Re-engagement Programs

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Re-engagement programs operate outside mainstream school settings and provide tailored education and support for children and young people who are disengaged, or have been identified as at risk of disengaging, from mainstream school.

Types of re-engagement programs

Quality programs are tailored to best meet the age and stage of learning of an individual child or young person (or group of children or young people). The aims of each program and required levels of school oversight of its delivery will differ.

For example, any re-engagement program delivered to primary school-aged children must be school-delivered, with the aim of re-engaging children back into a mainstream school.

On the other hand, programs for senior secondary students may offer a range of pathways and transition options, be delivered by a registered training organisation and involve little day-to-day oversight by students’ enrolling schools.

The following two principles apply to programs at all levels:

  • children and young people must be enrolled in a school in order to access a re-engagement program
  • schools maintain a duty of care for their enrolled students even when they are attending a re-engagement program, regardless of the level of day-to-day oversight the school has over the program.

For more information on program types at different levels of schooling, see:

Primary level

At the primary level, re-engagement programs:

  • must be delivered by a school. 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 the program caters to
  • should aim to address learning, social and behavioural needs of the individual so he or she can return to school as soon as possible
  • must deliver a program that contributes to achievement of outcomes in the curriculum
  • may cater to students enrolled in a number of schools
  • should involve high level of oversight of student progress by their enrolling school (for example there may be weekly contact between the provider and school to monitor an individual’s progress and work toward transition back into a school).

For more information on establishing a program, see: Establish a re-engagement program

For more information on any existing re-engagement programs for primary school students in your area speak with Student Wellbeing staff in the relevant Department regional office. For contact details, see: Regions

Secondary up to year 10

There are two types of re-engagement programs that may be established for secondary students in Years 7 to 10 (generally aged 12-14 inclusive).

The right program type will depend on the needs of the individual young person or group of young people.

or more information on any existing re-engagement programs for secondary students in your area speak with Student Wellbeing staff in the relevant Department regional office. For contact details: see Regions

School-delivered program

This type of program is delivered by a school, potentially in partnership 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 the program caters to.
In a school-delivered program:

  • the aim should be to address learning, social and behavioural needs of the individual so he or she can return to school as soon as possible
  • the education program delivered must be linked to achievement of outcomes in one or more VELS domain
  • the level of oversight of program delivery by enrolling schools should be medium (i.e. regular contact with provider regarding progress of individual students and planning for return to school).

Accredited vocational education and training program

Accredited training provides skills and knowledge that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. In re-engagement programs for young people up to year 10, appropriate accredited programs are Certificates I or II in the general studies or further education area, such as:

  • Certificates in General Education for Adults
  • Certificates in Vocational Preparation

These programs focus on building foundation skills that are important for further education, training and employment. The aim of these types of programs should be to build young people’s skills and confidence, while giving them the opportunity to complete accredited studies in alternative learning environment.

In an accredited re-engagement program:

  • the focus should be on creating pathway back into school (if possible), or to further education, training or employment.
  • there must be a contract between the enrolling school and the registered training organisation for delivery of the accredited program. For more information, see: Manage students in re-engagement programs
  • the level of oversight of program delivery by enrolling schools should be medium (regular contact with provider regarding progress of individual students and planning for transition from the program).

For more Information about training courses and providers, see: Victorian Skills Gateway

Senior secondary level

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 (VCE or VCAL).

In some cases, senior secondary re-engagement programs may deliver an accredited further education program – such as Certificate for General Education of Adults – to build students’ capacity to undertake a senior secondary qualification

Senior secondary re-engagement programs may be delivered in one of two ways:

  • by a school, alone or in partnership with external agencies (a satellite program)
  • by a registered non-school senior secondary provider contracted by a school to deliver 100% of the qualification (a community program).

In a senior secondary re-engagement program:

the aim is for students to complete a senior secondary qualification and transition to further education, training or employment

  • the provider must be registered by the VRQA as a senior secondary provider (and authorised by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority if delivering VCAL)
  • programs may cater to students enrolled at multiple schools
  • contracts must be in place between enrolling schools and providers
  • enrolling schools maintain responsibility for administering enrolments through both CASES21 and the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS)
  • the level of oversight of program delivery by enrolling schools (where they are not the provider) should be low-medium (contact at least once per term with provider regarding progress of individual students; support in planning transition from the program).

For more information on any existing senior secondary re-engagement programs in your area speak with Youth Pathways and Transitions staff in the relevant Department regional office. For contact details, see: Regions