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Strategic Plan 2022-2024

The Strategic Plan lays out the direction of the school for the next three years, drawing from the Department of Education's Strategic Directions.

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Annual report

The annual report is a summary of the school’s achievements and provides information, commentary and analysis across the key areas of the school.

View 2023 Annual report

2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

SIDE has made the transition from a correspondence education school to an online, flexible-learning institution, combining 100 years of experience with current pedagogical and technical know-how.

All upper secondary courses have been rewritten to reflect the new WACE Courses and designed for online delivery. Similarly, lower-secondary courses are being redeveloped to adhere to the new W.A. Curriculum. Importantly, teachers are now given the flexibility to edit and redevelop materials to suit the needs of their students.

For curriculum materials, teachers use a blend of self-written, commercial and system-developed sources. Depending on their cohort, teachers use a variety of strategies to connect with their students:

  • live, online classes using Webex, the Department of Education's web conferencing solution
  • Moodle online courses available 24/7
  • face-to-face teaching either on-site in Leederville or school/regional visits
  • print and telephone to supplement online learning.

SIDE regularly hosts intrastate, interstate and international visitors interested in learning more about the successful model used by teachers and students.

A continuing focus of the School is to ensure high quality teaching and learning in the new online world. The School has on-site Online Teaching and Learning Team consisting of practising teachers who support other teachers and students to use the new technologies in the most effective manner.

There are plenty of challenges and opportunities for the School. Mobile technologies offer great potential for flexibility and access, the Australian Curriculum and the national agenda require examination in the distance education context and the natural world presents age-old challenges with fires, floods and storms.

Experienced teachers and administrators with a clear and strong focus on student achievement means the School is well equipped to move forward.


Established in September 1918 to serve the needs of ‘isolated’ and ‘outback’ children in the primary years, the School of Isolated and Distance Education has a varied history. It has evolved into an online K-12 school based in Leederville, a suburb of Perth. It continues to provide an education to Western Australian children and young people who are living in isolated, regional or remote situations.

A hallmark of the school has been its adoption of new practices and technologies to improve the quality of the education it provides. In the past this has included print materials, television, video and audio recordings, use of the Royal Flying Doctor two-way radio, satellite, and more recently, internet technologies.

Over the last decade, SIDE has transitioned from teaching and learning through correspondence to an online model. Students around the State and travelling in other parts of Australia or the world receive their education through modern digital technologies, including:

  • Cisco Webex, an online classroom where teaching and learning occurs in real time.
  • Moodle, an online learning management system that allows students to access lesson materials and activities, upload work and interact with their teachers and peers 24/7.

Read more about SIDE’s history

These links connect to specific aspects of the history of distance education and include materials collected in the SIDE Archive.

History of Distance Education in Western Australia 1918-1993. A commemorative publication for the 75th anniversary of distance education which documents some key elements of the history of the distance education school. (WARNING: This booklet may contain images of Aboriginal people who have died.)

Our History. A timeline prepared for the Centenary of Distance Education in 2018, which highlights important events in the development of the school including changes in school name, previous Headmasters and Principals of the Perth-based school, and the evolution of the technology used for teaching and learning.

Shared stories. A collection of the reminiscences and recollections of former staff and students in video and text. Recent stories of former students can be found in Where are they now?

Teaching and learning. Charts the changes in practice over the first hundred years of the school.

Open Day 2018. A gallery of photos from our Centenary Open Day.

Paul MatewsWelcome to the School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE). SIDE is the main centre for K-12 distance education and online learning within the Western Australian Department of Education. The school provides quality education for students who for various reasons cannot attend classes in a regular school.

Founded in 1918 as the Correspondence School, SIDE has a rich history of student success and achievement for students studying in all years of schooling. This tradition continues with a commitment to excellence in all aspects of school life. SIDE staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality learning experiences to students, no matter their circumstance or location.

SIDE maintains strong links with parents, schools and their communities. In K-6, relationships with parents as partners in their child’s education is crucial, while in Years 7-12 there is a focus on increasing independence by students and partnerships between SIDE and the students’ supervisors.

Parents and carers, student supervisors, schools and students are always welcome to contact us or visit our campus in Leederville. We know how important it is to have good communication and nurture a positive relationship between SIDE and our community.

SIDE offers the same education opportunities and support as most primary and secondary schools, including support for students with disabilities, students with learning difficulties and gifted and talented students. A feature of the student experience at SIDE is the support from teachers and SIDE’s extensive Student Services team. SIDE staff have a focus on supporting the specific needs of individual students.

The school uses digital technologies to deliver online education programs. It occurs in two forms:

  • Synchronous, real-time communication via the Department’s WebEx web-conferencing platform. Students have access to scheduled ‘live’ instruction.
  • Asynchronous, 24/7 access. Moodle is used to deliver curriculum materials and facilitate student and staff collaboration online.

Please browse our website to see the range of opportunities on offer which make SIDE unique in Western Australia.


Paul Mathews