Providing public education

Partnering with families, communities and agencies to support the educational engagement of every student

Partnering with families, communities and agencies to support the educational engagement of every student

Students come to school with a range of learning, social adjustment and mental health issues. We engaged with families to better understand and support the interests, personalities and needs of their children. We also continued to build partnerships between our schools and other agencies and organisations to provide specialist support services that schools cannot provide.

In 2021–22, our 22 Child and Parent Centres provided 519 programs and services with approximately 65,000 child attendances and 60,000 adult attendances. The centres continued to support families and communities to provide young children with the best start to learning.

At 30 June 2022, 21 public and 2 non-government schools were participating in the Kimberley Schools Project (KSP). These schools were supported to accelerate children’s learning through targeted teaching practices in Kindergarten to Year 2. Support beyond the early years was provided on a school‑by‑school basis in either, or both, literacy and numeracy. Schools could also participate in the project’s leadership model and implement the KSP KindiLink program. As at 30 June 2022, 18 KSP schools run KindiLink.

In 2021, the Enhanced Transition to School Project supported 386 playgroups, including 11 new playgroups. The project is a partnership between the Department, the Australian Government, Catholic Education Western Australia, the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia and Playgroup WA. The partnership provides: 

  • opportunities for wrap-around services and community engagement
  • support for the transition of preschool children to school.

The trial initiative Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Early Years Link (CaLDEYLink) Project began in 2 metropolitan primary schools with high proportions of CaLD families in Semester 2, 2021. The initiative aims to: 

  • develop the personal/social, language and cognitive capabilities of English as an additional language or dialect (EALD) children prior to school entry
  • build on the capability of CaLD families as their children’s first educators
  • forge stronger and more collaborative partnerships between home, school and community. 

Schools continued to support parents, caregivers and others in the community to model and reinforce positive behaviour to young people through the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P). In 2021, 450 Triple P sessions were attended by 4,439 parents. The sessions were organised by our staff and offered through schools, Child and Parent Centres, and not‑for-profit organisations.

We delivered the Response to Suicide and Self‑Harm in Schools Program through a memorandum of understanding with the Mental Health Commission. This agreement provides prevention, intervention and postvention activities to reduce suicide and self‑harm in students. These activities include the teen Mental Health First Aid program and Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training.

Through a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Justice, we support the provision of education services to children and young people in detention. This includes funding to the Department of Justice for the salaries and on-costs for 3 full‑time equivalent teaching positions, and access to online professional learning for Department of Justice education staff members.

Our School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement continued work with the Department of Justice to support students moving between youth justice services and schools. In 2021, we supported 132 cases through this youth transition program.

We continued to contribute to the Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy, a cross-government approach led by the Department of Justice to address youth offending rates and antisocial behaviours in the Kimberley region. In 2021–22, we continued to support the strategy:

  • with our youth transition coordinator, assisting young people leaving the care of justice services 
  • by re‑engaging vulnerable students through an alternative education program, providing life‑skills training and possible employment opportunities.

We maintained partnerships with other government agencies, including the Western Australia Police Force and the departments of Communities, Justice and Health, through established memoranda of understanding.

Armadale Senior High School continued to coordinate the Full Service Schools program at their purpose‑built hub. The program provides a range of youth and family support services to school‑aged young people living in the Armadale, Byford and Kelmscott areas who are pregnant or parenting, or who are vulnerable to homelessness or family and domestic violence. In 2021, 96 school‑aged young people and their families were supported through services including counselling, employment and housing support, parent education, medical screening, youth outreach, pathway planning and alternative education pathways.

We continued the BHP Pilbara Education Partnership, a collaborative partnership strengthening community-based learning approaches for students in the Pilbara. Across a range of agencies and organisations, the partnership provides: 

  • coordinated specialist services to deliver targeted support to prepare preschool children for school
  • learning experiences for students, to expose them to the unique employment opportunities available in the Pilbara and to assist them to make informed decisions about their future
  • a program delivering targeted support to assist students to set and meet individual goals for attendance, achievement, leadership, mentoring and community engagement.

In 2021–22, we managed the School Drug Education and Road Aware Program with funding from the Department of Education, the Mental Health Commission and the Road Safety Commission. Through this program we provided professional learning, resources and consultancy support to public and non-government school staff to address student alcohol and drug use. Public and non-government school students participated in the Keys4Life pre‑driver education program.

We provided support for the delivery of primary and secondary education to international fee-paying students in public schools in Western Australia. At Semester 1, 2022 student census, 346 international students were enrolled in schools across our public education system.

In response to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to international students in public schools, we supported the ongoing engagement and general health and wellbeing of students, with:

  • a school holiday program, involving activities aimed at ensuring onshore international students remained safe, active and engaged in the school and local community
  • measures to support the arrival, accommodation and general welfare of students in public schools following the opening of the Western Australian border, including specific pandemic care arrangements.

We worked closely with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI), the lead agency with responsibility for international education, on state government strategies and reforms designed to promote the recovery and growth of the sector in Western Australia. This included being a member of the International Education Advisory Group and International Student Arrivals Working Group, convened by JTSI, to support the return of international students.