Fowler Road School

Safe, Smart, Prepared

Telephone02 9681 4054

About the Program

Fowler Road is a school for a specific purpose (SSP). The school consists of 6 classes of students from Kindergarten to Year 10 who exhibit behaviour(s) characteristic of mental health problems. 

The program

Each class need not exceed 7 students and is supported by a teacher's aide. Students attending Fowler Road School come from a number of school education areas. Fowler Road is intended as a short term intervention that focuses on working with home schools to facilitate students' attendance there with minimal difficulties. We focus on Student welfare and discipline (PDF 66KB). Length of stay for students at Fowler Road School is usually 12-18 months.

The general pattern for students is as follows:

  • Students attend Fowler Road School until lunch five days each week. Students usually continue to attend their home schools immediately on enrolment at Fowler Road.  In some cases it may be necessary to wait 2 to 3 weeks before students attend their home schools for at least one afternoon each week. This is increased as student behaviour improves.
  • Usually after one term, students attend their home schools every afternoon.  Gradually, students attend their home schools for a full day and, over the next 2-3 terms, time is increased until students are attending their home schools on a full time basis.
  • Attendance of high school students at home schools is negotiated, usually starting with the subjects in which the student is most likely to succeed.

The student's teacher at Fowler Road discusses the student's attendance program, academic and behavioural progress with home school staff on a regular basis, usually by visiting the home school in the afternoon at least once each fortnight.

For those students who are enrolled as emergency out of home care students, a full-time program may be available as it is often difficult for these students to attend their local home schools. We focus on assisting students to relate to others and themselves in safe ways. We aim to:

  • focus on successful academic skills so that they come to see themselves as smart
  • be prepared for learning and use learning to prepare for the future.


We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe all of the time and aspire to achieve a safe and secure learning environment through:

  • a continuous review of communication strategies
  • a continuous review of risk management strategies for all students and activities
  • actively teaching about safety issues
  • emphasising that we all work towards taking responsibility for our behaviour
  • being aware of, tolerating, and valuing difference as well as what we have in common
  • emphasising respectful relationships with each other and with students.


We aspire to reach positive learning outcomes through:

  • focusing on literacy and numeracy skills and literacy across all Key Learning Areas (KLAs)
  • recognising individual learning preferences and teaching towards strengths
  • developing creativity and imagination
  • providing relevant individual and group learning experiences
  • implementing an Individual Learning Program (ILP) for each student
  • acknowledging effort and achievement.


We aspire to be prepared for learning and use learning to prepare for the future through:

  • a continuous investigation of alternatives which work
  • providing innovative and motivational programs that assist students to make safe life choices
  • encouraging goal-setting and perseverance in reaching goals
  • teaching and modelling how to work to fix things after we have made a mistake
  • implementing a professional learning program for each staff member
  • maximising available staffing and learning resources
  • developing effective relationships with carers, parents, home school staff and other support staff.


Referral to Fowler Road School is done through school counsellors (DSCs) to their District Guidance Officers (DGOs) who forward the application through their School Education Area (SEA) office. The referral is then forwarded to the Granville SEA. The referring DGO forwards the Guidance File to the DGO, Fairfield. Referrals are considered where:

  • the student displays behaviour characteristic of mental health problems at a level of frequency, duration and intensity that seriously affects their educational functioning and emotional well-being
  • an assessment and report from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist indicates emotional disturbance based on descriptors from the DSM-IV or ICD 10 or by consultation with SWSR Student Support Co-ordinator – Welfare
  • a completed access  form, including a DSC report and Attachment 7, has been prepared by the referring DSC/DGO
  • the student has significant needs which cannot be met with regular school-based and other supplementary resources.

The school counsellor from Fowler Road will usually visit the referring school to facilitate appropriate placement. The identified needs of the student should indicate that the program at Fowler Road is the most appropriate method of support for the student.

The Fowler Road principal informs the Regional Placement panel of context issues which usually include the following:

  • Students are enrolled at home schools prepared to work with Fowler Road and have the student attending home schools as negotiated.
  • Students function cognitively at least in average range.
  • Parents/carers are prepared to support the program.
  • Assessment indicates potential to benefit from the program and return to full attendance at the home school in 4-6 terms.
  • The dynamics of the proposed placement are in the best interest of the student and the best interest of other students currently in the program.
  • Particular issues relating to the school at the time.
  • The DGO, Fairfield prioritises referrals and forwards this to the Student Services Officer at Granville SEA.
  • The Regional Placement Panel meets each term.
  • Discusses referrals and makes recommendations.


If the Regional Placement Panel recommends placement then:

  • an offer of enrolment in the Fowler Road program is sent to the parents/carers with a copy to the Fowler Road Principal & the referring SEA and home school;
  • parents/carers make an appointment with the Fowler Road Principal to enroll and discuss agreements;
  • Fowler Road staff visit the home school to discuss the student's current behaviour and academic progress along with the proposed pattern of attendance at Fowler Road and home school;
  • transport, if necessary, is applied for by the Fowler Road principal.


If a student referred to Fowler Road has no home school, it is the responsibility of staff at the referring SEA to negotiate a new home school placement.


Placement of students is reviewed by the Learning Support Team (LST) at Fowler Road annually. The LST comprises the Fowler Road Principal, an Executive member, Class Teacher and School Counsellor; a SEA representative, and DGO, Fairfield.The Principal of Fowler Road organises input from Fowler Road staff, home schools and parents/carers and students. The LST reviews:

  • the appropriateness of the program in meeting the needs of students
  • progress of students on their ILPs
  • progress towards full time attendance at home schools
  • eligibility of students for taxi transport
  • the adequacy of the resource/support level.

Role of home schools

After the student is offered placement, we discuss details of student and programs with staff from Fowler Road before student is enrolled. After the student is enrolled we discuss exit outcomes, programs, time-line for student's attendance at home school and communication processes with Fowler Road Teacher.  The expectations of home schools and behaviours needed for the student to succeed will also need to be discussed. Together we must:

  • Discuss with the Fowler Road Teacher the programs which might meet the needs of the student and implement negotiated strategies at the home school.
  • Complete and return information on the student's progress in negotiated format.
  • Develop, with the Fowler Road Teacher, a learning program for students to complete at times when they may not, initially, be in attendance at either school.
  • Provide information for the formal review of students.
  • Maintain links with parents/carers through, for example, sending home the School Newsletter and notes for parents./carers.
  • Liaise to access available funding to support the student.
  • Complete follow-up form after the student has exited Fowler Road program.

The Fowler Road Teacher is available to support the home school at least one afternoon each fortnight.  Weekly communication between schools takes place.


If students are suspended from either school the student's attendance at the other school is negotiated. If, while attending Fowler Road School, a home school moves to expel a student from that school, then it is the responsibility of the Home School Principal, in consultation with the relevant School Education Director, to negotiate a new school placement and to ensure that the new school is willing to enrol the student and work with Fowler Road on the student's program.  If this is not possible then the student is not able to continue in the program at Fowler Road.

If, while attending Fowler Road School, a student moves to another area then it is the responsibility of staff at the SEA in the area to which the student has moved, in consultation with staff at the referring SEA, to negotiate a new school placement and to ensure that the new school is willing to enrol the student and work with Fowler Road on the student's program.  If this is not possible then the student is not able to continue in the program at Fowler Road.