Health and wellbeing staff in schools

This page explains the health and wellbeing staff in Victorian government schools. Contact your school to see what support they have available.

Student support services

This is a team of health professionals who work together to help students. They focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable students, or students who need special care.

The team can include:

  • psychologists
  • speech pathologists
  • social workers.

A student support service team may travel between different schools within an area.

Nurses in primary schools

Nurses regularly visit primary schools to:

  • give health checks and advice
  • put families in touch with community health services
  • look out for students who may have health related learning difficulties.

This service is free and called the Primary School Nursing program.

If your child is in prep, they'll be offered a health assessment. Your school will send you a consent form and health questionnaire. The questionnaire helps the nurse look for any health issues. If the nurse has concerns, they will contact you to talk about options to help your child.

The school will also give you information on how your child's health information will be used and protected under privacy law.

If you have concerns about your child's health at any time, you can ask your school to have a nurse see your child.

Nurses in secondary schools

About two thirds of Victorian government schools have a nurse on staff. Nurses usually work between two schools.

Secondary school nurses focus on:

  • reducing risk taking behaviour. This includes drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, eating disorders, depression and suicide.
  • connecting the school community with local health services
  • primary care like health checks, consultations and referrals to other services.

Doctors in secondary schools

This is a program where general practitioner doctors visit some secondary schools up to one day each week.

All students can book an appointment. The doctor will decide if the student is mature enough to consent to medical treatment and go to the appointment alone.

You can come to the appointment if your child consents, and we encourage you to do this.

The same privacy laws apply as if your child went to a doctor's practice. The doctor cannot provide you with information about the session unless your child consents, or it's required by law.

See a list of schools participating in this program on the doctors in secondary schools page.

If your school is in the program, they will give you more information at the beginning of the school year.

Student welfare coordinators

Student welfare coordinators are in secondary schools. They help students with issues like:

  • truancy
  • bullying
  • drug use
  • family conflict
  • depression.

They also work with other welfare professionals and agencies to help students.

If you have concerns about your child's behaviour or learning, contact your school.

Primary welfare officers

The officers work in primary schools to:

  • build a positive school culture
  • help students who are at risk of disengaging from school.

These officers work on improvements that apply to the whole school community. This can include working with students, parents, staff and community organisations.

Chaplains

Chaplains help students with emotional wellbeing through pastoral care. This is usually based on a religious faith.

Schools choose if they have a chaplain as part of their staff. Contact your school for more information.