Safety and wellbeing of students registered at a state school boarding facility procedure
All state schools operating a boarding facility.
This procedure outlines the responsibilities and processes in place to register students at a state school operated residential boarding facility (boarding facility) and ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Three state schools operate boarding facilities to improve access to education in rural and remote communities. Like schools, boarding facilities maintain compatibility with relevant legislation and Department of Education (DoE) policies and procedure.
This procedure sets out how students are registered for boarding and how boarding facilities are managed to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of students. The responsibilities and processes outlined in this procedure are informed by the Australian standard: 5725: 2015: Boarding standard for Australian schools and residences (the boarding standard) (DoE employees only). The boarding standard also informs each facility's handbook.
Having collaborative partnerships between parents/carers, families, the school and boarding facility is essential to ensure all students are provided with the support they need for a positive boarding experience.
This procedure also provides the registration process for students who wish to reside at a state school operated residential boarding facility.
Regional Directors (or delegates)
- provide leadership to principals of state schools with boarding facilities
- ensure boarding facilities align their operations with the boarding standard (DoE employees only)
- in the event of a declared public health emergency (e.g. a pandemic) or public health incident, provide support to principals of state schools with boarding facilities to manage the operation of their facility in accordance with Chief Health Officer Directions and DoE advice, including advice for state school operated residential boarding facilities (DoE employees only)
- support principals of state schools with boarding facilities to make reasonable adjustments required to support the individual needs of students with disability (or their associate) and ensure equity of opportunity for all students
- ensure information about other schooling and training options is provided to a student if their application to register at a boarding facility has been unsuccessful
- support principals of state schools with residential boarding facilities to act and make decisions compatible with human rights in accordance with the
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (see also Factsheet: Human rights and decision-making (DoE employees only)).
- provide leadership and management of the boarding facility and ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, DoE policies and procedures (see Legislation and Other resources sections below)
- ensure the boarding facility's site specific policies, procedures and boarding facility handbook align with this procedure, the boarding standard (DoE employees only), and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (DoE employees only)
- ensure all employees and volunteers hold a blue card unless an exemption applies
- ensure all employees and volunteers have undertaken all necessary training such as Student protection training (DoE employees only) and other training as per the mandatory annual training ready reckoner
- ensure all employees and volunteers understand their obligations both in relation to student protection and privacy requirements in accordance with s.426 of the
Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) and the
Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld)
- make fair, justified and evidence-based decisions on applications to register students at the boarding facility
- ensure boarding facilities are inclusive, healthy and safe environments compatible with Health and Safety legislation, applicable Australian Standards (DoE employees only) such as the boarding standard and AS 1428: Design for access and mobility, and promote student mental health and wellbeing, with support from relevant DoE divisions as required (e.g. Infrastructure Services, Schools and Student Support)
- ensure the individual needs of students with disability are considered and supported in partnership with parents/carers and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) providers where relevant
- in the event of a declared public health emergency (e.g. a pandemic) or public health incident, ensure the operation of the boarding facility is in accordance with Chief Health Officer Directions and DoE advice, including advice for state school operated residential boarding facilities (DoE employees only)
- follow all relevant DoE policies, procedures and guidelines, including those developed by the boarding facility and in relation to a declared public health emergency (e.g. a pandemic) or public health incident
hold a current Blue Card unless an exemption applies
- complete mandatory training (DoE employees only) and any other training appropriate to their role
- consider and apply culturally appropriate practices when engaging with families and providing ongoing support to students, including the Transition Support Service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families
- actively promote and support students' wellbeing and mental health including provision of support responsive to the individual needs and context of students.
- comply with the responsibilities set out by the boarding facility in the registration agreement
- actively participate in regular discussions with staff of the boarding facility regarding the education and wellbeing of their student
- provide feedback to the principal on the operating policies and procedures of the boarding facility.
- comply with the responsibilities in the registration agreement, all rules and requirements in the boarding facility handbook, code of conduct and any other policies and procedures notified to the parents/carers and student by the boarding facility
- immediately notify staff at the boarding facility if they have any concerns or issues regarding their boarding either verbally or through the Child friendly complaints form
- provide feedback to principal on the operating policies and procedures of the boarding facility.
- submit an Application for student enrolment (if their student is not currently enrolled at the state school operating the boarding facility) and/or submit an Application to register – student in a state school operated residential boarding facility.
- note: applications to enrol students at the state school and applications to register the student at the boarding facility can be made at the same time. Enrolment at the state school entitles the parent/carer to submit an application to register at the boarding facility but does not guarantee approval of the application. Where an application to enrol at the state school is unsuccessful, the application to register at the residential boarding facility will have the same outcome. The registration decision is not subject to appeal under the
Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld).
- follow advice in the Administration of medications in schools procedure if their student requires medication
- sign a registration agreement if the student’s application to register at the boarding facility is accepted by the principal.
- periodically review the registration agreement and boarding facility handbook for the boarding facility
- when registration is sought, provide parents/carers and students with all relevant information on the boarding facility’s policies and procedures including the registration agreement, boarding facility handbook, and documents relevant to the Administration of medications in schools procedure
- consider and make a decision on all applications to register at the boarding facility (see entitlement to enrol and relevant procedures on Refusal to enrol – Risk to safety or wellbeing procedure and Student discipline procedure) including consideration of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) and Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
- if an application to register is accepted:
- ensure parent/carer signs the registration agreement upon accepting the student’s registration
- consult with parents/carers and students about any reasonable adjustmentsand health supports required for the student to reside at the boarding facility and participate in activities organised by the facility
- discuss with parents/carers and students the non-educational supports provided by a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider and operational considerations associated with this support
- discuss with regional office about any additional resources or reasonable adjustments required to support the individual needs of a student
- discuss and negotiate a residential fee payment plan (such as a term-by-term boarding fee) with parents/carers where appropriate.
- if an application to register is refused:
- ensure the decision is based on appropriate criteria, for example:
- when a child is not being permitted to enrol at the school; or
- there is no boarding space available at the boarding facility; or
- there is a reasonable belief that it is not in the best interests of the student or others for the student to reside at the boarding facility.
- notify parents/carers and/or the student as soon as possible with reasons why the application was unsuccessful and ensure natural justice is afforded
- advise parents/carers that the registration decision is not subject to appeal under the
Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld)
- notify the region to ensure the parents/carers and/or the student is provided with options regarding other schooling and training options and the complaints process.
- policies and procedures
- maintain a set of site-specific operating policies and procedures for the boarding facility for inclusion in the boarding facility handbook. Review these in consultation with parent/carer representatives and student representatives ensuring they align with this procedure, the boarding standard (DoE employees only), and the National principles for child safe organisations
- ensure the site-specific operating policies and procedures of the boarding facility, including the boarding facility handbook, are available on the school's website and reviewed at least every two years using the Australian Boarding Schools Association Standards Self Assessment or equivalent tool (see Australian Boarding Schools Association)
- follow all required DoE policies and procedures (see Other resources section) to inform planning and staff training to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and others.
- student induction and parent/carer communication
- provide an induction for all students immediately upon their commencement at the boarding facility including mandatory components of residential care services available at the boarding facility
- ensure materials and methods are accessible to all students with consideration given to their backgrounds and abilities (e.g. students who are culturally and linguistically diverse or students with disabilities)
- provide parents/carers and staff (academic and boarding facility staff) with opportunities to communicate regularly, particularly when students commence boarding and during other vulnerable times.
- ratios of trained staff to students
- undertake a risk management process to determine appropriate ratios of trained staff to students for all circumstances including but not limited to supervision of dormitories, recreation and common rooms, outside areas, canteen, bathrooms, toilets and change rooms, and during organised activities on and off-site.
- staff rosters
- ensure staff rosters and procedures provide for adequate supervision and manner of supervision of students at all times, including when students are not able to attend school or organised activities due to illness or short suspensions from the school.
- daily records of student whereabouts
- ensure a daily record of the whereabouts of each student is kept, including but not limited to morning, after school, early evening, bedtime and when participating in activities.
- appropriate leave arrangements for students
- develop processes for obtaining parent/carer permission for students to leave the boarding facility, safe travel to and from the boarding facility as agreed by the principal and parent/carer, applications for leave and receiving visitors.
- Note: applications for leave require approval from both the parent/carer and staff of the boarding facility.
- medications and health related responses
- store, record and administer medications to students as per the Administration of medications in schools procedure
- ensure medical authorisation from a prescribing health practitioner has been received
- where informed parent/carer consent has not or cannot be obtained to administer a medication, and there is a risk to the student’s health and safety, then the boarding facility must follow medical advice in relation to administration of a medication and record all attempts to contact the parents/carers
- where required, ensure an up-to-date health plan or emergency health plan is completed for an individual student by their health professional and staff are appropriately trained and competent to assist the student to manage the health condition and implement the health plan
- manage contagious conditions according to the Management of contagious conditions procedure.
- in the event of a declared public health emergency (e.g. a pandemic) and/or public health incident, work with Queensland Health's local Public Health Unit and DoE Region to develop a boarding facility-specific systematic risk assessment plan
- maintain safe operation of the boarding facility by following the Chief Health Officer Public Health Directions and DoE advice, including advice for state school operated residential boarding facilities (DoE employees only)
- communicate regularly with boarding facility students and their parents/carers so they are well informed of management processes.
- student safety and wellbeing processes
- ensure all staff and volunteers complete mandatory annual training and any other training appropriate to their role such as the Diversity Training Program, cultural awareness, Duty-of-Care (see Australian Boarding Schools Association) and first aid training (as recognised by the DoE’s supply arrangements (DoE employees only))
- implement processes to increase students’ and parents’/carers’ understanding and their effective response to the following:
- promote age-appropriate routines for students (e.g. sleep, physical activities, study, organised leisure activities and unstructured free time)
- promote behaviours and make decisions compatible with human rights in accordance with the
Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (see also Factsheet: Human rights and decision-making (DoE employees only))
- apply culturally appropriate practises when engaging with and providing support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families
- promote a safe, supportive and inclusive environment and embed programs and activities that support the development of students' social and emotional skills and mental health and wellbeing (see Supporting students' mental health and wellbeing procedure)
- provide students with access to services to support their health and wellbeing where appropriate (e.g. transition support services officer, guidance officer, school-based youth health nurse, youth support coordinator, community education counsellors, chaplain or student welfare worker)
- ensure all students are supported to access appropriate support services for their mental health and wellbeing, including through:
- being provided support from staff working in the boarding facility;
- supported referrals to wellbeing professionals in schools (e.g. psychologists, guidance officers);
- access to external support providers for more complex support (e.g. Child and Youth Mental Health Services); and
- immediate action from emergency support (e.g. 000) in a critical situation.
- Information management
Declared Public Health Emergency
Means an event or a series of events that has contributed to, or may contribute to, serious adverse effects on the health of persons in Queensland, declared by the Minister for Health by public health emergency order (definition from section 315 of the
Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)).
Means a person who meets the definition of parent in
Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (s.10)
Public health incident
Means any event that may have negative consequences for human health on a population basis as defined in the Queensland Health Disaster and Emergency Incident Plan.
An adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist a student with disability to participate in education on the same basis as other students. An adjustment is reasonable if it achieves this purpose while taking into account the student’s learning needs and balancing the interests of all parties affected, including those of the student with disability, the education provider, staff and other students.
For the purpose of this procedure, a boarding facility is a state school operated residential boarding facility for students.
Relevant departmental policies, procedures and frameworks
Relevant online resources
Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included
1.0 Safety and wellbeing of students residing at a state school operated residential boarding facility