to best support their students with additional needs.
- Providing short term support to mainstream schools with staffing and resources as deemed necessary and appropriate to support disengaged students in their chosen school environments.