Devonport History
 
There had long been a need for the provision of special education in the Devonport area. In November 1959, Devonfield formed a school group in rooms of one of its hostels - the current main school building. In the next three years, the Retarded Children's Welfare Association and the Education Department worked closely together, culminating in the establishment of St Paul's Special School in 1963.
 
The educational focus of the school was on the provision of an alternative education for students with mild, moderate and severe intellectual and multiple disabilities.
 
The school population increased dramatically and, with changing curriculum demands, several building alterations and additions were made including the provision of an MDT room, art room, external classroom terrapins, storage sheds, an independent living area (the 'flat') and modern kitchen facilities.
 
In October 1992, the school's name was officially changed to Mersey Heights School to reflect the fact that the school was (and remains) fully-funded by the Tasmanian government as part of the Department of Education. It also gave the school a more 'locally significant' identity.
 
In 1994, district support services evolved to ensure that a fully streamlined management of resources was made available to schools in the areas of guidance, social work, speech & language pathology and special education. Mersey Heights School's role underwent significant changes with the adoption by the DoE of its Inclusion Policy in 1996. More students with special needs were enrolled in regular schools and Mersey Heights School became a supporting resource for them. Thus, the support school role was identified!
 
In line with recommendations made from the 1999 Rewards & Challenges: Inclusion Reviewthe school was fully integrated within the Barrington Support Service and, consequently, the School Council and parent body in 2003 resolved that the school's name be altered to Barrington Support School to reflect this. Final ministerial approval was granted in August 2003.
 
Following the Atelier Report in 2004 and the the disbandment of the Support Service significant changes to the school occurred.  The school is now part of the local Devonport Cluster but students come from a broad geographical base in the Eastern end of the North Western Branch.
 
The school was now run as independently as any other school within the Education Department, it became part of the new Devonport cluster of schools while still servicing the geographical areas from Port Sorell to Penguin. The support of the Devonport cluster enabled the Links programs for students with high and additional needs in the neighbourhood schools to continue: this had been initiated earlier by the Support Service.
 
With student numbers dwindling as more students are integrated into local schools it was expedient to combine resources and expertise, so from the beginning of 2006 the Arthur Support School at Burnie united with the Barrington Support School  at Devonport to become the one, School of Special Education, Northwest with Mrs. Alison Horch principal over the one school, two campuses.
 
While there has always been communication between the two schools there is now a growing integration of activities, professional learning, staff, programs and administration. The clusters were disbanded at the end of 2007 and the school no longer had the means to support the links program in 2008, although Learning Services supported the reintroduction of Links for 2009.