Special Teaching and Research (STaR) Limited works across early years, school-aged and post-school settings to ensure progressive, meaningful and inclusive learning for people with disabilities.
We do this through special education.
STaR stands for
- This is specially designed teaching instruction to meet the unique learning needs of a person with disability.
- Special Educators are qualified professionals with a postgraduate degree.
- Special Educators promote, advocate for and facilitate inclusion.
- We develop and deliver evidence-based training for educators, teachers and support workers.
- We equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to maximise the potential of people with disabilities and to promote their inclusion.
- Our role is to coach and mentor those who work with people with disabilities across all settings and age groups.
- Research is central to the STaR culture.
- Evidence based practice underpins all our work.
- We conduct relevant research.
Our first STaR Children in 2002
The STaR (Special Teaching and Research) Inclusive Early Childhood Association was founded in December 2001 by Dr Coral Kemp in collaboration with parents and professionals from Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC).
The parents who fundraised to establish STaR were part of the MUSEC Early Years Program, which provided for children with and without disabilities, including potentially gifted children. At the time, this model was unique, and the value and benefits of inclusion for all children, regardless of difference, were evident. In February 2002, the first STaR program commenced in a privately owned childcare centre in Meadowbank.
Until 2004 this pilot program was 10% funded by the government and relied upon support from the childcare centre owner and significant fundraising undertaken by the families of the STaR children enrolled in the program. The need to grow the number of centres and children supported by this innovative, inclusive model led to securing a grant for federal funding (through Invest to Grow) to establish the STaR program across ten childcare centres, mostly in Western Sydney.
Over 600 children with disabilities and their families have been supported through the STaR program in over 30 childcare centres. Many educators and student teachers have attended STaR professional development courses and have been mentored ‘on the ground’ by our Special Educators.
In our twentieth year, we remain in touch with many STaR graduates now attending post school programs. Anecdotally, we know that their learning experiences become diluted as they grow older. The lack of opportunities to access continued learning is of great concern, resulting in STaR’s commitment to establish post school special education programs in community-based and supported living settings. Our vision and mission were changed in 2020 to reflect our commitment to lifelong learning.
What we do
Providing quality research-based training and mentoring
Lifelong Special Education
Implementing best practice across:
Early Years (0-6 Years)
Post School Years (16+ Years)
Advocating for special education to a range of audiences