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Establishment of an Alternative Learning Program procedure

Version number 1.0 | Version effective 31 January 2020
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Establishment of an Alternative Learning Program procedure

Audience

All state schools

Purpose

This procedure sets out the processes a school, schools, or cluster of schools must undertake to establish an Alternative Learning Program.

Overview

The majority of young people find success in a mainstream state or non-state school. All Queensland state schools differentiate their teaching and learning strategies, innovate to keep students focused, and individualise and tailor programs as needed to help students get the most out of their learning. In some schools, this may include developing bespoke delivery approaches to keep vulnerable students at school.

An Alternative Learning Program delivers bespoke approaches to curriculum in response to students’ individual learning, behavioural, social and wellbeing needs, in a supportive environment that is outside of a students’ regular classroom, and for a period of more than five hours per week. Alternative Learning Programs aim to enable students to return to their mainstream program as soon as possible.

Planning is to occur well in advance of the proposed commencement of a program, to ensure sufficient time to develop the evidence base, identify and address issues and seek required approval prior to commencement. Planning includes both the development of the program and planning to support the needs of identified students.

This procedure does not apply to programs for students who are undertaking school-based apprenticeships or traineeships, vocational education and training or university programs as part of their secondary education program.

Responsibilities

Regional Director

  • Provide early guidance and support to Principals who are considering establishing an Alternative Learning Program.
  • Review and approve the Alternative Learning Program model, submitted by the Principal prior to program commencement.
  • Ensure ongoing oversight and monitoring of the program is undertaken to confirm the program continues to meet quality standards and expectations.
  • Ensure all Principals in the respective region are aware of the requirements for establishing the program.
  • Review evidence of the Alternative Learning Program model submitted by Principals every two years and approve the continuation of the Alternative Learning Program.
  • Ensure recording of the application in a statewide collection tool saved in HPRM at 19/329351 (DoE employees only).

Assistant Regional Director

  • In consultation with the Regional Director, provide early guidance and support to Principals who are considering establishing an Alternative Learning Program.
  • Monitor the program through providing ongoing support and oversight to the school.

Principal

  • Collect and submit the Alternative Learning Program model to the Regional Director for approval prior to the establishment of an Alternative Learning Program.
  • Ensure the ongoing high quality delivery of the program to meet the needs of students through inclusive and high quality teaching and learning.
  • Collect and monitor information about the ongoing impact of the program to ensure high quality delivery and student outcomes.
  • Submit evidence through the Alternative Learning Program model to the Regional Director for approval to demonstrate that the program continues to meet the quality standards every two years.
  • Ensure appropriate supervision of staff working in the Alternative Learning Program and that their wellbeing is supported.
  • Ensure students and their parents/caregivers are consulted and provide their consent prior to the student accessing the approved Alternative Learning Program. Consent is to be recorded and stored in alignment with existing school-based procedures.

School staff

  • Monitor the progress of students, identify their learning needs and differentiate learning activities to levels of readiness and ability, in accordance with the duties and responsibilities of the staff member’s position.
  • Maintain responsibility for the integrated case management and oversight of students in the program, monitoring their outcomes and progress to achieving set goals. Teams may include Guidance Officers, Heads of Department, Deputy Principals, and Behaviour Support Services.     

School Improvement Unit

  • Where an Alternative Learning Program is recorded in OneSchool school reviewers will include the Alternative Learning Program in any review undertaken within the school.
  • Where there is a large centre that is not physically attached to the main school, Regional Directors may elect for a school review to be conducted separately.  This will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students

  • Provide consent prior to taking part in an approved Alternative Learning Program.

Parents/caregivers

  • Provide consent prior to their child taking part in the approved Alternative Learning Program.

Process

Identify and Plan the Alternative Learning Program

  • Schools must collect evidence for the need for an Alternative Learning Program. Evidence is to be recorded in the Alternative Learning Program model template.
  • Through the Alternative Learning Program model, the Principal demonstrates the need for an Alternative Learning Program and how it will meet the quality areas prescribed below:
    • Quality built physical environment to facilitate the engagement and attainment of students – see FlexiSpace Design Guidelines 2019 (DoE employees only) for examples of high quality flexible learning environments
    • Processes to establish and maintain authentic and effective parent engagement
    • Links and partnerships with government and community agencies and/or businesses to support achieving student outcomes
    • Resources targeted to the program, including locally agreed class sizes, and identified funding arrangements that are sustainable and agreed to by the school community, and are endorsed by the local consultative committee
    • A clear and transparent student identification and cohort selection process for the referral of students to the program, based on professional analysis of a wide range of variables
    • Selection of staff with the capability to respond to specific needs to achieve the engagement and attainment of every student, and in accordance with the Department of Education human resource policies and procedures
    • Collection and analysis of OneSchool data to monitor individual student learning progress and track outcomes for students – see OneSchool guideline How to add a student to an additional program (DoE employees only)
    • The Alternative Learning Program will meet the department’s Inclusive education policy and principles of inclusion
    • Curriculum delivery ensures a broad offering, is aligned with the Australian Curriculum, and provides breadth of opportunities for students that does not alter or lower expectations or standards for the quality of learning opportunities provided to students
    • Quality and contemporary pedagogical practices with differentiated and individualised approaches to facilitate engagement and student outcomes are implemented
    • Individualised process to transition students out of the Alternative Learning Program
    • Whole school culture with a focus on inclusion, positive relationships and relational pedagogy.
  • Once the Alternative Learning Program is established, school staff must ensure that details are recorded in OneSchool – see OneSchool guideline How to add a student to an additional program (DoE employees only).

Submit evidence as outlined in the Alternative Learning Program model

  • The Principal collects the evidence outlined in the attached Alternative Learning Program model that demonstrates how the proposed Alternative Learning Program will meet the above quality areas.
  • The Principal e-mails the Alternative Learning Program model and any supplementary information to the Regional Director.

Approval of the program

  • The Regional Director considers the information submitted against the requirements and evidence in the Alternative Learning Program model.
  • The Regional Director may request further information from the Principal in relation to the proposed Alternative Learning Program.
  • The Regional Director will communicate their decision on the proposed Alternative Learning Program to the Principal.
  • Where the program is not approved, the Regional Director or Assistant Regional Director will provide guidance and support to the school Principal to assist with refinement of the model to meet all quality areas.

Implement program (after Regional Director approval is gained)

  • The Principal takes steps to establish the Alternative Learning Program ensuring the approach is submitted and approved by the Regional Director and the Alternative Learning Program model is adhered to.
  • Required refurbishments lead by the Principal or their delegate are undertaken in consultation with Infrastructure Services Branch, ensuring departmental standards are adhered to.
  • An individualised plan for each student in the Alternative Learning Program is developed by the Principal or their delegate, identifying the student’s individual learning, behavioural, social and wellbeing needs.

Record program in OneSchool

  • The Principal or nominated person records the Alternative Learning Program in OneSchool as an Additional Program. Refer to the OneSchool guideline How to add a student to an additional program (DoE employees only) for instructions on completing this. Students should be recorded in OneSchool as enrolled in the program to facilitate review and monitoring of student outcomes.
  • The Principal must ensure that the student maintains their active enrolment status at the school in OneSchool while they are participating in the Approved Learning Program.

Monitoring the program

  • A review of the Alternative Learning Program every two years must be undertaken by the Principal and submitted to the Regional Director for the continuation of the program. This review can be recorded in the Alternative Learning Program model and should include submission of evidence that the program continues to meet the standards of evidence outlined in this procedure. The review must demonstrate that the program is being used as a tool for inclusive schooling, whereby the student’s individual learning, behavioural, social and wellbeing needs are being catered for.
  • Evidence of student outcomes to be provided for the cohorts accessing the program, include:
    • A to E academic outcomes across English, Maths and Science for the year level curriculum at which the student is working, as well as one other learning area that is nominated by the student;
    • A to E behaviour;
    • School disciplinary absences (SDAs); and
    • Attendance.

Review the program

  • The Regional Director will review the evidence provided by the Principal against the requirements in the Alternative Learning Program model.
  • If the Regional Director determines that the program does not meet the required standards, the Regional Director will work with the school to determine the approach to lift quality and student outcomes. This may include implementation of an improvement plan, with assistance of the Assistant Regional Director.
  • The outcome of the review will be recorded by the Regional Director or nominated person in the central recording system HPRM at 19/329351 (DoE employees only).

Definitions

Term

Definition

Alternative Learning Program

An Alternative Learning Program delivers bespoke approaches to curriculum in response to students’ individual learning, behavioural, social and wellbeing needs, in a supportive environment that is outside of a students’ regular classroom, and for a period of more than five hours per week. Programs may include school established Alternative Learning Program and Positive Learning Centres.

Local Consultative Committee

Queensland schools and workplaces with a total of 20 or more employees are required to establish a LCC.

Improvement plan

An improvement plan identifies areas for improvement of the Alternative Learning Program and how to address these in a targeted and meaningful manner. Quality improvement plans are to be created and stored in accordance with school-based procedures.

HPRM

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Record Management (HPRM) is the Department of Education internal records management system.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

31 January 2023
Attribution CC BY
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