Programs and Services Articles

The Programs and Services Newsletter is sent every month. To subscribe/unsubscribe to the newsletter, please login and update your subscription preferences under the "Update my Details" tab in the member dashboard.

Previous newsletters can be viewed below:

AISWA Programs and Services Newsletter - June 2024

AISWA Programs and Services Newsletter - May 2024

AISWA Programs and Services Newsletter - April 2024

AISWA Programs and Services Newsletter - March 2024

AISWA Programs and Services Newsletter - February 2024

 

Psychology

 

News Updates

The 2023 update of the cross-sectoral “School response and planning guidelines for students with suicidal behaviour and non‑suicidal self‑injury” has just been released. Click here to view the guidelines.

The Guidelines assist schools staff to identify and effectively respond to suicidal behaviour and non-suicidal self injury.  These guidelines include:

  • information and resources for school-based responses.  
  • guidance to develop a risk management plan; and
  • advice for linking with other agencies.

The Guidelines were updated through the Mental Health Commission (MHC) administered School Suicide Response and Prevention Project, which has representatives from the Department of Education, Catholic Education Western Australia, Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Youth Focus Incorporated.  

Support in the implementation of the guidelines may be provided by your AISWA School Psychologist.


Upcoming Events

 

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

This program is one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world, backed by more than 35 years of ongoing research. Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them build strong, healthy relationships and confidently manage their children’s behaviour. Triple P Online,  Fear-Less Triple P Online,  and  Triple P Online for Baby are now available FREE under the Australian Government’s Parenting Education and Support Program. Flyers for Fear-Less and Triple P can be found below.

Aussie Optimism Train-the-Trainer: 28 – 31 May 2024 

Developed at Curtin University, Aussie Optimism is an evidence-based mental health promotion program for children and adolescents from Kindy to Year 8. The program teaches practical skills and strategies relating to social and emotional wellbeing and problem-solving in children. Teachers must attend a one-day training workshop prior to program implementation. Teachers and student support staff can also become accredited Aussie Optimism trainers by attending a four-day Train-the-Trainer course, fully funded by the Mental Health Commission. Trainers provide coaching and support to teachers who implement the program in schools. Further information can be found here. Alternatively, the AISWA School Psychology team (asps@ais.wa.edu.au) has trainers available if schools wish to discuss implementation of the program.

COVID Safety for Schools Course  

Launched on 19 February 2024, the COVID Safety for Schools Course is a high-quality video-based course for Australian schools. It explains the realities of COVID in clear, easy-to-understand language and provides practical advice on how to minimise the risk of COVID spreading at schools, based on the latest science. The course has been created with the involvement of leading scientific and medical experts in fields relevant to COVID. The course is available online, self-paced and completely free.  

Effective Prevention & Responses to School Bullying using Restorative Processes – 9th May 2024, Newman Siena Centre

The impact of bullying on student wellbeing is well documented. It is estimated that one student in four reports bullying in person, and one in five reports online bullying.  All students involved in bullying need support, including those who are bullied, those bullying others and those who are bystanders.  This workshop, presented by psychologist Coosje Griffiths, provides participants with current knowledge and hands-on skills to implement practical and effective interventions to address bullying and enhance relationships. A range of tools to implement whole school approaches are provided. Research is translated into effective school practices. Strategies are based on positive psychology, strength-based principles with the goal of improving student wellbeing and peer relationships as a protective factor against bullying, as well as interventions to resolve bullying incidents. The workshop is highly interactive & engaging. Please click here for further information.

The Luminos Project - A sanctuary for youth experiencing thoughts of suicide 

The Luminos Project is a brand new, free service for young people experiencing thoughts of suicide. It is funded by the Mental Health Commission, and is a collaboration between Samaritans, Ruah, and Telethon. The Project aims to provide an alternative to a medical facility for those who don’t have another option but may not be requiring an ED-level or longer stay intervention. Luminos practitioners are committed to working closely with young people to give them skills over a short time, so they can feel renewed, confident, and refreshed when they go back to their community.  Further information about this service can be found here and the Project website. The Luminos Project team are now scheduling a limited number of in person and online seminars for senior students (16+) and staff to raise awareness of the service.  Interested schools should contact Luminos on 6230 3903 to schedule a presentation.

Inclusive Education 

 

Funding

Thank you for submitting your funding applications for Round 2, 2024. The special needs advisory committee are now in the process of reading applications and results will be published around 04th September 2024. 

Read more about: 

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Future Footprints

 

The Broome Future Footprints – “Whatever it Takes!” - Conference has gone live this week! Schools interested in attending can access the program and booking process via "Whatever it takes!" - Broome Conference 2024 | AISWA

We take a moment to reflect on the recent AISWA Future Footprints Welcome to Country event, which took place on the evening of Thursday, March 7th, following a postponement due to weather risks. Despite the challenges we faced, the event was a resounding success. However, it was bittersweet as we received tragic news of the passing of one of our esteemed alumni on the same day. Despite this sorrowful loss, the solidarity and support exhibited by all attendees during the event were profoundly moving. It underscored the resilience and unity within the Future Footprints community, showcasing the program's profound impact over the past 20 years.

Our collaboration with Madalah and their dedicated staff added another layer of support and empowerment for all participants. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Madalah for their invaluable contributions. It was heartening to witness community members, parents, and extended family come together to facilitate sessions, illustrating the depth of our collective spirit.

Despite the changes in schedule, we were pleased to welcome 256 students to the event. Their presence reaffirms the importance and relevance of the Future Footprints program in shaping the futures of our youth.

Looking ahead, please remember that support from the Future Footprints team is always available. We encourage you to reach out whenever needed.

We extend our sincere thanks to our member schools and staff for your unwavering support throughout this journey. Your dedication and commitment are truly appreciated.

As we continue to navigate the path forward, let us remain united in our efforts to empower and uplift our students.
 

FFP welcome

Child Protection

 

Psychologists and School Counsellors - Mandatory Reporters of Child Sexual Abuse

As you would be aware, Psychologists and School Counsellors become Mandatory Reporters on 1st May 2024. There have been enquiries across the education sector particularly as to the definition of the school counsellor role.

The definition of these new roles under the Children and Community Services Act (CSS) are:

  • Psychologist is defined as a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA Act) 2010 in the psychology profession (other than as a student).  
  • School Counsellor is defined as an adult who is employed or engaged in a school, (as defined in the School Education Act 1999 section 4), to provide counselling or pastoral care to children who attend the school. It does not include adults employed or engaged as a student or volunteer.

It is therefore reasonable to consider that roles within schools whose job description include the terms counselling / pastoral care would be considered mandatory reporters.

Examples of these may include but are not limited to:

•    Chaplains/Chaplaincy workers
•    Counsellors 
•    Qualified school wellbeing officers
•    Social workers and
•    Youth workers.

We advise that these roles and consequently the expectations and responsibilities, be clearly documented and understood.

Please note: Some of these roles (listed above) may already be included in a position such as teacher or minister of religion and are as such acknowledged that they are included as a specified person separately in the CCS Act. 

 

Child Protection  - New Online Safety Education Hubs for Schools

Policy and School Registration

 

Our Services

We offer guidance to schools on a range of important matters. Our primary focus is to assist schools in preparing for the renewal of their registration. However, we also provide support in various other compliance areas.

While navigating copyright legislation and basic visa requirements can be complex, we are continually improving our understanding of these areas. Please note, however, that we are not authorised to provide visa advice. Nevertheless, we can often direct you to the appropriate resources. Additionally, we are available to review school constitutions and offer feedback on their compliance with the School Education Act and relevant registration laws. We can also assist with governance training and provide advice on good governance practices, particularly in meeting the standards and requirements of the School Education Act.

As an association of independent schools, we do not have authority over our members. Therefore, all information and advice we provide must be carefully considered by member schools to ensure it aligns with their specific circumstances and school philosophy.

We are available to answer your questions via phone, email, or Teams. Additionally, we are more than happy to arrange face-to-face meetings at your school. During these visits, we often rotate staff members through the meeting as we cover topics relevant to their roles.


Hours of Instruction Explained

Many schools have asked about how many hours of instruction independent schools are required to provide. Public schools are required to be open for instruction for a certain number of days each year, and these days are published in the Government Gazette. However, this information is often published several years in advance and can be difficult to locate. For example, the term dates for 2024 were published in the Gazette on 7 August 2020.

The Department of Education publishes the days that public schools are open, and we use these dates to calculate the hours of instruction. The actual hours of instruction are not published anywhere, except occasionally in an updated version of the Guide to the Standards. Our calculation method involves reviewing each year's term dates, removing holidays and three pupil free days, and then multiplying the remaining days by 5 hours and 10 minutes (5.17 hours). We then ask the Non-Government Schools Regulators (NGSR) to review our calculations before making them public. 

It's important to note that some public schools do not take all the allowed pupil free days during the year but instead add them to the Christmas holidays.

The NGSR have let us know the days and hours for the next few years.

Year

Days

Hours of Instruction

2024

190

982

2025

192

992

2026

192

992

2027

191

987