Ballarat Specialist School

Ballarat Specialist School caters for the educational, social and emotional needs of children with a mild, moderate and complex intellectual disability. Students are aged between 3 and 18, our staff are dedicated to the individual education of each child and aims to achieve personal success together.

25 Gillies Street, North Lake Gardens, Victoria 3355 

03 5334 1302



  • Early Learning Centre

    Our purpose built Early Learning Centre, which opened in 2013, offers a warm and welcoming environment for young children and their families. We run a funded four year old kindergarten program, a three year old kindergarten program and a playgroup coordinated by ELC staff.  

    Our highly qualified and experienced staff plan for children’s individual needs and interests while providing a nurturing environment where children feel, safe and happy to play, learn and explore. While our staff have extensive experience of working with children with additional needs our programs are open to all children.

    In 2014 our centre was assess by the DEECD Quality Assessment and Rating Team and received a high rating of EXCEEDING National Quality Standards.

    -Monday AM: Three year old group: 9.15 am – 11.45 am
    -Monday PM: Playgroup coordinated by centre staff: 1 pm – 2.30 pm, from term 2
    -Tuesday to Friday: 4 year old kindergarten program: 9.15 am – 2.15 pm
    -Families choose three of the four sessions giving a total of 15 hours of funded kindergarten per week.

    If you would like further information or to visit the Early Learning Centre please contact;
    Jill Osmond
    Early Learning Centre
    Ballarat Specialist School
    Tel: 5334 1302

  • Junior School

    The Junior School curriculum is developmental, broad, balanced and designed to give children a chance to experience a variety of activities in order to discover themselves as learners and their strengths, interests, skills and talents. We want our children to have fun in their learning and love coming to school each day. We strive to assist all children to be the best they can be and reach their full potential in a safe and stimulating environment. Junior staff count every minute as learning time.  

    Programs including:

    numeracy program, literacy program, Learn to Play Program & Social Skills, Specialist Programming, Health Education, Excursions, Swimming, Kids Hope Mentoring Program and Community Engagement.

    Contact BSS reception on 53341302

  • Middle School

    The Middle School caters for students between 12 – 15 years of age. The major focus of the Middle School is assisting students to consolidate the skills they developed throughout their Junior School and/or mainstream primary school experience and to further develop their functional skills in preparation for Senior School and beyond. The Middle School consists of PODs, which contain 2-4 class groups. 

    Curriculum includes:

    Literacy, Numeracy, Humanities and Science, Health & Physical Education, Specialist Programs, Community Access and the LEAP (Learning, Engaging, Aiming-high and Preparing) Program to prepare students for the transition to senior school.

    Contact BSS reception on 53341302

  • Senior School

    The Young Adult Centre has a focus on students aged 15-18 years. The extensive range of engaging and enriching programs are implemented by dedicated and supportive staff. Directed by the student’s Individual Educational Plan and curriculum, students are supported to achieve to the best of their abilities

    Contact BSS reception on 53341302

  • FARM Campus

    The Ballarat Specialist School FARM is located at 800 Norman St, Invermay Park, Ballarat, Victoria. All students attending our Gillies St. Campus, have the opportunity to spend time working at the FARM, and are central to it’s successful operation.  

    The students are involved in all levels of management, from general maintenance, to looking after the animals, landscaping, planting and maintaining our market gardens and orchard. The FARM is designed to encourage our students of all ages to develop important life skills in all of these areas. The Campus is also seen as an important link to the wider community, with regular visits from other schools, community groups and the general public.

    Contact BSS reception on 53341302

  • Educational Residential Unit

    The Educational Residential Unit (ERU) was established during 2005, after many years of planning and research in response to the school community’s desire to provide a facility to further enhance students’ independence and reach their full potential. 

    The ERU’s core objectives are:

    -To further develop independence and everyday living skills
    -To promote self-determination
    -To prepare our students for life as young adults.

    The ERU runs four to five programs each year ranging from four weeks to a full term in duration. Each program falls under the title of complex needs, personal hygiene,domestic or life management.Four staff members are associated with the program working afternoon and night shifts, with two staff members on at all times with a maximum of eight students per program. The cost per program is $40 per week which includes all meals and activities. Programs operate Monday afternoon until Friday morning before students return home for the weekend.

    Contact BSS reception on 53341302

  • Parent Group

    The parent group meets every Tuesday in the staff room at 9:30am. This group welcomes new families and is attended by our school chaplin as well.

    For more information please contact the school or check out our blog at

  • Special treats Café/Farm Bakery

    Cafés on both sites that are open to the public that also provide great food and coffee and excellent customer service. Both cafes operate as training facilities for the students to prepare them for future careers in hospitality.

    Café staff work with our students to achieve the best outcome toward them becoming as self-sufficient and independent as possible upon completing their time at BSS.