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Supporting students to stay in school

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Supporting our schools

We will enable schools to engage and retain every student. This includes providing the right data, and identifying and promoting the precise skills and practices to recognise and respond to students who are disengaged or at risk of disengaging.

FlexiSpaces: Doing things differently to get students back on track

Many students experience challenges at various junctures in their school life, and for most students, remaining at their school provides their best chance of success.

The Department of Education is working to build the capabilities of schools to engage and re-engage as many students as possible. As part of this, the department is implementing FlexiSpaces in up to 52 schools by 2022 to embed an inclusive, high quality and bespoke learning environment for students at-risk of disengaging. Queensland's 2018 FlexiSpace trial supported 2 State High Schools to reshape existing spaces into modern, high-quality spaces, and deliver individualised and high quality teaching and learning strategies to reignite students' love of learning.

Students in need of additional support are eligible to access the FlexiSpace on a case by case basis, ensuring that attempts to make suitable adjustments in class, or the wider school setting are undertaken in the first instance. The FlexiSpace is just one of schools' many strategies and approaches for supporting students who are at risk of disengaging. Students who access the space continue to access some subjects with the rest of their peers in 'mainstream' classes, and are supported to return to mainstream classes full-time when appropriate.

The first of their kind in Australia, FlexiSpaces represent a new way for mainstream schools to support students who are most at-risk of disengaging. To see the FlexiSpace trial in action and for more videos about the project, go to the Youth Engagement YouTube channel.

Delivering a digital engagement strategy

We will strengthen our online engagement with young people and their parents. New digital platforms with friendly and accessible information will help young people stay on track and equip their parents to support them in navigating their options.

Promoting high-quality alternative settings

Our Quality Pathways for all young people; a commitment to alternative education lays out the shared commitment of the non-state and Queensland Government schooling sectors to provide high-quality education to young people in alternative schools. This commitment is imperative because, while we know mainstream school is the best place for most young people, there is a small number of students who cannot thrive in mainstream schools and require an alternative learning setting.

Establishing spotlight schools

We will work with the non-state sector to establish a number of Spotlight Schools. These Spotlight Schools will exemplify high-quality practice and provide insights for continuous improvement across all alternative settings.

Practice insights

Our schools set out to support every student to succeed. However, each year, too many young people disengage from education, training and employment pathways. What we do in our schools can have a great impact on the future wellbeing of young people. While each school and cohort is unique, research and evaluation of effective practice has identified key practices that underpin the academic achievement and meaningful engagement of every student. These practices apply across diverse settings, in different contexts and can respond to varying student needs.

These practice insights provide an evidence-based guide for schools seeking to promote best practice in student engagement alongside academic achievement. It uses established research to define capabilities and practices that put engagement at the heart of professional practice. Schools can use this framework to evaluate their efforts in identifying students at risk of disengagement, connect with students who have disengaged, and take steps to better support students to re-engage with education, training and employment pathways.

Everybody's Business

Everybody's business (PDF, 896KB) outlines an evidence‑based approach to meeting the needs of children and young people who are at risk of disengagement, or who are disengaged from education. It outlines components of a strong and inclusive system. It has been developed to support Queensland state schools, regional staff in the Department of Education and other stakeholders to maximise engagement and re‑engagement of young Queenslanders in education.

Components of a strong and inclusive system:

Framework A: a system of programs and services (PDF, 113KB)

Framework B: before transition (checklist) (PDF, 52KB)

Framework C: early warning signs and interventions (PDF, 88KB)

Framework D: evaluation (PDF, 38KB)

Framework E: our roles and responsibilities (PDF, 84KB)

Framework F: strong response (PDF, 101KB)

Framework G: what does a high-quality alternative setting look like? (PDF, 52KB)

Framework H: when a student transitions (checklist) (PDF, 44KB)

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Last updated 07 November 2019