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Student wellbeing

Strategy: Support student's holistic wellbeing through health and physical activity programs; strategies that support positive behaviour; and learning environments that encourage creative thinking and actions as global citizens

Video: Chancellor State College, 6Rs for the 21st Century

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australia Showcase Award for Excellence in the Middle Phase of Learning
Chancellor State College, 6Rs for the 21st Century

The brain and body chemistry of early adolescence was put under the microscope before Chancellor State College opened its middle school five years ago. The research led to the development of the 6Rs for the 21st Century program which includes emphasis on reflection, resilience and responsibility.

Every school day begins with a rigorous 20 minute physical workout. Curriculum content is relevant to adolescents' lives and has plenty of subject variety from fashion to marine biology.

Students can build significant relationships with teachers as they have the one teacher for 60% of time.

There have been positive spin-offs for staff and students. The 2008 NAPLAN results were at or above all national benchmarks and the teachers report high moral and workplace satisfaction.

Chancellor State College, researching results in the 6Rs.

The department recognises the interrelationships between learning, achievement and behaviour. State schools work proactively with their communities to create safe and supportive learning environments for all students, staff, volunteers, parents and visitors.

During 2009-10, the department continued working to improve the educational environment, and student health and wellbeing, through a range of strategies and programs including:

  • review of all state schools' Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students to include appropriate responses to bullying and cyber-bullying
  • engagement of Dr Ken Rigby from the University of South Australia to provide expert advice on more effective ways to address bullying
  • embedding of physical activity across the curriculum
  • expansion of the number of schools trained in Schoolwide Positive Behaviour Support to implement evidence-based behaviour support practices to more than 300 schools
  • Smart Choices - Healthy food and drink supply strategy for Queensland schools in tuckshops, vending machines and across all school activities where food and drink is supplied
  • extension of the Youth Support Coordinator Initiative (joint collaboration between DET and the Department of Communities)
  • establishment of the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence to provide the Minister with independent advice regarding actions to address bullying and violence in state and non-state schools
  • commencement of a statewide Action Against Bullying Education Series delivered by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg for school leaders, staff and parent communities from state and non-state schools.

Safe, supportive and disciplined school environment

A key component of creating a safe, supportive and disciplined school environment policy is the implementation of a Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students by each state school. These plans outline the expected standards of behaviour for students at the school and the possible consequences for students who do not meet the expected standards.

A school's Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students is developed in consultation with the school community, including students and parents.

State schools promote positive behaviours in all students. Many schools do this by implementing School-wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS), which helps schools create positive learning environments by developing proactive, whole-school systems to define, teach and support appropriate student behaviours.

Sanctions are applied to students who engage in unacceptable behaviour according to the school's Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students. Sanctions may include suspension or exclusion from the school. Suspensions and exclusions are last resort options for addressing unacceptable student behaviour, and schools should use them only after considering all other appropriate strategies. State schools record incidents resulting in a school disciplinary absence.

A summary of State School Disciplinary Measures is maintained on the department's website at Enrolment and School Information. The following table contains State School Disciplinary Measures data as at 30 June 2010.

Table 29: School Disciplinary Absences - By reason of absence - Term 3 2009 to Term 2 2010

Reason

Short Suspension

Long Suspension

Exclusion

Cancellation

Total Incidents

Avg. rate per 1000 students per term

Total Incidents

Avg. rate per 1000 students per term

Total Incidents

Avg. rate per 1000 students per term

Total Incidents

Avg. rate per 1000 students per term

Absences

1 111

0.6

107

0.1

6

0.0

-

-

Other conduct prejudicial to the good order and management of the school (including serious conduct)

7 743

3.9

1 339

0.7

235

0.1

-

-

Persistently disruptive behaviour adversely affecting others

5 021

2.6

624

0.3

62

0.0

-

-

Physical Misconduct

17 912

9.1

2 496

1.3

373

0.2

-

-

Property Misconduct

3 560

1.8

484

0.2

50

0.0

-

-

Refusal to participate in the program of instruction

3 566

1.8

276

0.1

21

0.0

681

0.3

Substance Misconduct involving tobacco and other legal substances

2 801

1.4

293

0.1

27

0.0

-

-

Substance Misconduct involving an illicit substance

229

0.1

298

0.2

121

0.1

-

-

Verbal or Non Verbal Misconduct

12 673

6.5

1 162

0.6

86

0.0

-

-

Grand Total

54 616

27.8

7 079

3.6

981

0.5

681

0.3

Source: Department of Education and Training

Notes

  1. 0.0 rounded to 0.0 (if less than 0.05)
  2. -- Nil
  3. School disciplinary absence (SDA) data was collected centrally from Term 4 2002 to Term 2 2009 through the School Disciplinary Absence Collection (SDAC) system. This is the final year that the SDAC system will provide this data. From Term 3 2009, OneSchool became the sole source of behavioural management data for state schools. The SDA data presented comprises the total of short suspensions (1-5 days), long suspensions (6-20 days), suspensions with recommendation for exclusion, and cancellations of enrolment.
  4. The enrolments used to calculate the SDA rates for Term 3 2009 were based on August 2009 enrolment data; SDA rates for Term 4 2009 were based on November 2009 enrolment data; and SDA rates for Terms 1 and 2 2010 were based on February 2010 enrolment data.
  5. The information is displayed in terms of aggregate incident counts and the rate of SDAs per 1000 students. The data does not represent the outcomes of any related appeal decisions.
    Incidents: Count of incidents of SDAs from Term 3 2009 to Term 2 2010.
    Rate per 1000 students: An effective average number of SDA incidents per 1000 students per term for the reporting period. Due to rounding, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals in the average rate per 1000 figures.
  6. School year counts of incidents by type of absence for individual schools were published through each school's annual report on individual school websites from 2010. When aggregated, this data may differ from summary figures displayed above due to the information being reported across different time periods (school year versus financial year) and the results of a school-driven validation process.
  7. Due to rounding, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals in the average rate per thousand figures.

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Student attendance

Strategy: Increase student attendance rates to ensure all children are engaged in learning

Student attendance can significantly affect a student's education, and can be associated with a student leaving school early or having limited employment and life opportunities. Schools have guidelines to address chronic absenteeism, school refusal and truancy to help deal with the complex issue of school absenteeism. In many cases, schools will work with other government agencies, including the Queensland Police Service, Child Safety Services (Department of Communities) and other local, non-government organisations to support students and their families.

In 2009-10, the Every Day Counts campaign continued to promote the importance of attending school, and the educational consequences of poor school attendance. A range of case studies were published on the Every Day Counts website highlighting the proactive steps schools and regions are taking to improve student attendance. These include innovative strategies such as:

  • a service commitment from Cairns West State School that their students who attended 95 per cent or more of the school year would meet or beat their year level benchmarks
  • a strong community effort with significant parental engagement at Kowanyama State School
  • an inter-agency approach to truancy at Browns Plains State High School
  • a focus on at-risk students at Mirani State High School
  • the introduction of an electronic system for tracking and reporting student attendance at schools in the Logan-Albert Beaudesert District.

Video: Centenary Heights State High School: Flexi School - Changing Lives by Breaking the Cycle

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The RACQ Showcase Award for Excellence in the Senior Phase of Learning
Centenary Heights State High School: Flexi School - Changing Lives by Breaking the Cycle

Since 2004, Toowoomba's Flexi School, an annexe of Centenary Heights State High School has given the district's disengaged and troubled students a second chance.

The key to its success is intense case management which sees teachers, support staff and community personnel working together to meet the emotional and social needs of students.

Students gain the skills they need to contribute positively to society. They receive support to stay in school long enough to believe in themselves and what they can achieve.

Toowoomba Flexi School is changing lives by breaking the cycle. 95% of last year's graduates have jobs or are enrolled in further study.

Toowoomba Flexi School, where flexibility is making a difference.

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Improving the educational environment and student wellbeing

In 2009-10, the department improved the educational environment by:

  • extending the State Government Chaplaincy to support students in eligible primary and secondary schools to 2013
  • developing an online training course to increase awareness and management of anaphylaxis in schools
  • implementing key tasks in the Queensland Government Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • providing professional development and resources to support mental health promotion, illness prevention and early intervention
  • the provision of professional development opportunities (in conjunction with the Mater Hospital Developmental Group) to support children and young people with diverse learning and health needs.

Table 12: Summary of directions and orders - Queensland schools

Type of direction or order

Directions or orders given to personnel other than children
2009-10

Directions or orders given to children
2009-10

State and non-state schools

Prohibition from entering premises of all state educational institutions and non-state schools for up to one year - section 352

0

0

State schools

Direction about conduct or movement - section 337

157

13

Direction to leave and not re-enter - section 339

5

4

Prohibition from entering premises for up to 60 days - section 340

4

0

Prohibition from entering premises for more than 60 days but not more than one year - section 341

0

0

Review of direction - section 338:

  • the number of review applications made

11

1

  • the number of directions confirmed

9

1

  • the number of directions cancelled

2

0

Prohibition from entering premises of all state education institutions for up to one year - section 353

0

0

Type of direction or order

Directions or orders given to personnel other than children

Directions or orders given to children

2008-09

2009-10

2008-09

2009-10

Non-state schools

Direction about conduct or movement - section 346

13

36

0

21

Direction to leave and not re-enter - section 348

2

1

0

0

Prohibition from entering premises for up to 60 days - section 349

8

9

0

0

Prohibition from entering premises for more than 60 days but not more than one year - section 350

0

0

0

0

Review of direction - section 346-347:

1

0

0

0

  • the number of review applications made

1

0

0

0

  • the number of directions confirmed

1

0

0

0

  • the number of directions cancelled

0

0

0

0

Source: Department of Education and Training

Notes:

  1. Previous annual reports have reported non-state schools information for the previous financial year. This annual report provides non-state schools information for the 2009-10 financial year, bringing non-state schools and state schools in line for the first time.
  2. Sections refer to the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006, Chapter 12, Parts 6-8.

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