School operations

Flexible Learning Options (FLOs)

5. Definitions and references


Annual implementation plan, outlining how a school plans to implement, monitor and evaluate its school strategic plan.

Computerised Administrative System Environment for Schools (CASES21) captures all data and records when enrolling a student at a school.

Department of Education of the state of Victoria.

The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes, an evidence-based framework for schools focused on lifting student outcomes.

Flexible Learning Option, as defined in section 1 of this policy.

Individual education plan or individual learning plan
A set of strategies to address the particular educational needs of a child or young person in order to maximise their participation and achievement in education.

Host school
The flexible learning campus or school receiving the student from referring school.

Referring school
The mainstream school that is referring the student to a FLO.

Region or regional team
Refers to the 4 Department of Education regions, including the 17 area teams.

Satellite VCE
The delivery of the VCE Vocational Major or Victorian Pathways Certificate by a school, alone or in partnership with external agencies, at an external location.

Student Resource Package, which provides student-based and school-based funding to schools

School strategic plan — a school’s statement to its community that outlines its vision, goals and targets, and how these will be achieved, over the next 4 years.

Student Support Services — in-school specialised assistance for students facing a range of barriers to learning to achieve their educational and developmental potential.

Student support group
A partnership in the educational planning process between the student, teachers, principal and student’s family or carers, in order to develop an individual education plan and monitor a student’s progress.

Team Around the Learner — a framework for individualised, holistic and team-based approach to support learners at risk of disengaging. TAL involves key people working together to coordinate a plan to meet the needs of the learner and to support them to engage in education.

Victorian Certificate of Education.

VCE Vocational Major
A program of study within the VCE.

VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate Contract
An arrangement whereby the VCE Vocational Major or the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) is fully delivered by a registered non-school senior secondary and foundation secondary provider (NSSSFSP) but contracted by a school.

Vocational Education and Training, as defined in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

Victorian Pathways Certificate.

Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority.


ARTD Consultancy (2013) Innovative Community Action Networks (ICAN) A sustainable, evidenced-based approach for engaging young people in learning. South Australian Department for Education and Child Development

Black, R., Lemon, B. and Walsh, L. (2010) Literature review and background research for the National Collaboration Project: Extended Service School Model. Melbourne: Foundation for Young Australians.

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) (2015) Student wellbeing: a literature review. Government of New South Wales.

Cole, P., Jane, G., and McCarthy, J. (2011) Flexible Learning Options. For DEECD (unpublished)

Cole, P. (2016) Flexible Learning Options: Issues and Reform Possibilities. For DET (unpublished)

Davies, M., Lamb, S. and Doecke, E. (2011) Strategic review of effective re-engagement models for disengaged learners. University of Melbourne, Centre for Research on Education Systems.

Dryfoos, J.G. (1999) The role of the school in children’s out-of-school time. The Future of Children, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 117-134

Freeman, J. and Simonsen, B. (2015) Examining the Impact of Policy and Practice Interventions on High School Dropout and School Completion Rates: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Review of Educational Research June 2015, Vol. 85, No. 2, pp. 205–248

Gutherson, P., Davies, H. and Dasziewicz, T. (2011) Achieving successful outcomes through Alternative Education Provision: an international literature review. CfBT Education Trust

Hancock, K. and Zubrick, S. (2015) Children and young people at risk of disengagement from school: literature review. University of Western Australia, for the Commissioner for Children and Young People Western Australia

Harper, A., Heron, M., Houghton, E., O’Donnell, S. and Sargent C. (2011) International evidence on alternative provision. INCA Thematic Probe. Slough, UK: National Foundation for Educational Research.

Hayes, D. (2012) Re-engaging marginalised young people in learning: The contribution of informal learning and community-based collaborations. Journal of Education Policy, 27(5), 641-653.

ICAN (2010) Progress report. Government of South Australia. Adelaide: Department of Education and Children’s Services.

KMPG (2009) A framework for education provision to children and young people at risk of disengaging or disengaged from school. Report for DEECD. Unpublished.

Mills, M. and McGregor, G. (2010) Re-engaging students in education: Success factors in alternative schools. Brisbane: Youth Affairs Network Queensland.

Mills, M. and McGregor, G. (2014) Re-engaging young people in education: Learning from alternative schools. London: Routledge.

Mitchell (2014) What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education: Using Evidence-based teaching strategies. Second ed. Routledge, Oxon.

OfSTED (2017) School report: Michaela Community School, UK. Quality Framework for Flexible Learning Options

Phillips, R. (2013). Toward authentic student-centered practices: Voices of alternative school students. Education and Urban Society, 45(6), 668-699.

Plows, V. and Te Riele, K. (2016) Professional learning in flexible learning programs: Supporting staff to foster socially inclusive schooling. Victoria University, Melbourne

Schwab, J., Johnson, Z., Ansley, B., Houchins, D. & Varjas, K. (2016) A Literature Review of Alternative School Academic Interventions for Students With and Without Disabilities Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 60:3, 194-206

Smyth , J., McInerney, P. and Fish, T. (2013). Blurring the boundaries: from relational learning towards a critical pedagogy of engagement for disengaged disadvantaged young people. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 21(2), 299-320.

Sullivan & Sadeh (2016) Does the Empirical Literature Inform Prevention of Dropout among Students with Emotional Disturbance? A Systematic Review and Call to Action, Exceptionality, 24:4, 251-262

Tate Consulting (2017) Alternative Provision: Effective Practice and Post 16 Transition. Department for Education, UK

Te Riele, K. (2014). Putting the jigsaw together: Flexible learning programs in Australia. Final report. Melbourne: The Victoria Institute for Education, Diversity and Lifelong Learning

Te Riele, K., Wilson, K., Wallace, V., McGinty, S. & Lewthwaite, B. (2017) Outcomes from Flexible Learning Options for disenfranchised youth: what counts? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 21:2, 117-130

Thompson (2014) “What’s the alternative?” Effective support for young people disengaging from the mainstream. University of Nottingham, Princes Trust, UK.

Wierenga & Taylor (2015) The Case for Inclusive Learning Systems: Building More Inclusive Learning Systems in Australia, Sydney: Dusseldorp Forum

Wilkins, J., & Huckabee, S. (2014). A literature map of dropout prevention interventions for students with disabilities. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, Clemson University

Woodward Consultants (2012) Review of the Pavilion School. Confidential report for DEECD. Unpublished.

Zyngier, D. and Gale, T. (2003). Non-traditional and non-systemic educational Programs in Frankston Mornington Peninsula secondary Schools. Melbourne: Faculty of Education, Monash University.

Zyngier, D., Black, R., Brubaker, N & Pruyn, M (2014) The Contribution that Alternate, Pull‐out and Externally‐Provided Programs within Schools Make towards Student Learning, Well‐Being and Pathways. Research report for DEECD, Monash University, Melbourne.

Chapter 5 of the Flexible Learning Options Mandatory Guidance and Procedures containing definitions and references

Reviewed 27 February 2023

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