WA Education Awards finalists: excellence in disability and inclusion

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01 December 2023

Reward and recognition

Four schools have been recognised for their innovative approaches to inclusivity as part of a new category in this year’s education awards.

Bob Hawke College, Geraldton Primary School, Joondalup Education Support Centre, and Malibu School are finalists in the excellence in disability and inclusion category in the WA Education Awards 2023.

Excellence in disability and inclusion, one of two new award categories this year, acknowledges schools that demonstrate excellence in meeting the diverse needs of students, parents, families, and communities.

The four schools were named finalists for the collaborative, inclusive and innovative ways they enable equitable access to education.

The winner will be announced at a presentation breakfast on Monday 4 December.

Bob Hawke College

At Bob Hawke College there is a focus on providing support services in the classroom for students with a disability, rather than creating segregated learning environments.

“We don’t have a program where the kids come out and receive the support, the support happens within the classroom,” principal John Burke told PerthNow.

The Subiaco school also has a peer circle program where a diverse range of students and a teacher come together to provide valuable connections.

There is also an on-site low-sensory environment students can access where they can regulate at school and connect with their learning.

Geraldton Primary School

The learning environment at Geraldton Primary School is tailored to meet students’ unique needs.

“We’re following an inclusive model and focusing on how an individual can learn the best way they can,” principal Jacqui Quartermaine said speaking to the Geraldton Guardian.

The school has strong partnerships with a range of healthcare providers to ensure students receive required support.

Staff are also appropriately trained and have resources to educate students with diverse learning needs and provide optimal learning experiences.

Joondalup Education Support Centre

Joondalup Education Support Centre offers a range of quality programs shaped to each child’s individual needs and abilities.

The school’s specialised and dedicated staff are passionate about equipping students with academic and social skills to enable them to thrive.

Technology plays a significant role at the school to enhance student learning which is supported by a quality STEM education program.

Joondalup Education Support Centre also runs a range of extra-curricular activities specifically for students with disabilities, including running, gardening, music, breakfast, craft and sports clubs. 

Malibu School

Malibu School, a Kindergarten to Year 12 education support school in Safety Bay, has a clear vision for inclusive education and student success.

With specialist facilities and programs to help students achieve their post-school pathways, Malibu School is also committed to maintaining effective relationships with families and service providers. 

The school has an employability pathway program which includes weekly classes where students develop workplace skills to prepare them for life beyond school.

It also has a strong emphasis on literacy education which is achieved through a whole school reading program.