A-Z Policy Directory

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy

Policy

DOCUMENT DETAILS

Document Owner Office of the Director
Approval Date 17 July 2017
Release Date 20 October 2017
Compliance Date 01 February 2019
Review Date 01 December 2020
Updated NA

introduction and context

INTRODUCTION

Education Policy in Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) is developed to support the implementation of consistent and comprehensive practices to guide quality Catholic learning and teaching in Diocesan schools.

Education Policy is developed within the context of documents and frameworks. These include:

CONTEXT

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first Australians and have the longest continuous cultures in human history. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students need to be encouraged and supported to reach their full potential and to embrace their culture and identity. All students should understand, acknowledge and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures and contribute to reconciliation for all Australians.

This Policy has been developed to support schools in responding to the call to mission as an expression of our Catholic Identity. It ensures that schools and teachers can meet their compliance requirements with the Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Australian Education Act 2013.

1.0   DEVELOPING CULTURAL COMPETENCY

sCHOOLS MUST:
1.1

utilise opportunities to make connections between Catholic Identity, celebration and liturgy with Aboriginal spirituality

1.2

ensure that staff develop knowledge and understanding of the traditional land and the local history of the Aboriginal people on which the school is situated

1.3

ensure that there is a physical acknowledgement of the local Aboriginal land on which the school is situated in recognition of their traditional ownership of and connection to the land 

1.4

understand and utilise appropriate protocols in working with and respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, students and families

1.5

ensure that significant school gatherings include Welcome to Country  or Acknowledgement of Country according to the Diocesan Aboriginal Communities Consultation and Protocols Guide

1.6

nominate a School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Contact to lead Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education initiatives in the school

1.7

ensure that the School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Contact participates in the Diocesan Leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education professional learning experiences

1.8 provide opportunities to share professional learning in order to develop the cultural competency of all staff
1.9

discern and plan for opportunities to celebrate, commemorate and engage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander days of significance

1.10

utilise appropriate Diocesan Aboriginal Communities Consultation and Protocols Guide prior to:

  1.10.1

engaging with local Aboriginal communities

  1.10.2

using or studying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages

  1.10.3

purchasing or commissioning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art projects

  1.10.4

purchasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources and equipment

  1.10.5

conducting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ceremonies and performances

       
TEACHERS MUST:
1.11

utilise appropriate cultural resources to support celebrations and learning experiences

1.12

provide learning and teaching experiences that address the Learning Across the Curriculum aspects of the  syllabus

1.13

encourage and utilise the valuable participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents or community members in learning and teaching experiences to enhance all students’ knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

       

2.0   SUPPORTING ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDENTS

sCHOOLS MUST:
2.1

develop processes to ensure teachers are aware of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students whom they teach

2.2 ensure they uphold inclusive and collaborative practices to meet the diverse needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
2.3

develop and implement a school-based procedure for collaboratively developing, sharing, implementing and reviewing Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

2.4

have clear role descriptions for Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) and/or School Support Officers (SSOs) who are supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and/or initiatives

2.5 ensure that where Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) and/or School Support Officers (SSOs) are supporting the development and implementation of Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) it is done under the direction of teachers
2.6 adhere to the Diocesan Managing Students Pastoral and Educational Concerns (MSPEC) Procedure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students requiring additional support
2.7 

engage with CEDoW Aboriginal Community Engagement Officers (ACEOs) and/or Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) when seeking support from allied health or community services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

2.8 

utilise the allocation of:

  2.8.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Funding and Resources for the purposes of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and initiatives
  2.8.2 

additional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Funding for the purposes of targeted support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students identified through the Diocesan Managing Student Pastoral and Educational Concerns (MSPEC) Procedure

2.9

adhere to the Diocesan Student Attendance Policy in relation to the attendance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

2.10

engage with the Diocesan Aboriginal Community Engagement Officers (ACEOs) and/or Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) when liaising with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to improve the attendance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

       
TEACHERS MUST:
2.11

collaborate with the student, parent/carers and other professionals (where appropriate) in the development of a Personalised Learning Plan (PLP) for each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student

2.12

collaboratively develop and implement a Personalised Learning Plan for each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student to support their learning, pastoral and cultural needs using the Diocesan electronic Student Information System (eSIS)

2.13

ensure that other plans such as a Personalised Plan (PP) and/or a Mental Health Safety Plan are noted in the Personalised Learning Plan (PLP) relevant

2.14

review Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students twice annually

       

3.0   ENGAGING WITH ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES 

sCHOOLS MUST:
3.1

ensure that there are visible symbols that reflect a community which is respectful of, inclusive of and inviting to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

3.2 engage with the CEDoW Aboriginal Community Engagement Officers (ACEOs) and/or Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) when seeking support about protocols or local history of the Aboriginal community on which the school is situated
3.3

utilise the Diocesan Aboriginal Communities Consultation and Protocols Guide when engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities

3.4 promote and participate in the Diocesan Aboriginal Community engagement opportunities
3.5

encourage enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by utilising the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong Welcome Brochure

3.6 provide appropriate support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can access, attend and engage in Catholic education 
3.7 ensure there are appropriate transition procedures to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families
3.8 allocate a meeting space that is culturally inclusive to appropriately engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families or communities
3.9 adhere to the Diocesan Advocate/Support Person Procedure when a request is made by a parent/carer for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander advocate or support person to be present at a meeting 
3.10 utilise a range of strategies to ensure effective communication that addresses the diverse needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and families
3.11 provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members to engage in celebrations and learning and teaching experiences
3.12 engage with CEDoW Aboriginal Community Engagement Officers (ACEOs) and/or Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) when seeking support from Aboriginal allied health or community services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
       

Procedure


Diocesan Managing Students Pastoral and Educational Concerns (MSPEC) Procedure
 (Draft)

Diocesan Advocate/Support Person Procedure (in development)

 

 

Implementation

aboriginal and torres strait islander education policy IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

POLICY RELEASE

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy will be released at the Policy Release 20 October 2017 (as part of the Leading Indigenous Education Professional Learning Day)
  • Personnel will consist of:
    • CEDoW staff (including Director of Schools, CEDoW Leadership Team, SPO: Education Policy, Strategic Planning and Policy Team);
    • Aboriginal Community representatives
    • School Principals
    • School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Contacts
    • Aboriginal Education Assistants and Aboriginal Community Engagement Officers
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy Project Team members
    • Policy Workshops will be held at the Leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EducationProfessional Learning Days. This will involve unpacking the Expectations of the Policy through a self-assessment process and identifying school priorities for implementation
    • Ongoing Policy communication to new Middle Leaders, Teachers and Staff will be the responsibility of the Principal or delegate and where appropriate in collaboration with the CEDoW personnel

POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

  • Schools will be expected to be working towards the full implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy and relevant Procedures specified in the Policy during the remainder of 2017 and throughout 2018
  • Full implementation of all Expectations for Schools and Teachers that are outlined in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy will be expected by 1 February 2019
  • Full utilisation of all Procedures specified in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy will be expected by 1 February 2019
  • Any school that determines they will not be able to implement all Expectations by 1 February 2019 must contact the Senior Professional Officer: Education Policy
  • Schools’ compliance to the Policy expectations will occur through the Diocesan Compliance processes  
  • Additional compliance processes may be utilised if concerns are raised about the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education practices at the School, Community, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA), or Australian Government levels.

POLICY MONITORING

  • Personnel in Strategic Planning and Policy are responsible for providing advice to the Senior Professional Officer: Education Policy of any changes to compliance requirements.  These requirements include those determined by CEDoW or NESA or  any changes to Australian or State government legislation that impacts on the Expectations of the Policy or Procedures.
  • A formal evaluation process of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy and Procedures will be conducted in December 2020.

POLICY PUBLICATION

  • The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy and Procedures will be published on the CEDoW website under Education Policy.  The Senior Professional Officer: Education Policy will be responsible for ensuring the Policy’s version currency and accuracy.
  • Schools should contact the Senior Professional Officer: Education Policy for any clarifications regarding Policy and Procedures
  • Schools should contact the Professional Officer: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education in Strategic Planning and Policy for support in the implementation of any aspects of the Policy.

Legislation

Australian Education Act 2013
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015C00112

Education Act 1990
https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/~/view/act/1990/8/historical2010-07-01/history

Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/aa1977204/

Related Links

NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual
http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/regulation/school-registration/registration-system-and-member-non-government-schools-manual

NSW Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/teacher-accreditation/how-accreditation-works/guide-to-accreditation/professional-standards

Working with Aboriginal Communities: A Guide to Community Consultation and Protocols (Revised Edition 2008)
http://ab-ed.bostes.nsw.edu.au/files/working-with-aboriginal-communities.pdf

Support material

A range of resources to support the implementation of this Policy is available to schools and teachers via their School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Contact person through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Google Classroom space.