Enrolment Criteria | Rossbourne School
Rossbourne School is a unique secondary school catering for the needs of students who find social and academic success within a mainstream school difficult because of neuro-developmental challenges.
Our purpose is to enhance the life chances of our students by putting them at the centre of learning, and creating opportunities to develop independence, social connection, resilience and respectful relationships.
Our mission is to nurture our students as they develop self-worth and confidence. To empower them to realise their strengths so they will build foundations for personal achievements, and define their own success in making a positive contribution to our community.
Rossbourne is an exceptional school for those who benefit from our culture and educational programs; but it is not a school for all students with learning disabilities. When a school’s resources, culture and educational programs do not meet the needs of a student, that student’s self-worth and learning potential will suffer. This is the reason that all prospective student are required to complete a rigorous application process, which includes diagnostic and academic assessments as well as a two day trial period, so we can be confident that Rossbourne is the right school for each student we enrol.
Independence is a key component of our culture and curriculum. Rossbourne does not engage integration or teacher aides. Students need to be able to navigate a class sizes of 12 with one teacher. This requires students to be able to work independently within a classroom, with each student having equal access to teacher support.
A student requiring significantly more support beyond a single teacher to access the curriculum will be disadvantaged. These students may be better suited to either a special school or a mainstream secondary school with substantial integration aide time. It should be noted that some mainstream secondary schools are open to parents self-funding extra aide time, beyond what would be offered through government special education funding. Special schools generally have smaller classes compared to Rossbourne and have extra classroom staff, lowering the student / teacher ratio.
Rossbourne is not resourced to support students with intellectual disabilities or students with very high hygiene and self-care needs. Rossbourne does not have a school nurse or space for a highly equipped first aid area. Rossbourne is not resourced or equipped to support students with significant mental health and behavioural problems and our Code of Conduct is strictly enforced.
All students are expected to participate in the entire curriculum on a full-time basis. It is the responsibility of parents / caregivers to ensure that their child attends school and meets these requirements.
Rossbourne’s curricular offerings have been specifically designed to support students whose academic abilities fit between mainstream secondary schools and government special schools. The ‘grey’ area of education. The delivery of academic content at Rossbourne amounts to approximately 70% of the schooling week, with the remaining 30% involving electives and co-curricular activities. In comparison, government special schools are closer to 30% academic delivery while mainstream secondary schools will generally delivery academic content approximately 85% of the week. Students requiring more reduced academic time and greater independent living skills training would be best suited in a government, Independent or Catholic special school environment.
On enrolment into Rossbourne’s Year 7 level, students require at least a Year 3 standard across reading comprehension, reading and mathematics to cope with the academic curricular at Rossbourne. Achievement levels less than this would indicate that Rossbourne’s curriculum is too advanced and pace of delivery too rapid. The educational pathway for Rossbourne students has been designed to equip them, upon graduation, to be successful in TAFE level training programs via a VCAL certificate.
In broad terms, we have found that students with an IQ above 80, benefit the most from a Rossbourne education.
Occasionally there will be some students who would seemingly benefit from our educational programs but find it difficult to accept enrolment at Rossbourne, due to sensitivity around being enrolled at a specialist school with others who have learning difficulties. Forcing these students to enrol is inappropriate and consequently, only students who want to attend Rossbourne are enrolled.
Below are the educational options in Melbourne for students with disabilities. The nature and level of learning and/or cognitive disability will determine the most appropriate school for each individual.
Mainstream Secondary School (within a supported program)
Government Special School
Independent and Catholic Special School
Government Special Development School