Page 4145 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Some practical ways the complex needs and behaviours are addressed include supports provided within schools, such as the support at preschool team, disability education support, positive behaviour for learning and social-emotional learning programs, network student engagement teams and the new school psychology services. I also remind members that five new psychologists were engaged to support students in Canberra public schools this year, and a further 10 will be engaged to start in our schools in 2019.
The framework to engage all high school students, the continuum of education support model, has been introduced, and that includes the provision of flexible learning options and alternative education projects. Supports provided within the general community include child and family centres located at Tuggeranong, Gungahlin and west Belconnen; the child development service in Holder; national disability insurance scheme providers; and supports provided by the wider ACT mental health system, including ACT Health, Headspace and the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network, and the Australian National University.
A partnership between selected ACT primary schools and ACT Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is providing a mental health early intervention program to children in year 1 to year 3. And we are building the capacity of learning support assistants through internal professional learning opportunities and access to certificate IV education support training through the CIT.
I would like to also recognise and acknowledge the work occurring in the Catholic and independent school sectors to manage students with complex needs and behaviours.
Along with managing complex needs and behaviours, infrastructure improvements have been made. Over the past year more than $80 million was invested to deliver many infrastructure and capital works improvements in Canberra public schools, including the creation of withdrawal and sensory spaces at 12 schools. These are available to all students and may assist children to manage their behaviour and safely withdraw if they require time away from busy school environments.
Indoor spaces include tents, teepees and soft furnishings. Examples of outdoor sensory spaces available include a sensory garden at Charles Conder school, with carefully chosen plants, musical instruments and a mist tunnel; a secret garden courtyard at Arawang Primary School, with a forest mural wall; an internal courtyard attached to the LSU at Richardson Primary School, with clumped bamboo planting and rocks; a junior playground area with sensory experiences such as a clatter bridge in Amaroo school; and a compact sensory seating area outside the LSU at the University of Canberra Senior Secondary College, with vertical planting walls and hanging pod chairs. These and more spaces are being provided in our schools to assist students and staff to manage behaviour.
Minister Berry has already spoken about the occupational violence policy and management plan and the work underway to implement this. It incorporates additional