“Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion. Schools share this responsibility with students, parents, carers, families, the community, business and other education and training providers” (page 4 The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians MCEECDYA 2008).
Educational settings are uniquely placed to positively influence wellbeing. They have a critical role to play in fostering positive and sustainable characteristics that enable students to achieve their best. Evidence supports the strong, mutual relationship between wellbeing and learning. Identifying and reducing barriers to learning, including those linked to student wellbeing, can help to maximise the educational and social outcomes for students.
The BCE approach to wellbeing is strongly grounded in Catholic Christian beliefs and values. Wellbeing is defined as an ongoing experience of wholeness and hope that is integral to learning and ultimately, to overall health and life success. It relates to the interconnectedness of emotional, physical, cognitive, social and spiritual dimensions within the person. Wellbeing encompasses nurturing the self, giving to others, and building and celebrating community.
The Melbourne Declaration lists seven interrelated dimensions to general student wellbeing, namely: Intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic. Of the seven general capabilities that are addressed in the Australian Curriculum those that specifically relate to student wellbeing include personal and social competence, self-management, ethical behaviour, intercultural understanding, thinking skills and creativity.
The National Safe Schools Framework (2011) was developed to support schools to build safe school communities and to address student wellbeing priorities. The safety of students is essential for academic development and all students should be able to learn and develop in safe, supportive and respectful environments. The National Standards Professional Standards for Teachers also reflects an emphasis on student safety and wellbeing. This is specifically articulated in Standard 4 Create and Maintain Supportive and Safe Learning Environments.
At the heart of all our endeavours is the student. Brisbane Catholic Education is committed to building communities of learning that provide a safe, nurturing and academically challenging environment for all students. A range of role holders in schools and BCE offices support schools in creating optimal environments for student learning and wellbeing.
The 8 Key Elements of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing in Brisbane Catholic Education schools are:
- Leadership commitment to sustainable pastoral care and wellbeing
- Policies, structures and processes
- Engaged and positive school culture
- Safe and supportive environment for learning and teaching
- Focus on the student as a learner and a person
- Proactive and preventative approaches
- Early intervention and targeted support
- Partnerships with parish, families and communities
Brisbane Catholic Education Student Wellbeing Personnel
Guidance Counsellors: are in a profession that focuses on the relations and interactions between students and their school environment to reduce the effects of environmental and institutional barriers that impede student academic and life success. Guidance counsellors foster educational equality, equity, access and academic success in a curriculum to assist in the development of students and to ensure that all students are happy, confident and faith-filled young people and successful learners who will use their knowledge and their gifts for the good of all.
In Brisbane Catholic Education Secondary schools and P-12 schools a Guidance Counsellor is provided on a fulltime basis when student numbers reach 400. Those under 400 are staffed according to a pro rata formula. In primary schools Guidance Counselling services are provided to a cluster of schools on a ratio of 1 full time position to 1000 students.
School Pastoral Workers: are committed to a ministry which values the dignity and potential of individuals within the school community. School Pastoral Workers walk with students, particularly the marginalised and disadvantaged, through the course of their lives at school, as well as being supportive of parents and staff. School Pastoral Workers are provided to some schools on a needs basis.
Education Officers, Counsellor Supervision, North and South Service Centres: provide clinical supervision and professional advice, support and reporting in the areas of student wellbeing, guidance and counselling, behaviour education, social and emotional development and pastoral care. They support the Guidance Counsellors and School Pastoral Workers to carry out their role and to work with School Service staff, school staff and communities to contribute to student wellbeing.
Education Officers, Student Wellbeing, North and South Service Centres: provide advice and support in the areas of student wellbeing and psycho-educational assessment through working collaboratively with school communities and BCEO staff. They provide clinical supervision and support to Guidance Counsellors and support to schools in the areas, of student wellbeing, guidance and counselling, behaviour education, social and emotional development and pastoral care.
Education Officers, Student Wellbeing (Student Behaviour Support), North and South Service Centres: provide consultancy in regard to Brisbane Catholic Education Student Behaviour Support Policy, Regulations and Guidelines and Whole school approaches to behaviour support and wellbeing. They provide Professional Learning for school leaders and staff in relation to student behaviour support and proactive whole school approaches to behaviour and wellbeing are identified and promoted.
Senior Education Officers, Student Wellbeing, North and South Service Centres: This position provides leadership, advice and support in the Student Wellbeing area of learning and teaching within the School Service Centre Directorates and leads a multi-disciplinary team working with schools to improve wellbeing and the educational outcomes for students. Key areas of responsibility include leadership of student wellbeing personnel in the service centres with responsibilities in the areas of guidance and counselling, student behaviour support and proactive approaches to wellbeing within schools.
Senior Education Officer, Student Wellbeing, Learning and Teaching Services, BCEO: the role is to lead and manage policy development, strategic directions, resourcing and specialist professional support in the key areas of guidance and counselling, social emotional learning and student behaviour support.
Education Officer, Student Wellbeing and Professional Support, BCEO: is a member of Learning and Teaching Services at BCEO and supports the professional learning and practice of Guidance Counsellors. They provide professional support in the area of verification of students with disabilities in the categories of Intellectual Impairment and Social Emotional Disorders. A key focus of this role is co-management of the Caroline Chisholm Centre.
The Caroline Chisholm School, Students and Family Support Centre: is a joint partnership involving Brisbane Catholic Education and the Queensland University of Technology. It is an educational and developmental psychology clinic which provides a wide range of psychological services to students and their families.
The Nyunga Student and Family Support Centre: is a partnership between Brisbane Catholic Education and Griffith University- Gold Coast Campus. It is a clinical psychology clinic which provides a wide range of psychological services to students and their families.
The Australian Catholic University Brisbane Psychology and Counselling Clinic: provides low-cost psychology and counselling services to the community through their Master of Psychology (Clinical) program. A partnership was established in 2011 between BCE and ACU so that families from BCE schools could access services both within schools and at the clinic from Masters Students completing their clinical psychology degree. This partnership enables families to access additional services and also provides Masters Students with educational opportunities within their program.
School Services North
12 Endeavour Blvd, North Lakes
School Services South
5-7 Laurinda Crescent, Springwood
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park