School operations

Re-engagement Programs (Years 7 to 10)

Referring a student to a re-engagement program

Re-engagement program providers may use their own referral forms that enrolling schools can complete. These should include the information outlined below, as a minimum. Referrals to re-engagement programs must be clearly documented and be done in consultation with the student and their parent or carer.

Referring a student who is enrolled in school

A referral to a re-engagement program is only appropriate where:

  • a school has identified a student who has disengaged or is at risk of disengaging from education
  • a school has previously put in place a range of strategies to support the student to improve engagement in the school setting
  • these strategies have not been successful in re-engaging the student in the school setting.

If these conditions have been met, the enrolling school may refer the student to a re-engagement program, following these steps:

  1. Discuss the option of a re-engagement program, including what it will involve, with the student and their parent or carer, and obtain their consent to make a referral.
  2. If applicable, consult with the student’s existing allied health and wellbeing supports, to determine the appropriateness of a re-engagement program for the student’s needs.
  3. Liaise with the re-engagement program provider regarding the potential referral, to discuss suitability for the individual student, likely length of placement, the program’s capacity to accept a new referral, and any specific referral information required, including existing supports or services for the student, or any disability access requirements.
  4. It is recommended the school reach out to the local regional office to discuss the potential enrolment and ensure there are no apparent barriers or concerns regarding this course of action.
  5. With approval from the enrolling school’s principal, complete a written referral for the re-engagement program provider (using a referral form obtained from the provider, if applicable). This should be done collaboratively with the student and their parent or carer, and be accompanied by any relevant additional documentation, such as existing needs assessments or individual education plans.
  6. In making a referral, schools must include:
    • the student’s risks, needs, goals, and strengths (this should include both the school’s and student’s perspectives)
    • the student’s educational history
    • the specific learning, social and/or behavioural outcomes sought from the placement in a re-engagement program
    • details of previous strategies which the school and other services have implemented to maintain engagement in a school setting
    • any school-based and/or external agencies currently supporting the student and relevant information regarding these support relationships
    • the name and role of a contact person at the enrolling school, who will liaise with the re-engagement program regarding the student’s participation, attendance, progress, learning and outcomes
    • written consent from the student and their parent or carer for the referral, including permission for the disclosure of any personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
  7. In making a referral, schools must ensure any placement of a student supported by the Program for Students with DisabilitiesExternal Link or Disability Inclusion Funding is approved by their student support group. The student should continue to receive any existing supports, and these supports should be included in their individual education plan. The decision about placement for a student with disability in a re-engagement program must include consideration of any necessary adjustments for their access, participation and achievement.

Referring a child or young person who is not enrolled in school

The student’s parent or carer or a support worker should first discuss options for enrolment and engagement back into a school with:

  • the student’s previous school
  • the student’s local neighbourhood government school (where the previous school is not identified, interstate or not within reasonable distance of the student’s current residence).

If the enrolment is accepted and it is determined that a re-engagement program is the best option for the student, the referral process outlined above must be followed, as for all enrolled students.

If this approach is not successful, the student, their parent or carer or support worker should contact the closest department regional office for support (locate contacts in the Re-engagement Programs Policy tab).

Includes information on referring a student enrolled in school to a re-engagement program and referring a child or young person not enrolled in school to a re-engagement program

Reviewed 28 April 2023

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