• Policy Number: SCS2022005
• Document Rescinds/Replaces: TL201602-3.0 and TL201602-3.0G
• Policy Released: 28 February 2022
• Review Date: 28 February 2025
• Policy Type: Operational
• Audience: Public
• Approved by: Executive Director
• Document Owner: Director, School Support

Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) is committed to providing safe and supportive school communities that embrace individual differences and optimise student outcomes.

Students with complex social and emotional needs are understood as having multiple factors in their lives which may include psychological, developmental, cognitive, physical, social, behavioural, medical or/and family factors.

Supporting students with complex social and emotional needs requires acknowledgement of individual circumstances and promotes student safety, diversity and individual dignity.

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction to schools in how to manage and support students presenting with complex social and emotional needs. This policy applies prior to enrolment of a student and/or if a student’s presentation changes once enrolled.

This policy applies to SCS staff, parents and carers. In this Policy, SCS staff means all employees, members of religious orders engaged in schools, volunteers, trainees, interns, and labour hire employees.

Failure to comply with the responsibilities and obligations outlined in the policy may result in disciplinary action being taken, including termination of employment, for SCS staff.

The following principles guide how this policy will operate in practice:

3.1 Early intervention, strategic planning and positive practice characterised by student- centred support promotes student wellbeing and engagement with learning.

3.2 SCS respects the dignity of every member of the school community. Students bring diverse needs and experiences to the classroom that may require various adjustments to the teaching and learning environment.

3.3 Successful support of students is underpinned by supportive and informed staff-student relationships and requires an understanding of the underlying factors influencing the presentation of a student’s complex social and emotional needs.

3.4 Parents/carers have a responsibility to support schools in maintaining safe and supportive communities.

4.1 Principals and School Leadership Teams

The Principal supported by the school leadership team is accountable for:

4.1.1 Compiling and maintaining comprehensive documentation that may include but is not limited to the following support plans:

  • Developing a targeted intervention response, which is a planned and documented process or action set out in the Student Support Plan.
  • Risk Management Plan sets out the strategies and actions the school will put in place to minimise the risk of harm and determines whether this risk is manageable.
  • Safety Response Plan lists the immediate actions required to keep student/s and staff safe when a student engages in high risk behaviours.

4.1.2 Identifying and collaborating with relevant parties, including parents/carers, SCS staff and outside agencies (where necessary), to support and manage a student’s complex social and emotional needs.

4.1.3 Obtaining information, as required under Part 5A, Education Act 1990 (NSW), which allows schools in NSW to exchange information that is relevant to the assessment and management of risk posed by a student’s violent behaviour.

4.1.4 Educating and encouraging students and staff to practise safe and appropriate behaviours.

4.1.5 Providing support to teachers to assist in the identification of triggers and intervention strategies for students with complex social and emotional needs.

4.1.6 Establishing a case management team consisting of relevant school personnel as required, for the support of a student with complex social and emotional needs in collaboration with parents/carers and external agencies.

4.1.7 Liaising with the SCS Student Wellbeing and Learning team in circumstances where the presentation of a student’s complex social and emotional needs provides serious concerns for their safety, wellbeing and engagement with learning within a mainstream educational setting.

4.1.8 Ensuring that, at all points of intervention, exercise of discretion, in consultation with relevant SCS staff, is guided by the best interests of the student and school community.

4.1.9 Reporting any concerns of extremist behaviour (when a person believes that fear, terror and violence are justified to achieve ideological, political, or social change) or anti-social behaviour (such as bullying, harassment, criminal or violent behaviour, which threatens the safe and secure atmosphere of the school) to the Supervisor, Child Safety in accordance with the SCS Deradicalisation of Students Policy.

4.2 Teachers
4.2.1 Planning and implementing support at a classroom level for a student with complex social and emotional needs.

4.2.2 Participating in a case management team for the support of a student with complex social and emotional needs.

4.3 SCS Student Wellbeing and Learning Team

4.3.1 Collaborating and consulting within a school-based case management team, the Diverse Learning team and with other SCS directorates to assess, plan, facilitate and coordinate the management of a student’s needs at school. External service providers may be engaged and consulted, as required.

4.3.2 Working in conjunction with the school Principal in circumstances where the presentation of a student’s complex social and emotional needs raises serious
concerns for their safety, wellbeing and engagement with learning within a mainstream educational setting.

4.3.3 Providing opportunities for professional learning, including in-site coaching, to enhance the ability of school staff to effectively support students with complex social and emotional needs.

4.4 Parents and Carers

4.4.1 Collaborating with the school and SCS staff in the development and implementation of strategies and plans for the improvement of student outcomes

4.4.2 Providing the school with all information relevant to a student’s complex and social emotional needs, including from previous schools or other relevant agencies and professionals, to enable the effective assessment and management of risk.

If you have any questions about this document or would like further information, please contact the SCS Student Wellbeing and Learning team at studentwellbeing-contact@syd.catholic.edu.au or Phone (02) 9568 8485.

• Policy Number: SCS2022005
• Document Rescinds/Replaces: TL201602-3.0 and TL201602-3.0G
• Policy Released: 28 February 2022
• Review Date: 28 February 2025
• Policy Type: Operational
• Audience: Public
• Approved by: Executive Director
• Document Owner: Director, School Support

• Policy Number: SCS2022005
• Document Rescinds/Replaces: TL201602-3.0 and TL201602-3.0G
• Policy Released: 28 February 2022
• Review Date: 28 February 2025
• Policy Type: Operational
• Audience: Public
• Approved by: Executive Director
• Document Owner: Director, School Support