“It has been typical within the history of special education, particularly in the area of learning disabilities, that the motivation and emphasis for program development has come from parents and their organizations rather than from educators” (Baldauf, 1980, p. 179). The Special Education Centre at Christ Church Grammar School is no exception as it was established as a result of the vocally expressed needs of parents. Prior to its inception, there was a remedial class in the preparatory school, the then Headmaster, Mr. P. M. Moyes, being firmly committed to education for the less able as well as the academically able. Parents who wanted boys enrolled at the school, and those who wanted sons from the remedial class to continue their education at the school, pressed for the establishment of a special centre. Funding was available from the Commonwealth Government and from the private sector.
The Centre is an integral part of the regular school, based on a model of integrated education at primary and secondary levels. A committee consisting of the Headmaster, the headmaster of the preparatory school, the director of the Centre and, of recent years, the school counsellor, decides placement in the Special Education Centre. These placements are made after consideration of the psychological, medical and educational documentation accompanying each application, and with regard to keeping a balance of ages and grades within the Centre. Selection is dependent on the applicants satisfying the criteria for special education as opposed to remedial education. Priority is also given to country boys needing special education and boarding facilities where no appropriate alternatives are available to them. It must be felt that the programme and facilities available are likely to benefit the applicant. There are 16 full-time places available. Some boys are able to pursue certain subjects with their regular school peers. Some boys are placed into the regular stream after a period of time in the Centre. These boys then receive continuing support in their area of specific need. I have worked in the Centre as its director for five years.