NSW public school students represent the diversity of cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds across NSW. The communities that NSW public schools serve have very different contexts, strengths, challenges and needs; as well as staffing structures and experience.
Schools are implementing a range of proactive and preventative health and wellbeing strategies for their students. Where schools are dealing with new or emerging issues, they gain a shared understanding of the problem they wish to address in partnership with students, families and the broader community.
Schools with successful health and wellbeing approaches:
- take stock of their programs and resources already in place, and what is readily available to help strengthen an existing response
- consider what the service gaps are and whether upskilling department staff will meet the gap and address the identified problem, or whether external partnerships are required
- respectfully listen and learn from their community, including the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) and develop an inclusive and equitable response
- implement sustainable approaches for their local context that provide a continuum of care and continuity of support.
The health and wellbeing solutions schools are implementing often start small and build.
In rural and remote communities, issues around isolation and access to services are often significant barriers in addressing students’ health and wellbeing needs, and in designing health and wellbeing approaches.
Aim 3.2 of the Rural and Remote Education Strategy (2021-2024) is: All students in rural and remote communities have early access to and engage with wellbeing support services.
Enhancing the availability of digital technologies can facilitate increased access to health and wellbeing services for students and their families.
Partnering with local health services may support schools to address a service gap:
Resource for schools – Step by step guide:
Summary: a flowchart that guides schools through a sequence of steps to tailor their health and wellbeing approach. Each step has been mapped to the key principles that underpin successful health and wellbeing approaches.