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Independent Special Assistance Schools in Queensland are offering a much-needed educational lifeline for students experiencing complex challenges and education disruption, with more students enrolled than ever before.

Special Assistance Schools have seen almost 50% growth in enrolments in 12 months, with more than 4,400 students currently enrolled in 28 schools across 42 campuses in Queensland. 

On Friday 25 March Independent Schools Queensland will bring together more than 60 leaders, teachers and welfare staff from independent Special Assistance Schools for an annual workshop to explore issues such as trauma-informed education practices, curriculum, assessment and accreditation. The Brisbane workshop will include experts from Special Assistance Schools, the Department of Education and key educational experts from across Queensland.

Independent Schools Queensland CEO Chris Mountford said Special Assistance Schools now accounted for nearly one in eight Queensland independent schools.

“Special Assistance Schools cater for disengaged young people who have been unsuccessful in mainstream schooling,” Mr Mountford said.

“Sometimes these students are under the attention of the juvenile justice system, sometimes they are drug dependent or victims of sexual and physical assault, some are homeless, and many of these young people have mental illnesses.

“These schools play a vital role in ensuring students, regardless of their current situation, are fully supported to receive the education they deserve.

“Special Assistance Schools are designed around the educational needs of their students, with small class sizes that are staffed by dedicated teachers, welfare workers, counsellors and support staff who create a supportive and safe environment and a solid foundation for students to build a better future.”

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