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13 November 2019
By LOTTE REITER
Two state education awards are set to help advance Horsham Special School’s aim of driving the disability movement forward through increased understanding.
The school won an Outstanding Inclusive Education category at Victorian Education Excellence Awards in Melbourne.
A week later, school principal Matthew Copping and assistant principal Bec Talbot returned to the city to collect an Outstanding Team accolade at Principals’ Association of Specialist Schools Victoria awards.
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The two awards recognised the pairs’ creation of professional-learning workshops for regional educators who also work with students with complex and diverse needs.
Mr Copping and Ms Talbot have travelled more than 10,000 kilometres in the past 18 months to take the workshops to more than 1400 participants in more than 130 schools.
The sessions run between one and eight hours and cover topics such as inclusive practices, sensory development, emotional regulation and the latest neuroscience of the brain.
Mr Copping said the awards were recognition of an education system that focuses on sharing skills and knowledge in support of its students, as opposed to an individual achievement.
He said the awards’ combined monetary value of $25,500 would be used to help continue developing the workshops and professional learning in the disability education sector, for the benefit of its staff and students.
“This means that sharing is alive and well in our area and profession,” he said.
“Our number one aim is driving the disability movement forward, enabling our students with education and giving staff the opportunity to also expand their skillset.
“We will continue with the work we have been doing and continue supporting learning in other schools, which is what the money will be used for.
“It means we won’t have to charge for the provision of classes.”
Mr Copping said Ms Talbot also provided on-demand, one-on-one coaching with students, teachers and principals to support and educate children in main-stream schools.
He said the pair would aim to extend their workshop reach to other areas across the state in the future, including Gippsland and Mildura.
“We have the ability to continue learning and support the learning of our students,” he said.
The entire November 13, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!