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School operations

Re-engagement Programs

Policy

This policy sets out the requirements for schools in relation to re-engagement programs.

Summary

  • Re-engagement programs offer tailored support for students who are disengaged, or who are at risk of disengaging, from mainstream school.
  • Re-engagement programs operate outside the mainstream school setting. This Policy applies to a broad range of re-engagement programs, including flexible learning settings that are hosted or administered by registered Victorian government schools (Flexible Learning Options) and programs for school-age students that are facilitated by a non-school senior secondary education providers (such as TAFEs or community organisations).
  • Primary school re-engagement programs must be delivered in a registered specialist or specific purpose primary school.
  • Secondary school re-engagement programs may be delivered by a registered secondary school setting or accredited training program.
  • Senior secondary re-engagement programs may be delivered by a registered secondary school alone, or in partnership with external agencies (a satellite program), or by a VRQA  registered non-school senior secondary education provider contracted by a school to deliver 100% of the qualification (a community program).
  • Schools must refer to the Re-engagement Program Guidelines (in the Guidance tab) for guidance and procedures regarding referrals, contract arrangements and the requirements.

Details

Children and young people must be enrolled in a school in order to access a re-engagement program.

Schools still have a duty of care for their enrolled students even when they are attending a re-engagement program. Schools have a duty of care for their enrolled students regardless of the level of day-to-day oversight the school has over the re-engagement program. The providers of the re-engagement program will also have a duty of care.

However, where the program is run by another school or provider and the enrolling school cannot oversee the day to day running of the program, the enrolling school may use a written agreement between the school and the provider, which explains the responsibilities of each party.

Refer to the Re-engagement Program Guidelines in the Guidance tab for further details regarding contract arrangements and service agreements.

Quality re-engagement programs are tailored to best meet the age and stage of learning of an individual student (or group).

Any re-engagement program delivered to primary school-aged children must be delivered in a VRQA registered specialist school, or specific purpose primary school, with the aim of re-engaging children back into a mainstream school.

Types of re-engagement programs

Primary level

Primary level re-engagement programs must be delivered by a school registered with the VRQA. The school may establish partnerships with appropriate community agencies to deliver aspects of the program; however, the ‘provider’ must be a school which is registered to deliver education to the year levels for which the program caters.

Secondary level

There are two types of re-engagement programs that may be established for secondary students in Years 7 to 10:

  • a school-delivered program where the provider must be a school, which is registered by the VRQA to deliver education to the year levels for which the program caters
  • an accredited vocational education and training program, which must have in place a contract between the enrolling school and the registered training organisation for delivery of the accredited program

Senior secondary re-engagement programs cater to young people aged 15 to 20 years inclusive, who may or may not have completed Year 10. Programs at this level should deliver a senior secondary qualification (Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

The provider of a senior secondary re-engagement program must be registered by the VRQA as a senior secondary provider and authorised by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority to deliver VCE and/or VCAL and contracts must be in place between enrolling schools and providers.

For further detail on the types of re-engagement programs for primary and secondary students, refer to the Re-engagement Program Guidelines.

Contracts can be located under the Resources tab.

Referrals

In making a referral, schools must:

  • obtain the consent of the child/young person and their parent/carer
  • ensure that any placement of a student supported by the Program for Students with Disabilities in a re-engagement program is approved by their student support group, and included as a strategy in their individual education plan. The decision about placement for a student with a disability must include consideration of any necessary adjustments for their access, participation and achievement
  • consider funding and contract arrangements

Re-engagement programs must:

  • keep an attendance roll at least half daily of attendance and absence, in line with requirements for all schools
  • promptly report any absences and the reason for absence to the enrolling school.

For detailed guidance on the referral process, refer to the Re-engagement Program Guidelines.

Enrolment

Enrolling government schools must:

  • record students attending a re-engagement program on CASES21 using absence code 613 Re-engagement program
  • if advised of a student absence from re-engagement program on a day of scheduled attendance, record the absence on CASES21 using the appropriate code

Schools and programs should maintain regular contact regarding attendance issues at the program and strategies to address non-attendance.

All students attending an approved senior secondary re-engagement program must be enrolled on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) by the school as participating in a satellite or community VCAL certificate.

Establishing a re-engagement program

Work on establishing a new re-engagement program needs to commence well in advance of the planned operation date.

The main phases in establishing a new re-engagement program are:

  • Identifying need
  • Planning the program
  • Obtaining the necessary approvals
  • Policy and procedure requirements

Where the planned program involves delivery by a school at a site external to existing school campus/es, the following additional steps must also be undertaken prior to the program commencing:

  • seek approval of a school reorganisation by the Minister for Education
  • seek amendment of the school’s VRQA registration to add an additional campus

For detailed guidance on how to establish a re-engagement program, refer to the Re-engagement Program Guidelines.

Definitions

Re-engagement program
A program that offers tailored support for students who are disengaged, or are at risk of disengaging, from mainstream school. These include flexible learning settings that are hosted or administered by registered Victorian government schools (Flexible Learning Options) and programs for school-age students that are facilitated by a non-school senior secondary education provider (such as TAFEs or community organisations).

Department policy on requirements in relation to re-engagement programs, including referrals, enrolment and establishment

Reviewed 24 February 2021

Policy last updated

8 December 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Engaging Students at Risk Branch

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