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Priorities and initiatives

Our current key priorities, programs and initiatives are set out below.

From 2017, a more targeted approach to teaching and supporting Aboriginal students will include the establishment of a new Aboriginal Education Teaching and Learning Directorate, strengthened services to support Aboriginal students, research partnerships with universities and expert groups, and an Elders in Residence initiative.

Find out more in the questions and answers.

More help for students with learning difficulties

Students with autism who have very complex support can apply to enrol in schools with new specialist learning programs in 2018 at Cooinda, Heathridge, Marangaroo, Samson or Gosnells Primary Schools, or in the first program for secondary students at Southern River College.

A total of 16 schools will be selected to run the $32 million specialist autism programs by 2020.

We are also investing in services to support students with disability and learning difficulties.

Facilities at 22 education support schools and centres for students with disability will be upgraded and schools will receive an extra $5 million to support students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and speech disorders.

A new dedicated team of expert psychologists will also be set up to undertake the complex assessment of students with disability, ensuring funding and services are provided more quickly to schools for these students.

While the vast majority of students are engaged in schooling and behave well, it is estimated that between one and two per cent of students might require intensive engagement and behaviour support at some point in their schooling.

The new model will provide better support to more students.

Find out more on engagement centres.

Early Years’ Education

Western Australia has a long and proud history of investment in and commitment to early childhood development and learning.

Having high quality learning and development programs for children and involving parents before their children start school are effective and cost efficient ways to improve outcomes for children.

Nobel laureate and economist Professor James Heckman estimates the ratio of return on investment during this period is 1:17. The benefits are most profound for children with socio-economic disadvantage.

To help ensure success for all students we have introduced new initiatives to early years’ education in schools, working alongside families to give children the best start to learning.

From 2016, three year old Aboriginal children and their families can attend the new KindiLink play-and-learn sessions at 37 selected schools for six hours each week, free of charge. In addition, more families can access services at Child and Parent Centres with an extra five centres opening to take the total across the State to 21.

Kimberley Schools Project

Aboriginal children make up more than 60 per cent of the Kimberley’s school population and many of them face significant challenges to complete their education.

The Kimberley Schools Project will run for three years and strengthen education of children in the area. It builds on existing strategies to accelerate all children’s learning, with a focus on Aboriginal children, by empowering school communities, developing teaching and engagement at schools and bridging the gap between the two. 

The project supports principals and teachers to deliver targeted teaching tailored to the specific needs of students in the Kimberley. This includes a Broome based support unit to provide one on one coaching and advice for teachers and principals as well as the development of a range of curriculum materials to meet the unique learning needs of students in the area.

Kimberley Schools Project is a partnership between the three school sectors – public, Independent and Catholic – with up to 22 schools having the opportunity to opt-in and take part.

The project is a collaboration between the Department of Regional Development, Department of Education, Regional Services Reform Unit and Kimberley Development Commission in partnership with the Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) and Association of Independent Schools Western Australia (AISWA).

Find out more at the Regional Services Reform Unit website