NISSA is the National Independent Special Schools Association. It is an Australian association of independent special schools whose core purpose is the education of children and young people with disabilities.
Membership of NISSA provides access to strong collegiate support and expertise from other educators and administrators in the area of special education.
NISSA meetings are held approximately 4 times per year and include an annual Forum and AGM. Meeting participation can be in person or by teleconference. The Annual Forum is a great opportunity for Professional Development and for planning how NISSA can best serve its members.
Membership is available to all independent special schools in Australia and to the organizations that conduct them, provided that their core purpose is the education of children and young people with disabilities. Membership fees are paid annually for each calendar year. To become a member or renew your membership fee, please download the membership form.
Independent special schools in Australia were among the earliest providers of services to students with disabilities and include some of the first schools to offer Special Education Programs in this country.
For over one hundred years independent special schools have given leadership in the field of Special Education, often pioneering new service provision and introducing new methods and technology in the education of students with disabilities.
Today, independent special schools continue to conduct needed, high quality educational programs to students with disabilities. A combination of Government funding and individual fund raising has ensured that the important and vital services of independent special schools flourish as a substantial community resource and a viable alternative for the education of students who require their programs.
The presence of an independent Special Education sector is essential in the promotion of excellence in the education of students with disabilities and the provision of high quality alternatives to maintain freedom of choice.
Independent special schools are dynamic and effective schools which have played a fundamental role in the development of Special Education in Australia and there is a steady demand for their services. They are noted for innovation and for pioneering new services for students who require different approaches to meet their educational and other life preparation needs.
By their nature, independent special schools are individually relatively small and isolated operations, often dedicated to a specific area of Special Education such as intellectual impairment, physical impairment, sensory impairment, or autism spectrum disorders.
The National Independent Special Schools Association is an organisation to provide a forum for debating matters of common interest and a collective voice which represents independent special schools for students with disabilities on a broad range of issues across Australia.
To promote the collective interests of independent special schools for students with disabilities and their families.
To provide a forum for the sharing of information and views on matters relating to the operation of independent special schools for students with disabilities.
To represent the collective interests of independent special schools for students with disabilities at State and National levels.
To promote and co-ordinate joint professional development activities and research.
To advocate for and contribute towards the enhancement and development of legislation in relation to students enrolled in independent special schools for students with disabilities.
To actively promote the role of Special Schools for students with disabilities within the continuum of education.
To raise the public and political profile of NISSA.
(Last updated: 4 March 2016)