There were many physical moves for the school during this period. A series of amalgamations of the various distance education services resulted in one K-12 service with a consistent approach to distance education across Western Australia.


The Thomas Street premises of the WA Correspondence School was badly damaged in a fire which began in the library. The teachers and staff retrieved as much of the School's resources as possible and the School was temporarily housed in Scottish Amicable House at 246 St George's Terrace, Perth. Staff members from the time recalled that the smell from smoke and water damaged materials pervaded all the offices. The buildings at Thomas Street were so damaged that they were eventually demolished.


The WA Correspondence School moved to the Thomas Street School on the corner of Roberts Road and Thomas Street in Subiaco near their previous site which had been damaged by fire and adjacent to Perth Modern School. WACS also made use of some of the rooms at the former East Perth Primary School until it was demolished.

ISMS had used empty classrooms at the Thomas Street School, however in 1980 its teachers moved to Graylands Teachers' College, Mimosa Avenue, Mount Claremont.


In 1982 the WA Correspondence School moved to Havelock Street, West Perth, into the former Hale School building which had previously been used by the Education Department.

The WA Correspondence School was merged with the Isolated Families Early Childhood Correspondence Scheme and the Isolated Students Matriculation Scheme effectively creating one P-12 school.  The combined school became known as the Distance Education Centre (DEC).

The Tertiary Admission Examination courses provided by the Technical Extension Service were subsumed under the Distance Education Centre. There was an increase in enrolments of post-compulsory students and adults who were studying towards university entrance.


Richard Cairnes was appointed Principal of the Distance Education Centre (DEC) and the school was officially opened on the Hale School site by the Minister for Education, Mr R Pearce.



The Educational Television Service was initiated in conjunction with the Golden West network. GWN provided television coverage to rural areas, and the educational broadcasts reached distance education students across the state. Examples of televised programs from this period included the highly acclaimed DEC Live Science program.


Mail and telephone remained the main way in which teachers communicated with students. Students were sent sets of materials at the start of the year which included print materials, video tapes, and audio tapes. Teachers had a telephone, a calculator and a fax machine that was shared with about thirty other teachers. A small group of Apple computers in a special room was used for the production of documents.


The Distance Education Centre moved from Havelock Street, West Perth to Oxford Street, Leederville, the site of the Leederville Primary School and WestEd Media. There was to be a redevelopment of this site with purpose built facilities that integrated with the historic buildings of Leederville Primary School and the modern buildings that housed WestEd Media. These buildings were to cater better for the services needed by rural and isolated students.

At this time about 150 teachers were providing distance education to approximately 2000 students across Australia and in 42 other countries.


The 75th anniversary of distance education in Western Australia was celebrated.



The Ministerial Review of Schooling (1994) considered distance education in WA "had long been recognised as being among the world's best".

1995 - 1996

The Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) was established through the amalgamation of the Distance Education Centre (Leederville) and the 5 Schools of the Air: Port Hedland, Kimberley, Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie, and Meekatharra.