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Recently updated PAL topics

The Department’s Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) launched on 15 June 2020. This table outlines all substantive changes made to PAL topics since launch.

2021

Date of update Topic Change
15 October 2021  Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) 

This topic has been restructured and updated to provide improved guidance to schools for the Annual Implementation Planning (AIP) process. These changes include updates to the terminology used to describe AIP elements, guidance to support schools to navigate the inclusion of additional funding streams within the AIP, and specific advice and resources to support schools and regional staff to understand the adjustments that have been made to the 2022 AIP process. 

15 October 2021

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF)

A new resource, CSEF Help for CASES21 Family Finances (staff login required), has been added to this topic to assist school administrators to resolve issues that may arise when receipting CSEF in CASES21.    

14 October 2021

Suicide Response (Postvention)

(previously called ‘Suicide Prevention and Response’)
This topic was updated as new suicide response guidelines have been developed in partnership with headspace. The guidelines assist schools with secondary school students following the suicide or suspected suicide of a student and include steps undertaken in the immediate, short-term, and long-term phases of a response (also called postvention). The guidelines are supported with a range of resources, including scripts, templates and checklists.
14 October 2021 Self-Harm and Attempted Suicide This new topic provides guidance to secondary schools to support them to respond to an incident of self-harm or an attempted suicide. It contains guidelines that were developed in partnership with headspace and includes a range of resources for schools, including templates and factsheets. The guidelines outline the core principles of effective management of self-harm incidents, including advice on how to support the student beyond the incident.
14 October 2021 Mental Health Fund and Menu This is a new topic that provides information and guidance on how schools can plan for and implement the Schools Mental Health Fund and Menu initiative to support student mental health and wellbeing from the 2022 school year.
13 October 2021

COVID-19 Vaccinations – Visitors and Volunteers Working on School Sites

This is a new topic outlining how schools must manage the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination directions for visitors and volunteers working on school sites, including how they collect and record relevant vaccination information.
13 October 2021 COVID-19 Vaccinations – Teaching Service and School Council Employees This is a new topic outlining COVDI-19 mandatory vaccination requirements that apply to Teaching Service employees and school council employees who perform work at Victorian government schools.
6 October 2021

Individual Education Plans (IEPs)

This topic was updated to incorporate IEP requirements for students registered for a Disability Inclusion Profile, and the recommendation for schools to develop an IEP for high ability students who are not achieving their potential.
6 October 2021 Privacy and Information Sharing This topic was updated to incorporate new guidance for schools when considering the use of biometric technologies that capture biometric information (human characteristics unique to the individual, for example, fingerprints) as part of their functionality.
3 October 2021 

Ventilation and Air Purification —reducing COVID-19 transmission risk

This is a new topic that explains how schools can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission through using outdoor learning spaces and ventilating indoor school spaces. It provides additional guidance on ventilation and air purification, as outlined in the School Operations Guide (staff login required), including advice on the operation and placement of air purifiers being provided to schools by the Department. The topic also overviews the suite of return to school initiatives that the Department is providing to support schools in managing ventilation, air purification and outdoor learning, namely, the Ventilation Assessment Program, the School Shade Sails Fund, and the distribution of air purification devices to all government and low fee non-government schools.

1 October 2021 Anaphylaxis This topic was updated as a result of the Therapeutic Goods Administration approving the Anapen for the treatment of anaphylaxis from 1 September 2021. The Anapen is a new device that will complement the Epipen in Australia and medical practitioners may prescribe this device to students at risk of anaphylaxis. The Anaphylaxis Policy, Guidelines and supporting resources have been amended to include information about the Anapen, including advice on how it is administered and updated training requirements.
1 October 2021 Parent Payments The Parent Payments webinar FAQ resource has been updated and the resource on transacting under the Parent Payments Policy has been updated with new FAQs for business managers. New resources have also been added on parent payments for camps and excursions and communicating with parents.
27 September 2021 Land Acquisition This topic was updated to incorporate the Victorian Government School Site Selection Criteria Guidance which outlines the key factors considered by the Department when assessing proposed government school site options. While key users of the Guidance are internal Department teams, urban planners and designers, developers and local councils, it may also be of interest to school communities by providing reassurance that the selection of a proposed government school site is based on a comprehensive assessment of the site’s suitability.
21 September 2021

Requests for Information about Student

This topic was updated to include information about student identity verification letters, including what information is generally included in this type of letter, and guidance as to what schools should consider when deciding whether to provide student identity verification letters.
14 September 2021 Disability Inclusion Funding and Support This topic was updated to incorporate new guidance for schools on accessing Tier 3 funding to support the delivery of adjustments for individual students with complex and high needs. This topic currently applies to schools in the Bayside Peninsula, Barwon, and Loddon Campaspe Areas as well as 5 specific Supported Inclusion Schools, and will apply to schools in the Mallee, Central Highlands, and Outer Eastern Melbourne Areas, and 2 newly opened supported inclusion schools in 2022.
14 September 2021 Disability Inclusion Profile

This new topic outlines the Disability Inclusion Profile and surrounding process that is designed to help schools and families identify the strengths, needs, and educational adjustments schools can make for individual students. Profiles can also inform Disability Inclusion Tier 3 student-level funding.

This policy currently applies to schools in Bayside Peninsula, Barwon and Loddon Campaspe Areas, and 5 Supported Inclusion Schools in 2021, and will apply to schools in the Mallee, Central Highlands, and Outer Eastern Melbourne Areas, and 2 newly opened supported inclusion schools in 2022.
13 September 2021

School Bus Program

The School Bus Program Policy has been updated to replace 'Public Transport Victoria' with the 'Department of Transport', replace 'Anticipated Traveller Loadings' with 'Confirmed Traveller Loadings', amend the requirements of coordinating schools on pupil-free days, and provide additional information about remittance of bus fares. All application forms and guides have also been updated and simplified including combining the previous Form 1 and Form 2 applications for travel into one application for all student travel (fare payers and non-fare payers)
3 September 2021 Disability Inclusion Funding and Support This policy now applies to schools in the Mallee, Central Highlands, and Outer Eastern Melbourne Areas, who will receive Tier 2 funding in 2022 in line with the Disability Inclusion rollout schedule.
3 September 2021

Parent Payments

The Parent Payments webinar FAQ has been updated with additional questions. The Parent payment arrangement templates have been updated to be clearer in terms of what schools must include in the template and what can be modified. The guidance relating to generic fees or levies and vocational education and training has been updated with minor changes to support clarity and understanding of the requirements.
24 August 2021

Work-Related Violence in Schools

The Occupational Violence and Aggression Policy and Procedure has been renamed Work-Related Violence in Schools Policy and Procedure to reflect the preferred language used by Worksafe. The content and resources have been updated and restructured to reflect this change in terminology. The definition remains the same, and still encompasses incidents in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.
24 August 2021 School Review This topic has been updated to explain upcoming changes to how schools’ compliance with the Minimum Standards for school registration will be assessed.
24 August 2021 Minimum Standards and School Registration This topic has been updated to explain upcoming changes to how schools’ compliance with the Minimum Standards for school registration will be assessed. Changes have also been made to include more detailed information on the minimum standards and to provide updated contact details for the School Compliance Unit.
12 August 2021

Selective Entry and Other Specialism Schools and Programs

This topic was updated to incorporate information on the new Centre for Higher Educational Studies (CHES), which will provide stretch and challenge opportunities for high achieving and high ability senior-secondary aged students from Term 3, 2022.
10 August 2021 Financial Help for Families This topic has been updated to align with the updates made to the Parent Payments Policy, to provide further guidance on recognising financial hardship and to outline the full range of resources that schools can refer to in order to support families experiencing financial hardship.
10 August 2021

Parent Payments

This topic has been updated to clarify requirements relating to parent payment arrangements and to provide schools with updated resources.
10 August 2021 Minimum Standards and School Registration This topic has been updated to include more detailed information on the Department’s process for applying to register new government schools and to amend existing school registration. The topic has also been updated to include further information on the Department’s role in reviewing schools for compliance with the Minimum Standards for school registration.
9 August 2021

Pre-service Teacher Placements in Victorian Government Schools

This is a new topic outlining the processes agreed with initial teacher education providers for pre-service teacher placements in Victorian government schools.
29 July 2021

Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality

This topic has been updated to provide further details relating to when schools must refuse offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality and to include further information on gifts of appreciation for school staff. The topic has also been updated to link to the updated DET-wide policy on Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality.
27 July 2021 School Maintenance Plans and Rolling Facilities Evaluations This is a new topic that explains the process that schools must follow when creating their School Maintenance Plans. The School Maintenance Plan supports schools to address maintenance issues identified through the Rolling Facilities Evaluation, which gives schools comprehensive information about the condition of their assets.
27 July 2021

Conveyance Allowance Program

Application forms for the conveyance allowance have been updated and simplified. Form 5 has been added to include multimode travel applications in the one form, streamlining the application process for parents.

21 July 2021 Excursions The Template Risk Assessment for Local and Day Excursions and the Risk register and Emergency Management Plan template have been updated to include information on excursion risks and treatments relating to COVID-19. These resources are available on the Excursions Resources tab, and are also available on the Excursion Guidelines, chapters Risk management planning and Emergency or critical incident management.
19 July 2021 Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability This new topic outlines the requirements for schools to participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). This topic includes the key dates for the collection in 2021 and resources to support schools with the process.
16 July 2021 Victorian Teaching and Learning Model This is a new topic that outlines the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model (VTLM). Schools are encouraged to implement the VTLM to support excellence in pedagogical practice through evidence-based principles and strategies that will positively impact student outcomes. The VTLM provides valuable tools and guidance to reflect upon and improve teaching practice including the practice principles, pedagogical model and high impact teaching strategies.
24 June 2021 Disability Inclusion Funding and Support This new topic outlines the new Disability Inclusion Tier 2 funding, which is currently being implemented in schools in the Bayside Peninsula, Barwon and Loddon Campaspe Areas, as well as 5 supported inclusion schools. Guidance is provided for these schools to implement the new Tier 2 School level funding to strengthen inclusive practice for students with disability.
24 June 2021 Donating Furniture and Equipment This is a new topic that outlines the opportunities for schools to donate unwanted school furniture and equipment, including playground equipment, thereby reducing waste sent to landfill.
3 June 2021 Asset Management Planning – School Upgrades This topic was updated to include guidance for principals on how they can best communicate with their school community throughout different phases of their capital works project. The update includes new templates that schools can download and use to announce capital funding and to provide project updates to their community.
2 June 2021

Equal Opportunity and Human Rights — Students

This topic was updated to include a definition of antisemitism.
2 June 2021

Bullying Prevention and Response

This topic has been updated to include the nationally agreed definition of bullying and to encourage schools to ensure this definition is included in their local bullying prevention policy.
2 June 2021

Personal Hygiene

This topic has been updated to support the implementation of the Free Sanitary Pads and Tampons in all Government Schools initiative.
28 May 2021 Asset Information Management System (AIMS) This is a new topic that outlines the Asset Information Management System (AIMS) which is a web-based, centralised portal that will replace schools existing asset information management systems.  It explains the benefits of AIMS, what the system will be used for and information regarding school transition (including staff support and training).
26 May 2021 Selective Entry and Other Specialism Schools and Programs The Supported Inclusion Schools Operational Manual has been added as a resource to this topic, as well as to the Students with Disability and Enrolment topics. A Supported Inclusion School is a mainstream school with additional professional capabilities and facilities designed to cater to a higher proportion of students with significant disability. Students with disability are provided enhanced support to receive high quality, evidence-based educational provision alongside mainstream students in a safe, accessible and supportive environment. The manual supports school principals and the Department’s regional and central staff to implement the Supported Inclusion Schools model.
26 May 2021

Individual Education Plans (IEPs)

This topic was updated to provide clarity on which students require an IEP. Professional Development for staff to develop meaningful IEPs are also available on the Resources tab.
21 May 2021 School-funded Capital Projects This topic has been updated with a ‘Good Neighbour Guide’ for principals on engaging the community in capital works projects, and associated checklist and template letters.
21 May 2021 Capital Building Projects in Schools This topic has been updated with a ‘Good Neighbour Guide’ for principals on engaging the community in capital works projects, and associated checklist and template letters.
20 May 2021

Asset Management Planning — School Upgrades

A new resource, Donating Furniture and Equipment Initiative, has been added to this topic and another resource, Everything you need to know about a building project, has been updated to improve clarity and to update links. Minor updates have also been made to the policy content to clarify wording and update links.
20 May 2021

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Delivered to Secondary Students

This topic has been updated to include information on the new VET materials reimbursement funding available to schools from Term 1 2022. The updates include information about the purpose of the funding, eligibility criteria and the application process.
13 May 2021

Tutor Learning Initiative 2021

This topic was updated to allow schools to employ speech therapists or occupational therapists as tutors for students to enable learning support for identified students. Additional guidance on tutor notebook provision, funding, and student reporting is provided, and new TLI hub professional learning resources are also available.
12 May 2021 Performance and Development for Principal, Teacher and Education Support Class topics The 3 PAL performance and development topics — Principal ClassTeacher Class and Education Support Class Employees guidelines for the 2021 Statement of Expectation as an alternative to the standard Performance and Development (PDP) plan have been updated with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist schools to implement the process effectively.
10 May 2021 Flexible Learning Options (FLOs) This policy was updated to incorporate guidance for schools on using the FLO Online referral approval process. This includes information on the specific circumstances this process must be undertaken when referring students to FLOs.
27 April 2021 Transition — Early Childhood to School The guidance chapter Transition statements — information for schools has been updated to provide advice on sharing information under the new Information Sharing Schemes to promote a child’s wellbeing or safety or to manage family violence risk.
22 April 2021 International Student Program (ISP) This topic has been updated to incorporate advice on the higher financial risk for schools that international students represent. This includes the key factors that heighten risk and what schools must do to prevent the misuse of international students’ money and protect schools from reputational damage.
19 April 2021 Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes This topic has been updated with more detailed policy, guidance and resources for Victorian government schools on implementing the Child Information Sharing Scheme and the Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme. Consequential updates have also been made to other PAL topics, where required, to include information on using the schemes including to: Privacy and Information Sharing, Requests for Information About Students, Family Violence Support, Suicide Prevention and Response, Complaints — Parents, Health Care Needs, Attendance, and Enrolment.
16 April 2021 Sexuality and Consent Education This topic was updated to incorporate the mandatory teaching of consent in all Victorian government schools. This update includes links to resources to support schools to teach students about consent in an age-appropriate way.
16 April 2021

Outside School Hours Care — Decision Making Regarding the Provision of OSHC

The guidance has been updated to reflect changes to the Education and Care Services Regulations. The advice regarding schools’ responsibilities where third party providers are engaged to operate an OSHC service has been clarified. Information has also been included regarding the Department’s OSHC Establishment Grants initiative.

15 April 2021

Supervision of Students

This topic was updated to clarify that school students cannot be used as supervision staff.
6 April 2021 Travel This topic has been updated to incorporate a COVID-19 policy on travel for school-based staff. All international travel is to be deferred and interstate travel is limited to essential trips only, where staff travel as part of their job.
1 April 2021

Bridging the Digital Divide — Loaned School Owned Computers Support Initiative

This topic has been updated to clarify computer eligibility, including computers in programs where students had access both at school and at home.
30 March 2021 Enrolment Guidelines: Placement Policy The Department’s Placement Policy (which is part of the Enrolment Guidelines) has been updated to provide guidance and clarity on regional director enrolment restrictions and the sibling exemption process, student entry tests and interviews, and enrolment management plans.
30 March 2021

Transition — Year 6 to 7

The Year 6 to Year 7 Transition Information Pack 2021-22: Guidance for all Government School is now available on this topic.
29 March 2021 Rainwater Tanks This is a new PAL topic that outlines the responsibilities of schools that rely on rainwater tanks for drinking water. This topic will be updated in the coming weeks with detailed guidance about developing a school water supply management plan.
23 March 2021

Student Sexual Offending and Problem Sexual Behaviour

A new fact sheet is available on the Resources tab of this topic with guidance on school obligations to respond to a disclosure of student sexual offending, how schools can communicate with their school community about issues of consent, sexual assault and gender inequality, and who schools should contact for support.
19 March 2021

Intellectual Property and Copyright

This topic was updated with a new template permission letter for schools to use when they need to seek permission to use copyright of an external third party copyright owner.
16 March 2021 School-funded Capital Projects This topic has been updated to outline the new online approval process for school-funded capital projects and to update and simplify the guidance content for schools.
16 March 2021

Transition — Year 6 to 7

This topic was updated to remove the link to the outdated Year 6 – 7 Transition Information Pack (for the 2020-2021 Year 6 to 7 transition process) and to inform schools that the 2021-2022 Year 6-7 Transition Information Pack will be available on this topic by the end of Term 1 2021.
16 March 2021

Child and Family Violence Information Sharing Schemes

This is a new topic outlining how Victorian government schools request and share information under the new Child Information Sharing Scheme and Family Violence Information Sharing Scheme. This topic will be updated in the coming weeks with further, more detailed policy and guidance prior to the schemes coming into effect on 19 April 2021.
4 March 2021 Data Collection and Surveys This topic was updated to reflect changes to school data collection processes.
26 February 2021 Exemption from school attendance and enrolment A new Exemption from School Application form has replaced the existing Transition from School form, for completion when any student of compulsory school age who has not completed Year 12 is seeking to leave school early.
26 February 2021

International Student Program (ISP)

The International Education Division has developed an International Student Program (ISP) Unscored VCE Policy and Form to provide guidance to school in relation to ESOS international students enrolled in the Department’s ISP who wish to undertake an unscored VCE.  ESOS international students are those students who are the primary visa holder of a 500 Student Schools Visa or a 571 School Sector Visa.
24 February 2021 Tutor Learning Initiative 2021 This topic was updated to incorporate the requirements for recording students receiving targeted teaching through the Tutor Learning Initiative on CASES21 and a revised Implementation Checklist for Term 1, 2021. Links to additional implementation support including optional professional learning webinars and the TLI hub are now available on the Resource tab.
22 February 2021 Sponsorship This topic was updated to include the restrictions on School Banking Programs in Victorian government schools.
22 February 2021 Financial Literacy This is a new PAL topic on the requirement for all Victorian Government Schools to deliver financial literacy education as part of their curriculum programs. It also outlines the prohibition on school banking programs from an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI), for example, banks, credit unions and building societies  including use of learning and teaching resources created by an ADI to provide financial literacy education to students.
19 February 2021

Bridging the Digital Divide — Loaned School Owned Computers Support Initiative

This is a new PAL topic outlining the arrangements in place for eligible schools to obtain a financial contribution towards the costs associated with students permanently retaining school computers loaned to them during the remote and flexible learning period of 2020.
16 February 2021 Performance and Development for Principal, Teacher and Education Support Class topics

The 3 PAL performance and development topics — Principal Class, Teacher Class and Education Support Class Employees have been updated to include information on the 2021 Statement of Expectation, the alternative to the standard Performance and Development Plan process.

3 February 2021

Student Enrolment Census

The Guidance section of this topic was updated to incorporate supplementary advice issued in 2020 about COVID-19.
2 February 2021

Equal Opportunity and Human Rights — Students

The Equal Opportunity – Students page has been added to PAL to provide schools with a high level overview of obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act, Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and other anti-discrimination legislation. Related resources for schools are available in the Resources Tab of this PAL topic.
2 February 2021

Tutor Learning Initiative 2021

This topic was updated to incorporate new guidance on assessing student learning as part of the Tutor Learning Initiative. A Term 1, 2021 Implementation Checklist for school leaders has been added as an additional resource on the Resource tab.
1 February 2021 Vocational and Applied Learning Coordination and Delivery Support for Schools This policy outlines new funding support for eligible schools to help with the coordination and delivery of vocational and applied learning programs, and describes what the funding can be used for, along with some examples.
27 January 2021 Smoking and Vaping Ban This policy has been updated to clarify the law and policy around use of e-cigarettes on schools grounds. Under the Tobacco Act 1987 (Vic), a person must not smoke or use e-cigarettes on school premises or within 4 metres of any pedestrian access point to school premises.
22 January 2021 School Council — Composition and Office Bearers This topic was updated to incorporate information on the new Ministerial Order 1280: Ministerial Order (Constitution of Government School Councils) 2020.
22 January 2021 School Council — Meetings This topic was updated to incorporate information on the new Ministerial Order 1280: Ministerial Order (Constitution of Government School Councils) 2020.
22 January 2021 School Council — Elections This topic was updated to incorporate information on the new Ministerial Order 1280: Ministerial Order (Constitution of Government School Councils) 2020.
22 January 2021 School Council — Establishing a new school council This topic was updated to incorporate information on the new Ministerial Order 1280: Ministerial Order (Constitution of Government School Councils) 2020.
19 January 2021

Outside School Hours Care — Decision Making Regarding the Provision of OSHC

The guidance has been updated to include information on the newly launched OSHC Establishment Grants which provides funding for Victorian government schools delivering primary aged education without an existing OSHC service.
14 January 2021

Inclusive Workplaces

The new Inclusive Workplaces Guide assists everyone in Department workplaces to support employees with diverse and intersecting identities with chapters on Aboriginal inclusion, cultural diversity, disability, gender equality, generational diversity and LGBTIQ.
14 January 2021 Casual Relief Teachers (CRTs) The Policy and Guidelines includes information for Principal and School Council obligations as a Public Sector Employer to manage and avoid Conflict of Interest in employment.
14 January 2021 School Council Employment The Policy and Guidelines includes information for Principal and School Council obligations as a Public Sector Employer to manage and avoid Conflict of Interest in employment.
11 January 2021

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF)

The Camps Sports and Education Fund had a temporary policy change in 2020 to help with at home learning. The policy now has gone back to its original state before these changes were made.
8 January 2021

Planned Maintenance Program

A standalone Planned Maintenance Program (PMP) policy has been developed. The PMP is now separate from the Building and Grounds Maintenance Policy. The new and updated policy includes more detailed policy information and guidance for schools in different PMP funding categories. A key change is that a declaration form has been introduced for schools in the up to $50,000 category. Schools in this category no longer need to seek quotes and submit a budget template in order to receive their funding allocation.

In the process of transitioning all Department policy over to the new PAL we have also made a number of overarching changes and updates to Department policy, including:

  • providing a consistent policy structure, with a summary for quick reference, and full policy details sitting underneath
  • providing contact details for all topics, for school queries or feedback
  • updating language to remove ambiguities
  • clarifying the role of school council, where applicable, such as whether or not school council are the decision-making or consulting body for a particular issue
  • providing new and updated resources to support schools to implement Department policy and guidance, such as template forms

In transitioning all policy over to PAL we have re-set the date that the policy was last updated to reflect the date of PAL launch. This does not mean that all policies have been significantly changed in terms of school requirements. For significant changes, refer to the table above.

Any questions or feedback relating to these updates can be directed to the relevant contact listed on the policy or the Operational Policy, School Engagement and Compliance Division:
Email: pal.support@education.vic.gov.au
Phone: 03 7022 1888

We will continue to update and improve PAL content to ensure schools are able to access information that is clear and accurate and we welcome feedback from schools to support this process.

Reviewed 15 October 2021