Professional learning and resources

Teachers and schools play an important role in supporting refugee students to recover from traumatic experiences and make up for lost time as a result of disrupted education.

Professional learning

Professional learning programs to assist teachers of refugee students include:

S.T.A.R.S. in Schools

S.T.A.R.S. in Schools: supporting students from refugee backgrounds – this 5 hour registered professional learning course helps schools to support the successful resettlement of refugee students, to promote effective teaching and learning and to assist school staff in responding with sensitivity and awareness to behavioural issues that may arise for refugee students. It is based on the STARS  framework, developed by UNICEF. STARS stands for Safety, Trust, Attachment, Responsibility and Skills.

Teaching students from a refugee background

This 20 hour registered professional learning program helps classroom teachers K-12 develop the skills and knowledge to effectively teach refugee students in mainstream classrooms. It also outlines specialist personnel, external agencies, training programs and resources available to support refugee students. Trained facilitators can assist in delivering training for schools.

STARTTS training programs

STARTTS is a specialist non-profit organisation, that partners with schools, to provide culturally appropriate psychological treatment and support for refugees and migrants who have experienced torture and trauma. STARTTS can provide training for school staff on issues related to refugees and refugee trauma through workshops, seminars or evening presentations. They also offer individual consultancy support to school counsellors.


The following resources support planning, teaching and learning in refugee education:


Roads to Refuge

Roads to Refuge website has teaching and learning resources for students in Years 5-12 and training materials for staff and community members. Roads to Refuge raises awareness of refugee journeys and settlement experiences through videos, case studies and classroom activities. This resource encourages people to get involved in supporting refugees in their school and community.

Refugee readiness audit

Refugee readiness audit (PDF 950KB) can help schools reflect on current practices.

Targeted support

Plan targeted support in primary and high schools:

Whole school approaches

Learn more about whole school approaches to supporting refugee students in the following case study videos:

Enrolment and orientationLearn more about effective enrolment and orientation processes.
Making students feel safeThe video making students feel safe shows how schools can use the STARS model.
English language supportThe video English language support shows how EAL/D teachers can support literacy and language development.
Bilingual supportWatch how bilingual support can be used to communicate with students and families.
Transition supportWatch how schools provide career and transition support.
Community partnershipsLearn more about how schools are developing community partnerships.

Ready Arrive Work

This resource assists high schools to deliver the Ready, Arrive, Work (RAW) program. It offers work readiness activities and strategies to engage EAL/D students in career planning, and learning more about local community organisations.

Refugee Council of Australia

The Refugee Council of Australia produces a number of resources for teachers to support refugee students, lesson plans, games and activities and other resources, as well as related information produced by other organisations.

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