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COMMUNITIES POLICY FRAMEWORK

by Tasmania Department of Education: Equity Standards Branch
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Abstract

This policy framework has been developed to refocus the Supportive School Environments policy that was released in 1989.While the initial intention had been to develop a revised policy, it became clear that a framework was needed to bring together the numerous related departmental policies, statements, guidelines, programs and services which had been developed in the intervening years. There is an increasing expectation that schools will be responsive to the needs and aspirations of its community, and supportive and inclusive of the diverse groups that comprise that community. Schools are being reconceptualised as a central component of the continuum of provision for lifelong learning that includes childcare at one end and a range of adult and community education provisions at the other. Interagency co-ordination, partnerships, clear pathways and collaborative action are imperative if educational provisions from birth to adulthood are to be effective for all participants. This framework aims to help schools to address the issues they face as a result of significant changes in the educational and social climate in the last decade particularly in the quest for continual improvement of outcomes for students. It also promotes effort towards achieving goals identified in Learning Together and Tasmania Together which relate to improving the health and wellbeing of students in Tasmanian schools. At the same time: • it specifies the policy initiatives which now exist to address the impact of those changes and seeks to achieve the goals of those key Departmental policies through a range of strategies. These are listed in Section 5 of this document; • it provides a framework for schools and colleges to be able to develop a more coherent approach to the delivery of related services to students and staff. Refer to the diagrammatic representation of this framework in Section 5; • it provides a structure to allow future relevant initiatives to be incorporated in a coherent way; • it provides a basis for improved efficiency in interagency tasks. Interagency protocols have been designed to assist with interagency cooperation and partnership. Examples are Sharing Responsibility ( for cases of suspected child abuse or neglect) and Working Together (for children under care and protection orders). • The Policy Framework also offers a means by which schools can reassess the supportiveness of their school culture. It provides a guide to action which can enhance the effectiveness of school communities as key contributors to social and community strength, through access, participation and achievement and which maximises the learning outcomes of all students.

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