Purpose of this policy
To ensure that student engagement policies meet Department requirements.
Every government school must have a Student Engagement Policy which provides the basis on which they can develop and maintain safe, supportive and inclusive school environments.
As part of this, Student Engagement Policies should also articulate the expectations and aspirations of the school community in relation to student engagement, including strategies to address bullying, school attendance and behaviour.
A school’s policy should be developed by the school principal in consultation with the wider school community including school leaders, teachers, students and parents.
Policy template for schools
A downloadable policy template for Victorian government schools is available on the intranet, see: Student Wellbeing and Engagement Schools can modify the template to suit their local circumstances.
For more information on how to develop a Student Engagement Policy see: Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance - Student Engagement Policy.
School-based policy requirements
A school’s student engagement policy should include:
- a school profile statement
- a statement outlining the school values, philosophy and vision
- the engagement strategies to be used across the school, including a reference to universal, targeted and individual strategies
- behavioural expectations and the consequence for when these expectations are not met which include details of a staged response
- the process to evaluate and update the policy.
To ensure schools meet the requirements of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) Minimum Standards, a Student Engagement Policy must include:
- details in relation to monitoring the daily attendance of each student enrolled at the school
- policies and procedures that ensure that the care, safety and welfare of students is in accordance with any applicable State and Commonwealth law (including student welfare and bullying, cyberbullying and harassment)
- policies relating to the discipline of students that are based on principles of procedural fairness and include an explicit statement that corporal punishment is not permitted.
For more information on the Minimum Standards see: VRQA - Guide to the minimum standards and other requirements for school registration
For sample policies to assist schools in meeting the minimum standards see: Registration Requirements for Schools.
For more information on what to include in a Student Engagement Policy see: Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance – What Should the Policy Include
Note: The school-based policy should detail how and when a school implements a staged response to challenging student behaviour. This approach may not always be linear and suspension does not automatically lead to expulsion, see: Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance - Responding to Challenging Behaviour