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Safety and wellbeing of students residing at a state school operated residential boarding facility procedure

Version number 1.4 | Version effective 02 September 2022
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Safety and wellbeing of students residing at a state school operated residential boarding facility procedure

Audience

All state schools operating a residential boarding facility.

Purpose

This procedure outlines the responsibilities and processes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students residing in state school operated residential boarding facilities. This procedure also sets out the processes for registration of students at the residential boarding facility.

Overview

The responsibilities and processes outlined in this procedure are informed by the Australian standards: 5725: 2015: Boarding standard for Australian schools and residences (Department of Education (DoE) employees only). The responsibilities and processes required to support all students in state school operated residential boarding facilities are focused on the priorities of student protection, safety, health and wellbeing and holistic development. Having collaborative partnerships between parents, families and the school 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.

Responsibilities

Regional Directors (or delegates)

  • provide leadership to principals of state schools with residential boarding facilities
  • ensure residential boarding facilities meet the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)
  • ensure residential boarding facilities align their operations with the Boarding standard for Australian schools and residences
  • 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 residential boarding facilities to manage the operation of their facility in accordance with Queensland Health Directives and DoE advice. See also the Guidelines for state school operated residential boarding facilities (DoE employees only) in managing COVID-19 that includes Appendix 1 with Queensland Health advice specific to boarding schools
  • support residential boarding facilities to provide any additional resources or reasonable adjustments required to support the individual needs of a student
  • ensure information is provided, to a student whose application to register at a residential boarding facility has been unsuccessful, about other schooling and training options
  • ensure residential boarding facilities 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)).

Principals (or delegates)

  • provide leadership and management of residential boarding facility and ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, DoE policies and procedures
  • ensure the operating policies and procedure of the residential boarding facility align with this procedure, the Australian standards: 5725: 2015: Boarding standard for Australian schools and residences (DoE employees only), and the Child Safe Standards (see definitions section for details)
  • develop a registration agreement with parents/carers and students that sets out the terms of residence of the student at the residential boarding facility
  • ensure all employees hold a blue card unless an exemption applies (see also Working with children authority procedure)
  • ensure all volunteers hold a blue card unless an exemption applies and have undertaken all necessary training that applies to volunteers such as Student protection (DoE employees only) training as per the mandatory annual training ready reckoner
  • ensure all DoE employees working at the residential boarding facility have undertaken annual mandatory training (DoE employees only)
  • ensure any decision made regarding a child’s application to register for a residential boarding facility is made in the best interests of the child
  • ensure any decision to refuse a child’s application to register is based on appropriate criteria, for example:
    • when a child is not being permitted to enrol at the school
    • there is no boarding space available at the residential boarding facility
    • there is a reasonable belief that it is not in the best interests of the child or others for the child to reside at the residential boarding facility.
  • ensure facilities meet relevant Workplace Health and Safety legislation (see information on Managing health and safety) and are aligned with the Boarding standard for Australian schools and residences (Section 6) and other applicable Australian Standards such as AS 1428: Design for access and mobility – General requirements for access – new building work
  • in the event of a declared public health emergency (e.g. a pandemic) or public health incident, ensure the operation of the residential boarding facility is in accordance with Queensland Health Directives and DoE advice. See also the Guidelines for state school operated residential boarding facilities (DoE employees only) in managing COVID-19 that includes Appendix 1 with Queensland Health advice specific to boarding schools
  • ensure the operating policies and procedures of the residential boarding facility are reviewed at least every two years using the Australian Boarding Schools Association Duty of Care self-assessment or equivalent tool (see Australian Boarding Schools Association)
  • act and make decisions compatible with human rights in accordance with the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (See information on Human Rights and Factsheet: Human rights and decision-making (DoE employees only)).

Staff of state school operated residential boarding facilities

  • follow all policies and procedures developed by the residential boarding facility, including those specific to a declared public health emergency (e.g. a pandemic) or public health incident
  • hold a current Blue Card unless an exemption applies
  •  complete the DoE’s annual mandatory training (DoE employees only) as per the mandatory annual training ready reckoner for employees of state schools 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))
  • consider cultural and traditional factors when engaging with families and providing ongoing support to students
  • where appropriate, utilise Transition Support Service to ensure remote Indigenous students and their family are supported.

Parents/carers

  • actively participate in regular discussions with staff of the residential boarding facility regarding the education and wellbeing of their child
  • provide the residential boarding facility with updated personal information in relation to their contact details and their child’s health and wellbeing to ensure their child receives appropriate support
  • inform the principal (or delegate) in writing of any changes to their child’s health support needs
  • comply with the responsibilities set out by the residential boarding facility in the registration agreement
  • if requested, provide feedback to the principal (or delegate) on the operating policies and procedures of the residential boarding facility.

Students

  • comply with the responsibilities set out by the residential boarding facility in the registration agreement
  • comply with all rules and requirements in the residential handbook and any other policies and procedures notified to the parents/carers and student by the residential boarding facility
  • immediately notify the staff at the residential boarding facility if feeling ill or in the event of any injury
  • comply with all reasonable requests and instructions made by staff of the residential boarding facility
  • if requested, provide feedback to principal (or delegate) on the operating policies and procedures of the residential boarding facility
  • immediately notify staff at the residential boarding facility if they have any concerns or issues regarding their boarding either verbally or through the child friendly complaints form.

Volunteers

Process

Registration

Parents/carers

  1. complete an Application for student enrolment if their child is not currently enrolled at the state school operating the residential boarding facility
  2. complete an Application to register – student in a state school operated residential boarding facility.
  • Note: Enrolment and registration of a student may occur at the same time.
  1. follow advice in the Administration of medications in Queensland state schools procedure if your child requires medication
  2. sign a registration agreement if the student’s application to register at the residential boarding facility is accepted by the principal.

Principals (or delegates)

  1. develop a registration agreement and residential handbook for the residential boarding facility
  2. when registration is sought, provide parents/carers and students with all relevant information on the residential boarding facility’s policies and procedures including the registration agreement, residential handbook, and documents relevant to the Administration of medications in Queensland state schools procedure
  3. consider and make a decision on all applications to register at the residential boarding facility (see entitlement to enrol and relevant procedures on Refusal to enrol – Risk to safety or wellbeing procedure and Student discipline procedure)
  4. if application is accepted:
  • ensure parent/carer signs the registration agreement upon accepting the student’s registration
  • consult with parents/carers and students about any reasonable adjustments, if required, for the student to reside at the residential boarding facility and participate in activities organised by the facility
  • discuss with the regional office any additional resources or reasonable adjustments required to support the individual needs of a student if required
  • discuss and negotiate a residential fee payment plan (such as a term-by-term boarding fee) with parents/carers where appropriate
  • provide an induction for all students immediately upon their commencement at the residential boarding facility including mandatory components of residential care services available at the residential boarding facility. Note: Residential boarding facility will be required to tailor induction materials and methods to support students from all backgrounds and all abilities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • 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)
  • provide parents/carers and staff (academic and residential boarding staff) with opportunities to communicate regularly, particularly during settling in and other vulnerable times.
  1. if application is refused:
  • notify parents/carers as soon as possible
  • provide parents/carers reasons why the application was unsuccessful and ensure natural justice is afforded
  • notify the region to ensure the following information is provided to the student whose application to register at a residential boarding facility has been unsuccessful:
    • reasons why the application was unsuccessful;
    • options regarding other schooling and training facilities; and
    • the complaints process.

Operations

Principals (or delegates)

  1. Policies and procedures
  • develop a set of operating policies and procedures for the residential boarding facility for inclusion in the residential handbook, and ensure these align with this procedure, the Boarding standard for Australian schools and residences, and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
  • develop the residential boarding facility’s operating policies and procedures in consultation with parent/carer representatives and student representatives
  • publish the residential handbook on the school’s website
  • follow all required 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Staff rosters
  • develop staff rosters and procedures to ensure adequate supervision and manner of supervision of students at all times including supervision for students who are not able to attend school or organised activities due to illness or short suspensions from the school.
  1. 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.
  1. Leave
  • develop processes for obtaining parent/carer permission for students to leave the residential boarding facility, travel to and from the residential boarding facility, applications for leave and routines during visiting hours. Note: Applications for leave require approval from both the parent/carer and staff of the residential boarding facility.
  1. Medications and health related matters
  • ensure medical authorisation from a prescribing health practitioner has been received
  • store, record and administer medications to students as per the Administration of medications in schools procedure
  • 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 residential boarding facility should 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-dates health plan or emergency health plan is completed for an individual student
  • manage contagious conditions according to the Management of contagious conditions procedure.
  1. Declared public health emergencies (e.g. a pandemic) and public health incidents
  • when required, work with the Queensland Health's local Public Health Unit and DoE Region to develop a residential boarding facility-specific systematic risk assessment plan
  • maintain safe operation of the residential boarding facility by following the Queensland Health Directives and DoE advice issued during declared public health emergencies and public health incidents. See also the Guidelines for state school operated residential boarding facilities (DoE employees only) in managing COVID-19 that includes Appendix 1 with Queensland Health advice specific to boarding schools
  • communicate regularly with residential boarding facility students and their parents so they are well informed of management processes.
  1. Safety and wellbeing
  1. Information management

Definitions

Term

Definition

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).

Parent/carer

Means a person who meets the definition of parent in Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (s.10)

Principal’s delegate

Means a school staff member nominated by the principal to be the head of the residential boarding facility. For example, a deputy principal or other senior staff member of the school.

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 June 2019.

Reasonable adjustments

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 (as defined in Part 3 of the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cwlth)).

Residential boarding facility

For the purpose of this procedure, a residential boarding facility is a state school residential campus for students.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Relevant departmental policies, procedures and frameworks

Relevant online resources

Forms

Superseded versions

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

Review date

15 July 2022
Attribution CC BY
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