Our School - Principal Message

It’s a pleasure to introduce Ballarat Specialist School to you.
Ballarat Specialist School caters for students aged between 3 and 18. Our school's mission is "Achieving Personal Success Together". We strive to enable our students and staff to reach their full potential in a safe and stimulating environment. Ballarat Specialist School draws its students from the city of Ballarat and within a 30km radius of the school.

Our current enrolment is 493 students including our Early Learning Centre students. We provide educational programs for students with mild, moderate and profound intellectual disabilities associated with physical, social, emotional, behavioural, multiple and sensory impairments.

The school has four mini-schools and the school operates in Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) to enable students to be streamed particularly in the area of literacy, and for our workforce to be used most effectively to support student outcomes. Senior School students are located at our FARM/Senior School Campus in Norman Street, Invermay Park.

Programs across both campuses include: music,drama, instrumental music, art, woodwork, physical education, outdoor education, health, hairdressing, cafe/hospitality and Horticulture. In addition, the Educational Residential Program and the Transition to Community Living FARM units are aimed at developing home and community living skills.

The school operates the Special Treats Café at our Gillies St. campus and the FARM Campus also has a cafe. Both cafes are open to the public during weekdays to allow our students to gain some great work skills in the hospitality area. We run specific programs for our students with complex needs such as the “I am me” program, the play program and functional living skills program in the middle and senior schools. Therapists run individual and group programs to enhance our students communication, physical and social skills.

Our Allied Health team consists of three speech therapists, four occupational therapists, physiotherapist, music therapist (1 day per week), equine therapists (1 day per week), School Nurse based at Gillies Street, First Aid Officers and we also have four Allied Health Assistants. Under our Allied Health sector we also have two Student Welfare Officers, Psychologist and School Nurse. Ballarat Specialist School school employs 210 staff and this is inclusive of Principal Class, Leading Teachers, Classroom Teachers, Specialist Teachers and various Education Support Staff.

Each student at Ballarat Specialist School has an Individual Learning Plan with goals set across the domains of English, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, Personal Learning, Science, Civics and Citizenship, ICT, the Arts and Humanities. Students may not have goals set in all these domains, but in the areas considered to be a priority for that student.

We welcome parent involvement in our school to ensure that our students have access to all the supports they require in their learning. Please feel free to contact the Principal team - Carol Anderson, Sam Sheppard, Troy Gardiner or myself on 03 5334 1302.

Karen Biggelaar Principal