Hamilton Special Developmental School was first established in 1989 with 6 students aged between 5 and 18. It was based originally at Mulleraterong (an adult day-centre) where it leased two rooms. In 1992, the staff and students relocated into new premises situated in Kerr Street, behind Kent Road Primary School (before Kent Road PS merged with Baimbridge College). Nine students were enrolled at the school at this time. Student enrolments currently sit at 36 for 2013.
The school sits on a site of 1.2 hectares as a stand-alone facility where students have access to extensive play areas and a sports stadium for all fitness and recreational activities. Hamilton Special Developmental School is located in the new South Western Region on the outskirts of the rural city of Hamilton. The school is the only special setting in Hamilton and therefore caters for students aged 5 to 18 years of age with a range of additional learning needs, including mild to severe intellectual disabilities, physical and sensory impairments. The criteria for enrolment has been determined by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development as having an IQ of below 70 (being a multi-modal specialist and special developmental) as well as significant deficits in adaptive behaviour and displaying a history and evidence of an ongoing needs, with the expectation of continuation during the school years.
Classes are fully engaged in learning activities that are improving outcomes for individuals. Students, despite a large range of disabilities and preparedness for formal learning, work at their goals extremely well, supported by teaching, therapy and education support staff. Some of our students have a dual enrolment at a mainstream school when this has been deemed beneficial for the student's learning program. Students, as well as being involved in a comprehensive work experience program, have access to other adult learning educational facilities for increasing their work-related skill levels. Currently, we have 8 students completing a Certificate I in Transition Education, provided by Southern Grampians Adult Education.