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    Horsham Special School principal Matt Copping.

Special school in running for award

Horsham Special School is a finalist in Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

The school won its way through to the finals in an Outstanding Inclusive Education category, for ‘its ongoing commitment to improving outcomes for students’.

Victorian Education Excellence Awards recognise inspirational teachers, principals, business managers and education support staff.

Horsham Special School, established in 1988 and led by principal Matt Copping, provides educational programs for students GED five to 18 displaying mild, moderate and severe diagnoses associated with cognitive, physical, social, emotional, behavioural, sensory and multiple disabilities.

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It has a strong collaborative relationship with education and disability-service providers across the region and attracts enrolments from a broad regional base.

It has also won previous accolades including a Victorian Education Planners Award for its school building, and an Australasian Education Planners Award for a sensory courtyard.

The latest awards include 35 finalists, including Horsham Special School, across 12 award categories.

A narrative supporting Horsham Special School’s entry into the award described the institution as becoming a hub of professional learning for schools in the area. It read that the school’s leadership team had developed a range of professional learning workshops for regional colleagues who also worked with students with complex and diverse needs.

It continued: ‘These professional learning sessions support the ability of educators to understand their students and how they learn.

‘They cover a range of topics including language and communication, emotional and sensory regulation and neuroplasticity. 

‘The workshops are complemented by an ‘on-demand’ coaching service that supports the school’s ability to provide additional support for specific students. The project’s positive impact is demonstrated by survey results from more than 1000 attendees. One hundred percent agreed or strongly agreed they had a deeper understanding of inclusive practices, felt more confident to work with students with diverse and complex needs and were motivated to share their learning with their colleagues’.

Regional Excellence Award winners receive professional-development grants of up to $25,000 to support their work.

Labor Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said the awards were the state’s most prestigious celebration of outstanding education professionals who ‘go that extra mile’ to help young people thrive at school. “Our local teachers, principals and education professionals do a crucial job in educating young people in the Wimmera, and it’s great to see the acknowledgement of locals who dedicate their careers to education,” she said.

Officials will announce award winners at a ceremony to coincide with Australia’s celebration of World Teachers’ Day on October 25.

They will also present The Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education on the night.

More information about the awards and finalists is available online at

The entire September 25, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 25, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!