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.


Visit the Community page to find out more about the SIDE community today.

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