Returning to school: A check in template

Returning to school: A check in template


This template aims to help students and their parents or carers, schools, and health or other professionals (where relevant) to reflect on any changes a student has experienced in their physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual wellbeing after a significant or stressful event, and consider the strategies and resources that may be most helpful during their return to school. This tool serves as an ‘information gathering’ starting point to support collaborative decision-making during meetings, and should not be used to replace meeting with a student and their family to plan for the student’s return to school. 

See also: Supporting students after a significant event or stressor

Step One

Prior to meeting with a student and their parents or carers, distribute the relevant information to the student, their parents or carers, and any health or other professionals where appropriate, to develop an initial understanding of what strategies or adjustments may support a positive return to school for a specific student. Consider sharing the current personalised learning and support plan to help each person reflect on previous goals and strategies, and what may have changed.

Note: some students may prefer not to use a written template, or they may not use words to communicate. Offer alternative modes of response where appropriate, such as gestures, photos, drawings, or Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices.

Step Two

Once you receive all responses, use the ‘Schools’ page in the template to create a shared understanding of the student, including any reflections from the learning and support team, teachers or other education professionals involved in supporting this student. Some components (for example, strategies) can be completed when meeting with students and their family, and documented in their personalised learning and support plan.

School Excellence Framework alignment


Effective classroom practice

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers alignment

Standard 1: Know students and how they learn


School leaders, teachers


School staff can use this resource to support students who are returning to school following extended absence or a significant event.


Timeframes and when to use

This resource can be used at any time a student requires additional support.

Evidence base

This resource was developed with the AllPlay Learn team who conducted a series of systematic reviews of the empirical literature, with over 177,000 articles screened. The resources remain up-to-date, with content reflecting best practice reviewed by a world-class multidisciplinary research team, led by Monash University.


June 2022. Share your feedback here

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