Program guidelines

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the following sections:

Role of the school

Schools participating in the NSCP are to:

  • confirm, following consultation with their community, that participation in the National School Chaplaincy Program is supported by the school community
  • engage a school chaplain through a chaplaincy provider in line with the Department’s procurement processes
  • agree to appropriately acknowledge and recognise the roles of the Commonwealth and New South Wales in the content of any events, announcements, promotional material or publicity relating to activities under the National School Chaplaincy Program
  • meet reporting or Program evaluation requirements, as requested by the Department of Education.

Role of the Provider

Prequalified providers are to:

  • carry out the Program and ensure that services are provided according to the signed agreement with the Department of Education
  • work with schools to develop a program plan
  • arrange induction program for school chaplains that includes child protection awareness training and anaphylaxis training

Role of the school chaplain

School chaplains support the emotional wellbeing of students by providing:

  • pastoral care services, and
  • strategies developed in consultation with the relevant school staff and school principal that support the wellbeing of the broader school community, for example: coordinating volunteering activities and support, breakfast clubs, lunch time activities, excursions, school incursions, and parent/carer workshops.

Minimum requirements of the school chaplain

School chaplains appointed under the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) must meet the conditions of the Program, which are set out in the Agreement with the Commonwealth. These are:

  • participation by schools and students is voluntary
  • chaplains may be from any faith
  • chaplains must:
    • not proselytise
    • respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs
    • comply with the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW) and all related laws concerning child protection and
    • meet the NSCP’s minimum qualification requirements
    • Undertake training on bullying and cyberbullying provided by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner

The minimum qualification requirements for a chaplain are either a Certificate IV in Youth Work or Pastoral Care, or an equivalent qualification. The qualification must include competencies (or equivalent) in ‘mental health’ and ‘making appropriate referrals’.

In addition to meeting the NSCP’s minimum qualification requirements, a chaplain for the purposes of the NSCP is an individual who is recognised:

  • by the school community and the appropriate governing authority for the school as having the skills and experience to deliver school chaplaincy to the school community
  • through formal ordination, commissioning, recognised religious qualifications or endorsement by a recognised or accepted religious institution.

A title other than chaplain may be used, if the title is appropriate to the religious affiliation of the individual.

Endorsement of a chaplain by a recognised religious institution can be undertaken at a local level (e.g. a local church that is part of a larger entity), where appropriate.

Conduct of the school chaplain

Chaplains must comply with all relevant legal and policy requirements when operating in NSW schools. This includes meeting child protection and reporting obligations, as well as complying with sector and school policies, such as privacy, complaints and information management policies.

Contact details

For further information contact:

Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships

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