Student Engagement Policy

Date: October 2016


Rationale, School Profile Statement & Philosophy:


The Merriang School Community provides a unique integrated school environment, which actively promotes inclusive and cooperative learning. The underpinning philosophy of Merriang SDS is to provide a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment in which students can reach their full educational potential. This can only be achieved when they are happy, healthy and safe, and when there is a positive school culture to engage and support them in their learning. Merriang Special Developmental School is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all its students, including LGBTI students. Student well-being and student learning outcomes are inextricably linked. Merriang aims to support both student wellbeing and learning outcomes within the school environment and through participation in the broader community. The school maintains a strong focus on the encouragement and development of appropriate behaviours.

In order to effectively engage students, Merriang has implemented the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support Program. This Program allows staff to develop a positive school culture which promotes wellbeing and student learning outcomes. Each teacher is a vital source of support and is significant in the success of their students.

In developing this policy, Merriang has been guided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s eight “Principles for Health and Wellbeing”, which are :

  1. Maximise access and inclusion
  2. Focus on outcomes
  3. Evidence-informed and reflective practice
  4. Holistic approach
  5. Person-centred and family sensitive practice
  6. Partnerships with families and communities
  7. Cultural competence
  8. Commitment to excellence



  • To create a positive school culture that is fair and respectful
  • To provide a safe and supportive school environment
  • To expect positive, supportive and respectful relationships that value diversity
  • To promote pro-social values and behaviours
  • To encourage student participation and student voice
  • To proactively engage with parents/ carers
  • To implement preventative and early intervention approaches to support student engagement
  • Promote positive behaviours through a staged response
  • To respond to individual students
  • To link to the local community
  • To expect each child to attend school regularly, depending on individual needs
  • To provide a stimulating and engaging program for each student


Whole-school Prevention Statement

The values that form the basis of our actions are:

·         Safety

·         Respect

·         Active Learning

This is reflected in Merriang’s adoption of the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support Program which assists in developing a positive school climate and seeks to engage students and reward them for displaying appropriate behaviours. Merriang SDS does not endorse the use of corporal punishment under any circumstances.


Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Students have the right to be treated equally and without discrimination, and to be educated in a safe and stimulating environment. Students also have a responsibility to consider and respect self and others.


Shared Expectations

The expected behaviours of Merriang SDS are:

1.    Be Safe:-

keep hands and feet to self; follow instructions

2.    Be Respectful:-

be kind to others; wait for your turn

3.    Be a Learner:-

listen to others; ask for help; do your best



  • Consistent implementation of the School-Wide Positive

Behavior Support Program across the whole school.

  • Maintaining predictable and consistent routines and environment.
  • Regular Student Support Groups meetings for all students.
  • Development of Individual Learning Plans for all students.
  • Daily communication with parents/carers via the Communication Book.
  • Consistently acknowledging all students
  • Actively encourage meaningful student participation
  • Encouragement of regular student attendance
  • Maintenance of accurate attendance records.
  • Involvement of the Student Welfare Coordinator and/or Student

Support Services Officer (SSSO)as required or as requested

  • Provision of counselling support (by SSSO and/or Student Welfare staff on request).
  • Development and review of individual behavior plans as required or as requested.
  • Through individual behaviour plans students are given the opportunity to value self and others.
  • Where applicable, application of Anti-bullying processes in line with DET guidelines.
  • Any suspension or expulsion of a student will be in accordance with Element 4 of the Student Engagement Policy Guidelines (DET)



  • School-Wide Positive Behaviour Intervention Support

  • Student Engagement Policy Guidelines (DET)

(Overview and a number of relevant documents)

  • It’s Not Okay To Be Away



  • School attendance data
  • Staff and parent opinion surveys
  • Suspension/exclusion data
  • This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s four year cycle.



Ratified School Council:     October  2016

Review date:                         October  2019