School operations

Supporting Students in Out-of-Home Care

5  Nominating a designated teacher

Designated teachers are nominated by the school principal, and are expected to hold a relatively senior position within the school.

Each LOOKOUT Centre provides training for designated teachers in their region to be the advocate and champion for students at their school who are in out-of-home care. Designated teachers are given guidance on the needs of students in out-of-home care and strategies for supporting the education of these students.

Designated teachers are the main point of contact between the school and LOOKOUT Centre staff.

5.1  Designated teacher role

The designated teacher has a key role in supporting students in out-of-home care to make a smooth transition into school, including making sure there are effective arrangements in place for the speedy transfer of information between relevant agencies.

In conjunction with LOOKOUT Centres, the designated teacher ensures students are engaged in education and meeting their learning goals. They work collaboratively with the school’s wellbeing staff and other agency representatives to minimise any disruption to the student’s education.

Designated teachers do not replace the role of the student wellbeing staff in working with external agencies to support students in out-of-home care.

Designated teachers are in all Victorian schools, including government schools, Catholic and Independent schools.

5.2  Designated teacher responsibilities

Designated teachers:

  • have oversight of individual education plans (IEPs)
  • ensure the establishment of student support groups (SSGs)
  • make sure students have a learning mentor (and may act as the learning mentor)
  • promote a culture of high expectations and aspirations for the learning of  students in out-of-home care
  • make sure the student has a voice in setting learning targets
  • are a source of advice for staff about differentiated teaching strategies appropriate for individual students in care
  • make full use of assessment for learning
  • ensure that students in out-of-home care are prioritised in one-to-one tuition arrangements
  • ensure carers understand the importance of supporting learning at home 
  • have lead responsibility to ensure each student in out-of-home care has a quality IEP 
  • promote the implementation of all elements of the Out-of-Home Care Education Commitment: Partnering Agreement at the school
  • are the lead contact for the LOOKOUT Centre within their school 
  • ensure all Koorie students have a school cultural support plan and are linked with the Koorie Education Support Officer (KESO) within government schools
Chapter 5 of the Out-of-Home Care Guidelines on nominating a designated teacher and their roles and responsibilities in supporting a child or young person in out-of-home care

Reviewed 01 June 2020

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