Refugee leadership strategy

The Refugee Leadership Strategy 2017 - 2019 aimed to provide greater system support for schools with significant numbers of refugee students. As part of this strategy, Refugee Support Leader positions were established in high refugee settlement areas to support schools in meeting the needs of refugee students and families.

The Refugee Leadership Strategy was developed in response to unprecedented high numbers of refugee student enrolments in NSW government schools. Through the strategy, 18 Refugee Support Leaders (15.4 FTE) worked with principals in targeted schools to enhance existing provisions and support systems for refugee students.

Refugee Support Leaders:

  • collaborated with school leaders to use data to inform planning and implementation of whole school strategies to support refugee students
  • worked with schools to support refugee students through improved transition processes
  • worked with learning and support teams to implement personalised approaches to supporting refugee students
  • collaborated with school leaders and staff to provide opportunities and encourage refugee families and community members to participate in the life of the school
  • coordinated and delivered professional learning for school staff, including school leadership teams
  • promoted collaboration between schools and other government and non-government organisations supporting refugee students and families.

A preliminary evaluation of the Strategy, conducted in 2017 by the Department's Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) indicated that the strategy was having a highly positive impact in targeted schools. The evaluation found that the strategy significantly improved the confidence of principals and teachers at targeted schools in working with and supporting refugee students. There was strong agreement from staff and principals that their capacity in working with refugee students had been enhanced, and that cultural and environmental change had occurred within the schools engaged in the strategy.

On the basis of this positive evaluation, the Strategy was extended for a further 12 and then another 12 months: three years in total.

An evaluation of the Strategy has been conducted and an evaluation report will be published in 2020. The report will provide an outline of the impact and the learning from this Strategy over the years 2017 - 2019.

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