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Support Services in Schools


School Psychologists

School psychologists provide services to students that address educational, social, emotional and behavioural needs, either individually or in groups. Working collaboratively with families, school communities and external agencies is integral to the role. School psychologists work proactively and responsively within the principles of a Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention framework.

School psychologists are required to be registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and work within the ACT Education Act, the ACT Health Professionals Act and other relevant legislation.

How Can a School Psychologists Help

Psychologists have a range of skills that enable them to assist students, parents and teachers with issues that can affect the student's educational progress and adjustment including, for example:

This may be achieved through:

How to Contact a School Psychologist?

Parents can contact their school psychologist directly at their child's school. The Assistant Manager and Senior Psychologist for the service can be contacted through Student Wellbeing.

Email: ETDStudentWellbeing@act.gov.au

Phone: (02) 6205 6925

Allied Health

ACT public schools are engaged in four regional networks. Each network has a multidisciplinary Network Student Engagement Team (NSET) who provide support to schools on a referral basis.

The purpose of each NSET is to work with schools and their staff to build their capacity to engage every student every day in meaningful relevant learning, enabling them to fulfil their potential.

This work may include students who have:

The work of NSET aims to complement other supports available to schools including: support staff in schools (e.g. school psychologists, chaplains, youth support workers), community and government agencies and online and face-to face Professional Learning opportunities. The ACT Government has invested in a number of training courses to build the capability of teachers in ACT public schools to enable them to better support students, including students with disability and students who have experienced trauma.

NSET is an interdisciplinary team of professionals with a diverse skill set who are working collaboratively to build capacity within students, schools, and the community. They endeavour to increase engagement and improve student outcomes. Roles are underpinned by various legislations and policies including the Disability Discrimination ACT, Disability Standards for Education and Safe and Supportive Schools Policy.

The following is a list of roles within each NSET:

NSET aims to assist schools to build capability and capacity to ensure students at risk of disengaging with education have appropriate adjustments made to assist them to access learning and where necessary have appropriate referrals made for additional external support (in consultation with parents/ carers). This may include whole school, class and targeted programs, including coaching and mentoring of teachers, co-designing individualised student responses; case co-ordination support; professional learning; and reviewing funding for students with a disability.

School Youth Health Nurse Program

With a strong focus on health promotion and early intervention, the School Youth Health Nurse Program supports the health and wellbeing of students in secondary schools as they transition to adulthood. The objectives of the program are to promote positive health outcomes for young people and their families and to provide an opportunity to access a health professional in the school setting. Nurses are often the first point of contact for health matters, and play an important role in referring to appropriate health care providers.

School Youth Health Nurses:

Pastoral Care

Pastoral care refers to policy and practices fully integrated throughout the teaching and learning and structural organisation of a school to effectively meet the personal, social (wellbeing) and academic needs of students and staff.

Pastoral care promotes students' personal and social development and fosters positive attitudes. This is achieved through the quality of teaching and learning; through the nature of relationships amongst students, teachers and adults other than teachers; through arrangements for monitoring students’ overall progress (academic, personal and social); through specific pastoral and support systems; and through extra-curricular activities and the school’s ethos.

Our pastoral care programs assist students to develop positive self-esteem, healthy risk taking, goal setting and negotiation, thus enhancing resilience and developing a sense of social cohesion that together can improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Quality pastoral care focuses on the whole student (personal, social, and academic) and it engages all members of the school community as providers of pastoral care. It actively involves the community in consistent, comprehensive, multi-level activities which incorporate whole-school approaches, class or other group approaches, individual programs (early intervention), and casework.

National School Chaplaincy Program

The National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) is an Australian Government program which has been funded for the school years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The focus of the program is to support the emotional wellbeing of students by providing pastoral care services and strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of the broader school community. Under the agreement with the Australian Government, the ACT Education Directorate will be responsible for delivering the program with an anticipated finish date of 31 December 2018.

Participation in the chaplaincy program is voluntary for both schools and students. To be involved with the NSCP, schools must have consulted their school community including the staff, students, school board and the relevant parent groups and they must have documented support for a chaplaincy service. The appointed chaplain must have qualifications equivalent to or higher than the Certificate IV in Youth Work or Pastoral Care.

Chaplains may be from any faith and do not proselytise or evangelise. They respect, accept and are sensitive to other people’s views, value and beliefs. All chaplains comply with the ACT laws and policies in relation to child protection matters.

Please refer to the ACT National School Chaplaincy Program Guidelines for more details about the program. If you would like further information or have any concerns about the chaplaincy services provided in your school please contact the school principal.

For further information please contact Student Wellbeing.

Email: ETDStudentWellbeing@act.gov.au

Phone: (02) 6205 9078.

Uniforms

The Education Directorate Dress Standards and Uniforms in Canberra Public Schools policy, procedure and guideline provide direction and advice to schools in developing and implementing school based student dress standards.

A school’s dress standard plays an important role in promoting a positive image of the school and creating a sense of identity among students.

Each Canberra public school has a dress standard which for primary and high schools involves a school uniform. In high schools this includes a formal style option, which may be the sole uniform option or offered alongside a less formal option.

The wearing of school uniforms by students can assist to:

Each Canberra public school, in conjunction with their school board, develops and implements school student dress standards policy and procedures in partnership with the school community. Primary and high schools will develop strategies to provide affordable options for families and ensure that uniforms are suitable for all students regardless of gender identity, preferred presentation, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, pregnancy or body shape.

To view the Dress Standards and Uniforms in Canberra Public Schools Policy and supporting documents please click on the link below.

Dress Standards and Uniforms in Canberra Public Schools Policy, Procedure and Guideline

Wherever possible, schools ensure uniforms are sourced from ethical producers who are committed to an ethical supply chain and publish a list of their factories and suppliers (unless the costs involved are unreasonably expensive for parents and carers). Schools may also wish to encourage their uniform provider to join the Ethical Australia accreditation scheme. For more details see the Go Ethical website: www.ethical.org.au.

If you have any questions or comments about the policy please contact your school in the first instance. For further information please contact Student Wellbeing.

Email: ETDStudentWellbeing@act.gov.au
Phone: (02) 6205 9078