Expect the
unexpected.

What are we about? Our Mission

 (We are currently in the process of reviewing our aspirations - stay tuned. Our thinking is on display in the passageway of our school. Current vision and mission below)

Our mission is to graduate students who are environmentally responsible and internationally minded citizens connected to the local and global community.

They will be creative and inquisitive learners with 21st Century skills and high levels of achievement.

Our graduates will have the emotional intelligence to successfully participate in a multicultural and diverse society.

How can we help? Parent’s Corner

** 2021 PREP ENROLMENTS **

We are now accepting prep enrolments for 2021.

Please click the link below to complete our enrolment form. If you would prefer a hard copy pack, these can be collected from the front office. Due to the new restrictions in place, please call us on 8311-7100 to arrange a time for collection. 

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the front office.

Sunshine Heights Enrolment Form

  

** IMPORTANT **

At Sunshine Heights Primary School, we are committed to building strong, positive working relationships between the home and the school. The following documents provide parents with information about our school and our key learning priorities. Please contact the school if you require further information.

 

** ORDER SCHOOL UNIFORM **

As of 2018, student uniform will be sold online through RHS Sports.

Click on this link to access the online store: RHS Sports

 

** PRIVACY POLICY **

Department of Education's Schools Privacy policy (link below)

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Pages/schoolsprivacypolicy.aspx

Newsletters

      What will we learn? Curriculum

      At Sunshine Heights Primary School, we offer a balanced curriculum in line with ‘The Victorian Curriculum F-10’, which sets out what every student should learn during their first eleven years of schooling.

      The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills required by students for life-long learning, social development and active and informed citizenship. The Victorian Curriculum F–10 incorporates the Australian Curriculum and reflects Victorian priorities and standards. For information about ‘The Victorian Curriculum please visit: Victorian Curriculum.

      We are also focused on ensuring research based approaches underpin the understandings that students need to develop as a reader, writer and mathematicians.

      The way in which we believe students learn best at Sunshine Heights Primary School

      At Sunshine Heights Primary School, we believe students learn best when they are actively involved in learning experiences that focus on building understanding through explicit instruction using a problem solving approach. Students seek truth, information, and knowledge through questioning, investigating, exploring and reflecting.  We want our students to make sense of the world they are living in and the learning they are experiencing.

      The opportunities we offer ensure students take responsibility for their own learning while also being able to capture and explore moments of time that matter most to them. This is achieved through scaffolding/supporting student learning through explicit modelling and demonstration, that leads to students applying their new knowledge/communicating ideas and understandings in authentic experiences.

      Our goal is to provide the highest level of education for every child, every day. We achieve this by building an environment where teachers frequently talk with students, where teachers genuinely listen to students and where teachers recognise that all students have something to offer. These conversations are based around discussions that allow all students to demonstrate their potential and to celebrate their achievements.

      To ensure that we provide challenging and engaging learning experiences, we continually focus on better understanding the needs of every student and providing timely feedback and intervention.

      We expect our students to be curious, to be imaginative and to be creative. Our students will work collaboratively and be critical thinkers who learn to challenge different points of view.

      Our fundamental goal is to support the students to be literate and numerate, and be powerful and progressive learners. This includes focussing on the understandings and behaviours of an effective reader, writer and mathematician.

      To support our mission and philosophy of how students learn best, we also offer the following specialist subject areas for the students. This includes:

      The Arts

      The Arts

      The Arts program at Sunshine Heights Primary School focuses on allowing the students to see themselves as artist and as people who have ideas and stories inside of them that they can communicate through their work. This is achieved through allowing the students to be inquisitive learners who take risks, make independent creative choices, and understand how their art speaks beyond the classroom. Our Arts program consists of the following:

      • Visual Arts for students in Prep to 6
      • Performing Arts/Music for students in Prep to 6

      Spanish

      Spanish

      The Language program at Sunshine Heights Primary School focuses on strengthening the students understanding of the nature of language, culture, and the processes of communication. This is achieved through the teaching of the Spanish language and exposing the students to the many Spanish speaking countries from around the world. Our Spanish program is offered to students in Years Prep to 4. We also offer a Spanish extension program as well as extra festivities through the selection of a Spanish speaking country day. To add further depth to our Language program, we have also established a sister school relationship with 'Menéndez y Pelayo' which is located in Spain.

      Multimedia

      Multimedia

      The Multimedia program at Sunshine Heights Primary School is provided to students in Years 5 to 6 only. The purpose of this program is to use technology in its most powerful form. During the program students learn about how to communicate issues that are important to them and to share their stories/viewpoints via a digital platform.

      Physical Education

      Physical Education

      The Physical Education at Sunshine Heights Primary School is provided to all students in Years Prep to 6 and focuses on students  enhancing their own and others’ health and physical activity participation in varied and changing contexts. It offers students an experiential curriculum that is contemporary, relevant, challenging, enjoyable and physically active. The Physical Education program also includes:

      • Interschool sports for students in Years 5 and 6
      • Swimming Program
      • Athletics Day
      • Sports Day
      Sunshine Heights Primary School
      Sunshine Heights is a school that is underpinned by high expectations, professionalism, respect and a lot of fun and laughter!
      Alex Artavilla | Principal

      Information Toolkit Policies

      At Sunshine Heights Primary School, students are actively involved in learning experiences that focus on building understanding through explicit instruction using an inquiry approach.

      CHILD SAFE POLICY

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      OUR COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY

      Sunshine Heights Primary School, as an organization, is committed to child safety.

      We want children to be safe, happy and empowered. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. This includes staff and volunteers in organisations connected with the school such as Out of School Hours Care and providers of camps and excursions.

      We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children.

      We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.

      We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child's safety, which we follow rigorously.

      Our organisation is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.

      Our organisation has robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers.

      Our organisation is committed to regularly training and educating our staff and volunteers on child abuse risks. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.

      We have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.

      If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.

       

      OUR CHILDREN

      This policy is intended to empower children who are vital and active participants in our organisation. We involve them when making decisions, especially about matters that directly affect them. We listen to their views and respect what they have to say.

      We promote diversity and tolerance in our organisation, and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome. In particular we:

      • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal children

      • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds

      • ensure that children with a disability are safe and can participate equally.

       

      RESPONSIBILITIES

      Everyone employed or volunteering has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all students is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

      The school has allocated roles and responsibilities for child safety as follows:

      Guide to Responsibilities of School Leadership:

      The principal, the school governing authority and school leaders recognise their particular responsibility to ensure the development of preventative and proactive strategies that promote a culture of openness, awareness of and shared responsibility for child safety. Responsibilities include:

      • creating an environment for children and young people to be safe and to feel safe

      • upholding high principles and standards for all staff, volunteers, and contractors

      • promoting models of behaviour between adults and children and young people based on mutual respect and consideration

      • ensuring thorough and rigorous practices are applied in the recruitment, screening and ongoing professional learning of staff

      • ensuring that school personnel have regular and appropriate learning to develop their knowledge of, openness to and ability to address child safety matters

      • providing regular opportunities to clarify and confirm legislative obligations, policy and procedures in relation to child and young people’s protection and wellbeing

      • ensuring the school meets the specific requirements of the Victorian Child Safe Standards as set out in Ministerial Order No. 870.

       

      GUIDE TO RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCHOOL STAFF

      Responsibilities of school staff (school employees, volunteers and contractors) include:

      • treating children and young people with dignity and respect, acting with propriety, providing a duty of care, and protecting children and young people in their care

      • following the legislative and internal school processes in the course of their work, if they form a reasonable belief that a child or young person has been or is being abused or neglected

      • providing a physically and psychologically safe environment where the wellbeing of children and young people is nurtured

      • undertaking regular training and education in order to understand their individual responsibilities in relation to child safety and the wellbeing of children and young people

      • assisting children and young people to develop positive, responsible and caring attitudes and behaviours which recognise the rights of all people to be safe and free from abuse

      • following the school's Child Safety Code of Conduct.

       

      ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

      Step 1 - Responding to Concerns

      1. If your concerns relate to a child in need of immediate protection; or you have formed a belief that a child is at significant risk of harm*.

        Go to Step 4

      2. If you have significant concerns that a child and their family need a referral to Child FIRST for family services.

        Go to Step 3

      3. In all other situations

        Go to Step 2

       

      Step 2 - Forming a belief on reasonable grounds

      1. Consider the level of immediate danger to the child.

        Ask yourself:

        a) Have I formed a belief that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering significant harm? YES/NO

        b) Am I in doubt about the child's safety and the parent's ability to protect the child? YES / NO

      2. If you answered yes to a) or b)

        Go to step 4

      3. If you have significant concerns that a child and their family need a referral to Child FIRST for family services.

        Go to step 3

       

      Step 3 - Making a referral to Child FIRST

      Child Wellbeing Referral

      1. Contact your local Child FIRST provider.

      • See over for contact list for local Child FIRST phone numbers.

      Have notes ready with your observations and child and family details.

       

      Step 4 - Make a report to Child Protection

      Mandatory/Protective Report*

      1. Contact your local Child Protection Intake provider immediately.

        • See over for contact list for local Child Protection phone numbers.

        • For After Hours Child Protection Emergency Services, call

          131 278.

      2. Have notes ready with your observations and child and family details.

      *Non-mandated staff members who believe on reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection are able to report their concerns to Child Protection.

       

      OUR STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

      This policy guides our staff and volunteers on how to behave with children in our organisation.

      All of our staff and volunteers must agree to abide by our code of conduct which specifies the standards of conduct required when working with children. All staff and volunteers, as well as children and their families, are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of the code of conduct.

       

      TRAINING AND SUPERVISION

      Training and education is important to ensure that everyone in our organisation understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility.

      Our organisational culture aims for all staff and volunteers (in addition to parents/carers and children) to feel confident and comfortable in discussing any allegations of child abuse or child safety concerns. We train our staff and volunteers to identify, assess, and minimise risks of child abuse and to detect potential signs of child abuse.

      We also support our staff and volunteers through ongoing supervision to: develop their skills to protect children from abuse; and promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children

      from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds, and the safety of children with a disability.

      New employees and volunteers will be supervised regularly to ensure they understand our organisation's commitment to child safety and that everyone has a role to play in protecting children from abuse, as well as checking that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate. Any inappropriate behaviour will be reported through appropriate channels, including the Department of Health and Human Services and Victoria Police, depending on the severity and urgency of the matter.

       

      RECRUITMENT

      We take all reasonable steps to employ skilled people to work with children. We develop selection criteria and advertisements which clearly demonstrate our commitment to child safety and an awareness of our social and legislative responsibilities. Our organisation understands that when recruiting staff and volunteers we have ethical as well as legislative obligations.

      We actively encourage applications from Aboriginal peoples, people from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.

      All people engaged in child-related work, including volunteers, are required to hold a Working with Children Check and to provide evidence of this Check. This evidence is kept on file at the school. Please see the Working with Children Check website for further information.

       

      FAIR PROCEDURES FOR PERSONNEL

      The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern. We are also fair and just to personnel. The decisions we make when recruiting, assessing incidents, and undertaking disciplinary action will always be thorough, transparent, and based on evidence.

      We promote diversity and tolerance in our organisation, and people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds are welcome. For our personnel, this means that we:

      • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal peoples

      • promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of people from culturally and/or linguistically

      • diverse backgrounds ensure that people with a disability are safe and can participate equally.

       

      PRIVACY

      All personal information considered or recorded will respect the privacy of the individuals involved, whether they be staff, volunteers, parents or children, unless there is a risk to someone’s safety. We have safeguards and practices in place to ensure any personal information is protected. Everyone is entitled to know how this information is recorded, what will be done with it, and who will have access to it.

       

      LEGISLATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

      Our organisation takes our legal responsibilities seriously, including:
      Failure to disclose: Reporting child sexual abuse is a community-wide responsibility. All adults in Victoria who have a reasonable belief that an adult has committed a sexual offence against a child under 16 have an obligation to report that information to the police.

      Failure to protect: People of authority in our organisation will commit an offence if they know of a substantial risk of child sexual abuse and have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk, but negligently fail to do so. Any personnel who are mandatory reporters must comply with their duties.

       

      RISK MANAGEMENT

      In Victoria, organisations are required to protect children when a risk is identified (see information about failure to protect above). In addition to general occupational health and safety risks, we proactively manage risks of abuse to our children.

      We have risk management strategies in place to identify, assess, and take steps to minimise child abuse risks, which include risks posed by physical environments (for example, any doors that can lock), and online environments (for example, no staff or volunteer is to have contact with a child in organisations on social media).

       

      REGULAR REVIEW

      This policy will be reviewed every two years and following significant incidents if they occur. We will ensure that families and children have the opportunity to contribute. Where possible we do our best to work with local Aboriginal communities, culturally and/or linguistically diverse communities and people with a disability.

       

      ALLEGATIONS, CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS

      Our organisation takes all allegations seriously and has practices in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. Our staff and volunteers are trained to deal appropriately with allegations.

      We work to ensure all children, families, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour. We all have a responsibility to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place (see information about failure to disclose above). If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred then they must report the incident. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may be:

      • a child states they or someone they know has been abused (noting that sometimes the child may in fact be referring to themselves)

      • behaviour consistent with that of an abuse victim is observed

      STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT TO CHILD SAFETY

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      Sunshine Heights Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School has zero tolerance for child abuse.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

      Every person involved in Sunshine Heights Primary School has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

      In its planning, decision-making and operations Sunshine Heights Primary School will:

      1. Take a preventative, proactive and participatory approach to child safety;
      2. Value and empower children to participate in decisions which affect their lives;
      3. Foster a culture of openness that supports all persons to safely disclose risks of harm to children
      4. Respect diversity in cultures and child rearing practices while keeping child safety paramount;
      5. Provide written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children;
      6. Engage only the most suitable people to work with children and have high quality staff and volunteer supervision and professional development;
      7. Ensure children know who to talk with if they are worried or are feeling unsafe, and that they are comfortable and encouraged to raise such issues;
      8. Report suspected abuse, neglect or mistreatment promptly to the appropriate authorities;
      9. Share information appropriately and lawfully with other organisations where the safety and wellbeing of children is at risk; and
      10. Value the input of and communicate regularly with families and carers.

      CHILD SAFETY CODE OF CONDUCT

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      Sunshine Heights Primary School is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. Our school community recognises the importance of, and a responsibility for, ensuring our school is a safe, supportive and enriching environment which respects and fosters the dignity and self-esteem of children and young people, and enables them to thrive in their learning and development.

      This Code of Conduct aims to protect children and reduce any opportunities for child abuse or harm to occur. It also assists in understanding how to avoid or better manage risky behaviours and situations. It is intended to complement child protection legislation, Department policy, school policies and procedures and professional standards, codes or ethics as these apply to staff and other personnel.

      The Principal and school leaders of Sunshine Heights Primary School will support implementation and monitoring of the Code of Conduct, and will plan, implement and monitor arrangements to provide inclusive, safe and orderly schools and other learning environments. The Principal and school leaders will also provide information and support to enable the Code of Conduct to operate effectively.

      All staff, contractors, volunteers and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work are required to comply with the Code of Conduct by observing expectations for appropriate behaviour below. The Code of Conduct applies in all school situations, including school camps and in the use of digital technology and social media.

       

      ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOURS

      As staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work individually, we are responsible for supporting and promoting the safety of children by:

      • upholding the school's statement of commitment to child safety at all times and adhering to the school's child safe policy.
      • treating students and families in the school community with respect both within the school environment and outside the school environment as part of normal social and community activities.
      • listening and responding to the views and concerns of students, particularly if they are telling you that they or another child has been abused or that they are worried about their safety/the safety of another child
      • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
      • promoting the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of students with culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
      • promoting the safety, participation and empowerment of students with a disability
      • reporting any allegations of child abuse or other child safety concerns to the school's leadership
      • understanding and complying with all reporting or disclosure obligations (including mandatory reporting) as they relate to protecting children from harm or abuse.
      • if child abuse is suspected, ensuring as quickly as possible that the student(s) are safe and protected from harm.

       

      UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOURS

      As staff, volunteers, contractors, and any other member of the school community involved in child-related work we must not:

      • ignore or disregard any concerns, suspicions or disclosures of child abuse
      • develop a relationship with any student that could be seen as favouritism or amount to 'grooming' behaviour (for example, offering gifts)
      • exhibit behaviours or engage in activities with students which may be interpreted as abusive and not justified by the educational, therapeutic, or service delivery context
      • ignore behaviours by other adults towards students when they appear to be overly familiar or inappropriate
      • discuss content of an intimate nature or use sexual innuendo with students, except where it occurs relevantly in the context of parental guidance, delivering the education curriculum or a therapeutic setting
      • treat a child unfavourably because of their disability, age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability, sexuality or ethnicity.
      • communicate directly with a student through personal or private contact channels (including by social media, email, instant messaging, texting etc) except where that communication is reasonable in all the circumstances, related to school work or extra-curricular activities or where there is a safety concern or other urgent matter
      • photograph or video a child in a school environment except in accordance with school policy or where required for duty of care purposes
      • in the school environment or at other school events where students are present, consume alcohol contrary to school policy or take illicit drugs under any circumstances.

      ENROLMENT POLICY

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      Current status (to be read in conjunction with the policy – see below):

      Sunshine Heights Primary School is currently under significant enrolment pressure and consequently will give preference in enrolment to students residing in our boundaries and siblings (see below for more information) as determined by DET. We have an additional set of principles and procedures for students enrolling from outside of our boundaries.

       

      The process for enrolment at Sunshine Heights Primary School for 2021 include:

      • All students will be enrolled for whom the school is the designated neighborhood Government school. Refer to https://www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au
      • All students with a sibling that is currently enrolled and lives at the same permanent address.

       

      The process that we will be following for families that do not live in the designated neighborhood boundary or do not have a sibling at the same address includes:

       

      • Students will be placed on a waiting list.
      • The selection of students will be made based on the order of closeness from their home to the school.
      • We will endeavor to communicate available spaces by the end of October to allow the students to participate in the transition program. It is important to note that we also need to keep spaces open for late enrolments of students that live in the designated boundary or have siblings.

       

      Note: Families must provide proof of residential address including a current rates notice, proof of residential purchase documentation, driver’s license, two current utility bills, and/or rental agreements. A statutory declaration may form part of this documentation. Addresses provided may be checked on the electoral roll.

       

      Purpose of the School Enrolment and Placement Policy:

       

      To ensure students have access to their designated neighborhood Government school and the freedom to choose other schools subject to facility limitations and equitable, consistent, transparent and accountable application of placement criteria. As a school within the Victorian public school sector, our school will comply with all government and department enrolment requirements.

      A school’s enrolment capacity is the number of students that can be accommodated within the school’s grounds, facilities and infrastructure as determined by the Regional Director.  Enrolment capacity is subject to change.  In determining an individual school’s enrolment capacity, a range of factors are considered by the department including maximisation of effective use of teaching learning and ancillary spaces. 

       

      Implementation of the policy:

       

      The enrolment policy of the school will take into account all requirements of laws relating to discrimination, equal opportunity, privacy and immunisation. It will be an inclusive school and it will provide programs for all enrollees. A Disability and Impairment Program will cater for students who have special learning needs.

      An eligible child of compulsory school age is entitled to be enrolled at his or her designated Government school.  A child may enrol at a Government school that is not their designated Government school if there is sufficient accommodation for the child at the school.

      The Regional Director has the authority to effect placement of students and determine the enrolment capacity of Government Schools.

      The Regional Director may approve a change to an enrolment boundary due to pressure on enrolment capacity. 

      The priority order of placement as set out below will be applied:

       

      • When the number of enrolment applications exceeds the number of places available and enrolment capacity has been reached students will be enrolled in the following priority order:
      1. Students for whom the school is the designated neighborhood Government school. Refer to map.
      2. Students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time.
      3. All other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.
      4. In exceptional circumstances, students who can demonstrate compassionate grounds.

       

      All students have the right to enrol in their designated neighbourhood government school. You can find out if Sunshine Heights Primary School is your designated school by visiting: https://www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au

       

      All schools follow the Department of Education’s Enrolment Policy: https://www2.education.vic.gov.au/pal/enrolment/policy

       

      To ensure that we are able to accommodate all students in our neighbourhood, we also follow the Department of Education’s Placement Policy.  This Policy outlines the priority order of enrolling student’s outside of our neighbourhood:

      https://www2.education.vic.gov.au/pal/enrolment/guidance/placement-policy

       

      Please click the link below to complete our enrolment form

      https://www.sunshineheightsps.vic.edu.au/assets/4ce858a7bf/Sunshine-Heights-Enrolment-Form.docx

       

      If you would like a hard copy enrolment pack or have any questions please phone the school on 03 8311 7100 or email sunshine.heights.ps@education.vic.gov.au

       

      Definitions:

       

      A neighborhood boundary shows the relationship between schools and defies the geographic area/neighborhood served by each school. 

       

      A designated neighborhood Government school is the school that is nearest the students’ permanent residence, unless the Regional Director:

      • needs to restrict new enrolments at the school due to pressure on enrolment capacity; and therefore
      • has designated a neighborhood zone for the school

       

      Designated neighborhood zone is the geographic area served by a school after the Regional Director has approved a change to the enrolment boundary due to pressure on enrolment capacity.

       

      Review of policy and enrolment procedures:

      An enrolment register will be maintained.

      The enrolment register will be kept up to date by a dedicated member of the school office staff 

      Changes to the register will be done regularly to reflect current student numbers and movement of students into and out of the school.

      HOMEWORK POLICY

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      RATIONALE

      Homework is seen as one way of supporting and fostering lifelong learning and connecting families with the learning of their children. There are a variety of activities that complement classroom teaching and help students to be responsible for their own learning.

       

      EXPECTATION

      All students will be provided with books each week to take home as well as other homework suggestions throughout the year. We understand the importance for families to have sufficient time for family, cultural pursuits, sport and recreation, and while our school encourages and supports homework practices, homework is optional. Parents should contact their child's teacher if they have questions or concerns about this or anything else to do with homework.

       

      AIMS

      • To build on the school/home partnership

      • To support, extend and apply classroom learning

      • To develop the responsibility for self-learning.

       

      IMPLEMENTATION

      The Homework Policy will be made available to parents at the commencement of each school year.

       

      Parental Involvement:

      At Sunshine Heights Primary School, we encourage parents to play an active role in their child’s education.

      Homework is an opportunity for parents to learn more about what their child is doing at school and for students to share their learning with their parents. The homework policy allows parents to play an active role in their child's learning.

      To support your child with their homework and learning you can:

      • Read and write in front of your child or with them

      • Involve them in learning opportunities during everyday household routines and physical activity

      • Play a game with your child that allows them to practice what they have learned at school

      • Go to the library with your child

      • Help your child set up a consistent, organised place for homework to be done

      • Help your child develop a consistent schedule for completing homework

      • Encourage, motivate and prompt your child. Remember that the purpose of homework is for your child to practise and use what he/she has learned

      • Contact your child's teacher for advice if your child is consistently having difficulties completing their homework

      • Ensure there is a balance between the time spent on homework and recreational activities

      • Discuss homework with your child in your first language and link it to previous experiences

      • Link homework and other learning activities to your families' culture, history and language, linking with relevant services, clubs, associations and community groups

      • If your child is practising a skill, ask them to tell you which steps are easy, which are difficult, or how he/she is going to improve. If your child is doing a project, ask them what knowledge he/she is applying in the project. If your child is not able to consistently talk about the knowledge they are practising or using, contact your child's teacher

      • If bedtime comes before your child has completed their homework, finish up the homework to ensure your child gets a good night's sleep

       

      Students:

      • Students can take responsibility for their own learning by:

      • Accepting responsibility for the completion of homework tasks within set time frames

      • Following up on comments made by teachers

      • Seeking assistance when difficulties arise

      • Discussing homework expectations with their parents

      • Organising their time to manage home obligations, participation in physical activity and sports and recreational and cultural activities.

       

      Teacher's Role

      • To provide homework as per the policy.

      • Monitor the homework. This includes providing feedback to students. The type of monitoring and feedback will vary depending the task, purpose of the task, expected outcome, student etc. Prep, Years 1 & 2 teachers may use the reading log to communicate with parents.

      • Teachers will be sensitive to the family's circumstances that may impact on a student completing their homework.

      • Each teacher sets their own homework so the amount may vary between classes and subjects.

       

      Year Prep - Two

      Homework tasks may include:

      • Reading activities to, with and by parents

      • Suggested enrichment activities for parents to engage in with their children

      • Tasks may be modified for students requiring Individual Learning Plans

      • Activities will generally not exceed 15 minutes per day.

       

      Year Three and Four

      The purpose and the expected outcome of homework tasks will be clearly communicated.

      Homework tasks may include:

      • Independent reading on a daily basis.

      • Spelling tasks - the words will be selected from the student's writing.  The students will select the words and practice them using Look, Say, Name, Cover, Write, Check.  Words that students spell incorrectly will be included in their new list.

      • Activities will generally not exceed 20 minutes per day.

       

      Year Five and Six

      The purpose and the expected outcome of homework tasks will be clearly communicated. The purpose of homework in Year 5 and 6 is to develop good work habits, time management and organisational skills in order to prepare students for secondary education. A homework diary will be used to provide regular communication between the parents and the school.

      Homework tasks may include:

      • Independent reading on a daily basis

      • Literacy based tasks to support classroom learning

      • Numeracy based tasks to support classroom learning

      • Projects/research

      • Tasks may be modified for students requiring Individual Learning Plans

      • Activities will generally not exceed 30 minutes per day.

      Teachers may suggest students complete unfinished classroom activities at home. When students complete their work, it gives them a sense of achievement and builds on their self-esteem for future learning. We value and celebrate all students’ attempts at continuing their learning outside of school.

       

      WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF MY CHILD DOES NOT COMPLETE THEIR HOMEWORK?

      While the school encourages and supports homework practices, it is optional for students to complete. Students will not be kept inside during recess or lunch to complete unfinished homework tasks. Teachers will contact parents if they have any concerns regarding homework tasks.

      Support is provided to students and their families throughout the year via conversations with teachers, during parent and teacher interviews, newsletters, Literacy and Numeracy tips, parent information sessions etc.

       

      EVALUATION

      This policy will be reviewed as part of the school's review cycle

      Policy ratified by School Council in November 2020

      Policy to be reviewed in 2020

      ISSUE RESOLUTION POLICY

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      BACKGROUND

      Children learn best when parents and the school work together. From time to time problems arise for a variety of reasons. This policy explains how Parents can work with the school to solve the problem.

       

      PURPOSE

      • To provide a safe and supportive learning and working environment

      • To build positive relationships between students, parents, teachers and other staff

      • To provide guidance on how to raise an issue and on the procedure that will be implemented to provide a resolution

      • To resolve issues by working in partnership with students, parents, teachers, other staff, Primary Welfare Officer, Leadership Team and Principal

      • The school is constantly trying to improve. When issues are raised, they are regarded as a source of feedback

       

      DEFINITION OF AN 'ISSUE'

      Concern: A perceived matter that is raised to clarify, improve or change a situation. For example, "I believe that...,I think that the school should..."

      Complaint: A perceived grievance or disagreement that requires resolution. For example, "My child has a problem with... and I want it resolved."

       

      GUIDELINES

      In the first instance, parents should approach teachers to resolve issues relating to student learning and specific student incidents in the teachers' class.

      Parents should approach Professional Learning Team Leaders (see below) to resolve issues when students from other classes are involved or if it is a decision that has been made in relation to all of the grades in that level.

      2019 Professional Learning Team Leaders

      Level 1 (Grade Prep): Sally Fowler
      Level 2 (Grade 1/2): Tania Kilkenny 
      Level 2 (Grade 3): Jenny Lupo
      Level 3 (Grade 4): Shannon Taylor
      Level 4 (Grade 5/6): Sam Allardice
      Specialist: Francine Sculli

      Leadership Team:
      Sharon Noel - Primary Welfare Officer
       Sally Fowler - Learning Specialist
      Sonia Papadopoulos - School Based Coach 
      Jacinta Goldie - Whole School Improvement Coach

      Parents should approach members of the Leadership team to resolve issues that have not been dealt with successfully by the teacher or Professional Learning Team Leader. Issues relating to staff members or complex student issues can also be referred to members of the Leadership team.

      Parents should approach the Principal to resolve issues that cannot be resolved by the Leadership team and issues relating to school policy, management, staff members or complex student issues.

       

      PROCEDURE

      When you approach the school or child's teacher:

      • be clear about the topic or issue you want to discuss

      • focus on the things that genuinely affect your child

      • be prepared to discuss the issue in an open and calm manner

      • think about what an acceptable outcome would be for you and your child

       

      EXPECTATIONS

      The school will:

      • attempt to resolve the issue promptly, as soon as possible after the issue occurs

      • provide complete and factual information about the issue

      • maintain and respect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties

      • acknowledge that the common goal is to achieve an outcome acceptable to all parties

      • act in good faith and in a courteous manner

      • show respect and understanding of each other's point of view and value difference rather than judge and blame

      • resolve issues in accordance with due process, principles of natural justice and the regulatory framework of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

      • provide feedback that shows that the issue has been heard and that it has been addressed

       

      IMPLEMENTATION

      The issues resolution policy will be sent home to all families at the start of the school year or during the enrolment process.

      The policy will be placed on the school website.

      Parents will be periodically reminded of the policy and procedures in relation to issues resolution.

       

      EVALUATION

      A random parent survey will be sent home once a year.

      Parents are invited to provide feedback to the principal throughout the year.

      Feedback from teachers will be sought.

      DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES POLICY

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      Purpose: 

      To ensure that all students and members of our school community understand:

      1. our commitment to providing students with the opportunity to benefit from digital technologies to support and enhance learning and development at school, including Xuno, WebEx and Seesaw as learning and reflection tools
      2. expected student behaviour when using digital technologies including the internet, social media, and digital devices (including computers, laptops, tablets, phones, smart watches and fitness trackers)
      3. the school’s commitment to promoting safe, responsible and discerning use of digital technologies, and educating students on appropriate responses to any dangers or threats to wellbeing that they may encounter when using the internet and digital technologies
      4. our school’s policies and procedures for responding to inappropriate student behaviour on digital technologies and the internet

       

      Scope:

      This policy applies to all students at Sunshine Heights Primary School

      Staff use of technology is governed by the Department’s Acceptable Use Policy – note that not all school have a local policy and there is no requirement to have one].

       

      Definitions:

      For the purpose of this policy, “digital technologies” are defined as being any networks, systems, software or hardware including electronic devices and applications which allow a user to access, receive, view, record, store, communicate, copy or send any information such as text, images, audio, or video.

       

       

      Policy:

      Vision for digital technology at our school

      Sunshine Heights Primary School understands that safe and appropriate use of digital technologies including the internet, apps, computers and tablets provide students with rich opportunities to support learning and development in a range of ways.

      Through increased access to digital technologies, students can benefit from enhanced learning that is interactive, collaborative, personalised and engaging. Digital technologies enable our students to interact with and create high quality content, resources and tools. It also enables personalised learning tailored to students’ particular needs and interests and transforms assessment, reporting and feedback, driving new forms of collaboration and communication.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School believes that the use of digital technologies at school allows the development of valuable skills and knowledge and prepares students to thrive in our globalised and inter-connected world. Our school’s vision is to empower students to use digital technologies safely and appropriately to reach their personal best and fully equip them to contribute positively to society as happy, healthy young adults.

       

      Safe and appropriate use of digital technologies

      Digital technology, if not used appropriately, may present risks to users’ safety or wellbeing. Sunshine Heights Primary School is committed to educating all students to be safe, responsible and discerning in the use of digital technologies, equipping them with skills and knowledge to navigate the digital age.

      At Sunshine Heights Primary School, we:

      • use online sites and digital tools that support students’ learning, and focus our use of digital technologies on being learning-centred
      • restrict the use of digital technologies in the classroom to specific uses with targeted educational or developmental aims
      • supervise and support students using digital technologies in the classroom
      • effectively and responsively address any issues or incidents that have the potential to impact on the wellbeing of our students
      • have programs in place to educate our students to be promoting safe, responsible and discerning use of digital technologies
      • educate our students about digital issues such as online privacy, intellectual property and copyright, and the importance of maintaining their own privacy online
      • actively educate and remind students of our Student Engagement policy that outlines our School’s values and expected student behaviour, including online behaviours
      • use clear protocols and procedures to protect students working in online spaces, which includes reviewing the safety and appropriateness of online tools and communities, removing offensive content at earliest opportunity
      • educate our students on appropriate responses to any dangers or threats to wellbeing that they may encounter when using the internet and other digital technologies
      • provide a filtered internet service to block access to inappropriate content
      • refer suspected illegal online acts to the relevant law enforcement authority for investigation
      • support parents and carers to understand safe and responsible use of digital technologies and the strategies that can be implemented at home through regular updates in our newsletter and annual information sheets.

      It is the responsibility of all students to protect their own password and not divulge it to another person. If a student or staff member knows or suspects an account has been used by another person, the account holder must notify the principal immediately.

      All messages created, sent or retrieved on the school’s network are the property of the school. The school reserves the right to access and monitor all messages and files on the computer system, as necessary and appropriate. Communications including text and images may be required to be disclosed to law enforcement and other third parties without the consent of the sender.

       

      Student behavioural expectations

      When using digital technologies, students are expected to behave in a way that is consistent with Sunshine Heights Primary School’s Statement of Values, Student Wellbeing and Engagement policy, and Bullying Prevention policy.

      When a student acts in breach of the behaviour standards of our school community (including cyberbullying, using digital technologies to harass, threaten or intimidate, or viewing/posting/sharing of inappropriate or unlawful content), Sunshine Heights Primary School will institute a staged response, consistent with our policies and the Department’s Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidelines.

      Breaches of this policy by students can result in a number of consequences which will depend on the severity of the breach and the context of the situation.  This includes:

      • removal of network access privileges
      • removal of email privileges
      • removal of internet access privileges
      • removal of printing privileges

      Review Cycle

      This policy was last updated on April 2020 and is scheduled for review in April 2022.

       

      ATTENDANCE POLICY

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      PURPOSE

      The purpose of this policy is to:

      • ensure all children of compulsory school age are enrolled in a registered school and attend school every day the school is open for instruction
      • ensure students, staff and parents/carers have a shared understanding of the importance of attending school
      • explain to school staff and parents the key practices and procedures Sunshine Heights Primary School has in place to
        • support, monitor and maintain student attendance
        • record, monitor and follow up student absences.

       

      SCOPE

      This policy applies to all students at Sunshine Heights Primary School.

      This policy should be read in conjunction with the Department of Education and Training’s School Attendance Guidelines. It does not replace or change the obligations of Sunshine Heights Primary School, parents and School Attendance Officers under legislation or the School Attendance Guidelines.

       

      DEFINITION

      Parent – includes a guardian and every person who has parental responsibility for the child, including parental responsibility under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and any person with whom a child normally or regularly resides.

       

      POLICY

      Schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 to 17 years (unless an exemption from attendance or enrolment has been granted).

      Daily attendance is important for all children and young people to succeed in education and to ensure they do not fall behind both socially and developmentally. School participation maximises life opportunities for children and young people by providing them with education and support networks. School helps people to develop important skills, knowledge and values that set them up for further learning and participation in their community. 

      Students are expected to attend Sunshine Heights Primary School during normal school hours every day of each term unless:

      • there is an approved exemption from school attendance for the student
      • the student has a dual enrolment with another school and has only a partial enrolment in Sunshine Heights Primary School, or
      • the student is registered for home schooling and has only a partial enrolment in Sunshine Heights Primary School for particular activities.

      Both schools and parents have an important role to play in supporting students to attend school every day.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School believes all students should attend school all day, every day when the school is open for instruction and is committed to working with its school community to encourage and support full school attendance.

      Our school will identify individual students or cohorts who are vulnerable and whose attendance is at risk and/or declining and will work with these students and their parents to improve their attendance through a range of interventions and supports.

      Students are committed to attending school every day, arriving on time and are prepared to learn. Our students are encouraged to approach a teacher and seek assistance if there are any issues that are affecting their attendance.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School parents are committed to ensuring their child/children attend school on time every day when instruction is offered, to communicating openly with the school and providing valid explanations for any absence.

      Parents will communicate with the relevant staff at Sunshine Heights Primary School about any issues affecting their child’s attendance and work in partnership with the school to address any concerns.

      Parents will provide a reasonable explanation for their child’s absence from school and endeavour to schedule family holidays, appointments and other activities outside of school hours.

       

      SUPPORTING AND PROMOTING ATTENDANCE

      Sunshine Heights Primary School’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy supports student attendance.

      Our school also promotes student attendance by: [insert details of attendance focused programs at your school, e.g. breakfast clubs or other school programs designed to support attendance]

       

      RECORDING ATTENDANCE

      Sunshine Heights Primary School must record student attendance twice per day. This is necessary to:

      • meet legislative requirements
      • discharge Sunshine Heights Primary School’s duty of care for all students

      Attendance will be recorded by the classroom teacher or specialist teacher at the start of the school day and after lunch] using eCASES.

      If students are in attendance at a school approved activity, the teacher in charge of the activity will record them as being present.

       

      RECORDING ABSENCES

      For absences where there is no exemption in place, a parent must provide an explanation on each occasion to the school.

      Parents should notify Sunshine Heights Primary School of absences by contacting reception.

      If a student is absent on a particular day and the school has not been previously notified by a parent, or the absence is otherwise unexplained, Sunshine Heights Primary School will notify parents by SMS. Sunshine Heights Primary School will attempt to contact parents as soon as practicable on the same day of the unexplained absence, allowing time for the parent to respond.

      If contact cannot be made with the parent (due to incorrect contact details), the school will attempt to make contact, as soon as practicable, with any emergency contact/s nominated on the student's file held by the school, where possible, on the day of the unexplained absence.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School will keep a record of the reason given for each absence.  The principal will determine if the explanation provided is a reasonable excuse for the purposes of the parent meeting their responsibilities under the Education Training Reform Act 2006 and the School Attendance Guidelines.

      If Sunshine Heights Primary School considers that the parent has provided a reasonable excuse for their child’s absence the absence will be marked as ‘excused absence’.

      If the school determines that no reasonable excuse has been provided, the absence will be marked as ‘unexcused absence’.

      The Principal has the discretion to accept a reason given by a parent for a student’s absence.  The Principal will generally excuse:

      • medical and dental appointments, where out of hours appointments are not possible or appropriate
      • bereavement or attendance at the funeral of a relative or friend of the student, including a student required to attend Sorry Business
      • school refusal, if a plan is in place with the parent to address causes and support the student’s return to school
      • cultural observance if the parent/carer notifies the school in advance
      • family holidays where the parent notifies the school in advance

      If no explanation is provided by the parent within 10 school days of an absence, it will be recorded as an ‘unexplained absence’ and recorded on the student’s file.

      Parents will be notified if an absence has not been excused.

       

      MANAGING NON-ATTENDANCE AND SUPPORTING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

      Where absences are of concern due to their nature or frequency, or where a student has been absent for more than five days, Sunshine Heights Primary School will work collaboratively with parents, the student, and other professionals, where appropriate, to develop strategies to improve attendance, including:

      • establishing an Attendance Student Support Group
      • implementing a Return to School Plan
      • implementing an Individual Education Plan
      • implementing a Student Absence Learning Plan for students who will be absent for an extended period
      • arranging for assistance from relevant professionals including Student Wellbeing Leader , SSO staff and regional support as required

      We understand from time to time that some students will need additional supports and assistance, and in collaboration with the student and their family, will endeavour to provide this support when it is required,

       

      REFERRAL TO SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OFFICER

      If Sunshine Heights Primary School decides that it has exhausted strategies for addressing a student’s unsatisfactory attendance, we may, in accordance with the School Attendance Guidelines refer the non-attendance to a School Attendance Officer in the South Western Region for further action.

      If, from multiple attempts to contact with a parent, it becomes apparent that a student will not be returning to the school, the principal may make a referral to a School Attendance Officer if:

      • the student has been absent from school on at least five full days in the previous 12 months where:
        • the parent has not provided a reasonable excuse for these absences; and
        • measures to improve the student's attendance have been undertaken and have been unsuccessful
      • the student’s whereabouts are unknown and:
        • the student has been absent for 10 consecutive school days; or
        • no alternative education destination can be found for the student.

       

      MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

       

      REVIEW CYCLE AND EVALUATION 

      This policy was last updated on February 2019 and is scheduled for review in February 2021

      DOG POLICY

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      PURPOSE

       To explain to our school community the rules and procedures we have in place in relation to dogs attending our school grounds.

       

      POLICY

      ASSISTANCE DOGS

      Sunshine Heights Primary School understands its obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) and will make reasonable adjustments for members of our school community with a disability who require an ‘assistance animal’ to help alleviate the effects of their disability.  Assistance animals are permitted to attend our school with their handler. Our school principal can lawfully ask a person to produce evidence that an animal:

      • is trained specifically to assist a person alleviate the effects of a disability (eg seeing eye dogs)
      • meets standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a school environment.

      We understand that in some circumstances, students may require an assistance animal to attend school to help them to participate in their educational program. Sunshine Heights Primary School will consider a request by a student with a disability to allow an assistance animal to attend school with them on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the principal.

       

      PET DOGS

      Sunshine Heights Primary School is not a public place, and our principal has the authority to permit or decline entry to school grounds and impose conditions of entry.

      Whilst Sunshine Heights Primary School understands that many families in our school community keep dogs as pets, to ensure that our school remains a safe and inclusive place for everyone, pet dogs are not permitted on school grounds under any circumstances.

      Our school community is diverse, and may include people that are allergic or uncomfortable around dogs. We are also conscious of the health hazards that may be posed by dogs. We ask that families please leave their pet dogs at home or safely tether them (at a safe distance) outside school grounds when attending our school or school events. 

       

      STRAY DOGS

      Unaccompanied or stray dogs sighted at our school should be reported immediately to the school office. School staff will contact municipal authorities and/or Victoria police for assistance in managing and removing a stray dog from school grounds, and ensure staff and students remain safe at school.

       

       

      RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES

      [Insert links to your school’s Duty of Care and Visitors policies].

      EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

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      OVERVIEW

      The Department of Education and Training (the Department) is committed to a diverse workforce and ensuring that all Department workplaces are free from discrimination and harassment. As such the Department is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing a safe environment where all employees are treated fairly and with dignity.

      Equal employment opportunity at the Department is about:

      • freedom from discrimination and harassment
      • merit selection focusing on essential job requirements
      • respect for diversity
      • good people management

      These form the core elements of the Department’s Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination Policy. They recognise and value the diversity of our community, enable the attraction of the best skills from a wide talent pool and ensure that employees can realise their potential with the Department.

      The objective of this Policy is to ensure that people are treated as individuals, respected for their unique attributes and not excluded, harassed or bullied in any way, through unconscious bias, stereotypes or unlawful actions that may form the basis of discrimination, harassment, vilification or victimisation. 

      The Department will not condone or tolerate victimisation, vilification, discrimination or harassment.

       

      SCOPE

      This Policy applies to all Department employees in schools, central and regional offices, including:

      • the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries
      • Executive officers, managers and principals
      • employees (full-time, part-time, ongoing, fixed term, casual)

      The Policy applies to all of the Department’s workplaces, including any location that employees may be considered to be carrying out work on behalf of the Department that is in the course of their employment.

       

      LEGAL FRAMEWORK

       

      Equal opportunity is a requirement under both Victorian and Commonwealth legislation. In Victoria, the key legislation which makes it unlawful to discriminate is the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic).

      Other relevant laws in Victoria are the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) and the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic).

      The Public Administration Act 2004 (Vic) outlines the values, employment principles and standards that apply to public officials and all public sector employers.  Under this Act, the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner must promote the public sector values and principles and issue standards concerning the application of the principles. The principle of equal employment opportunity is a binding standard and should be read alongside Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner

      At the Commonwealth level, there is a range of legislation which provides for equal opportunity, including the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth).

      Both Commonwealth and Victorian equal opportunity legislation apply to the Department as an employer and to Department employees.

       

      DEFINITIONS

      DISCRIMINATION

      Discrimination is unfavourable treatment of a person in an area of public life (such as in employment and education) due to one of the following protected attributes:

      • age
      • breastfeeding
      • carer and parental status
      • disability
      • employment activity
      • gender identity (which includes gender expression)
      • industrial activity
      • intersex status
      • lawful sexual activity
      • marital or relationship status
      • physical features
      • political belief or activity
      • pregnancy
      • race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity and ethnic origin)
      • religious belief or activity
      • sex
      • sexual orientation
      • expunged homosexual conviction
      • personal association with anyone who is identified by reference to any of the above protected attributes

      Both State and Federal legislation prohibit direct and indirect discrimination.

      Direct discrimination is when a person or group of people treats, or proposes to treat, a person with a protected attribute unfavourably, because of that attribute.  In determining whether a person directly discriminates, it is irrelevant whether or not the attribute is the only, or dominant reason for the unfavourable treatment, provided that it is a substantial reason.

      Indirect discrimination occurs if a person imposes or proposes to impose, an unreasonable requirement, condition or practice that has, or is likely to have, the effect of disadvantaging persons or groups of people with a protected attribute.  Whether a requirement, condition or practice (or proposed requirement, condition or practice) is reasonable depends on all relevant circumstances.

       

      SEXUAL HARASSMENT

      Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature towards another person which could reasonably be expected to make that other person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal, visual or written.

      Sexual harassment is an unacceptable form of behaviour that will not be tolerated under any circumstances.  Refer to the Department’s Sexual Harassment Policy on A-Z HRWeb.

       

      VICTIMISATION

      It is unlawful for a person to subject or to threaten to subject another person to any detriment because the other person, or someone associated with the other person, has made an allegation or complaint of discrimination or harassment on the basis of a protected attribute and/or asserted their rights under this Policy or other relevant legislation.

       

      VILIFICATION

      Vilification is when a person engages in conduct that incites hatred towards, serious contempt for, or revulsion or severe ridicule of, a person or group of people on the basis of race or religion. This can occur through a single act or a number of acts over a period of time.

       

      POSITIVE DUTY

      The Department has a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination, sexual or other forms of harassment and victimisation from the workplace. This means for example, taking measures to ensure staff are undertaking training and regularly assessing workplace compliance to achieve improvement.

       

      VICARIOUS LIABILITY

      If an employee contravenes this Policy, the Department may be held liable for the conduct of that employee.  Vicarious liability can also extend to the actions of agents of the Department, such as recruitment firms and consultants.

      It is therefore important that this Policy is understood by agents of the Department, including those responsible for hiring employees, including external recruiting firms.

       

      REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS

      Both Commonwealth and Victorian legislation require employers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with a disability. A range of factors must be considered in determining whether an adjustment is reasonable, including:

      • the person’s circumstances, including the nature of their disability
      • the nature of the employee’s role or the role that is being offered
      • the nature of the adjustment required to accommodate the employee’s disability
      • the financial circumstances of the employer
      • the size and nature of the workplace
      • the effect on the workplace of making the adjustment, including the financial impact, the number of persons who would benefit or be disadvantaged by doing so, and the impact on efficiency and productivity and, if applicable, on customer service of doing so;
      • the consequences for the person or employee of not making the adjustment
      • the consequences for the employer of making the adjustment.

      Refer to the Disability page on A-Z HRWeb for further information.

       

      RESPONSIBILITIES

      RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT

      • The Department recognises its obligation under this Policy to take reasonable measures to eliminate discrimination and harassment of any kind from its workplaces. The Department is committed to:
      • ensuring that there are clear processes in place for raising grievances and complaints
      • taking action if the Department is aware of any behaviour which could constitute discrimination and/or harassment, even if no complaint has been lodged. All employees can be liable for the actions of others if they authorise, encourage or assist discrimination and/or harassment to occur in the workplace.
      • clearly communicating and promoting these processes
      • monitoring the implementation of this Policy
      • identifying potential risk factors and taking prompt, reasonable action to minimise those risks, including:
      • managing organisational change in an inclusive and participatory way, e.g. consult with employees affected as early as possible and develop and maintain effective communication throughout the process
      • implementing work systems to prevent the risk of discrimination and/or harassment. Ensure these systems maintain privacy and confidentiality of data collected, and review and evaluate those systems, e.g. seek feedback from employees through the People Matter Survey and School Staff Survey.
      • promoting positive working relationships in the Department’s workplaces
      • ensuring information and training to support the effective implementation of this Policy is accessible and availabl
      • reviewing the Policy every two years or earlier as required, and communicating any changes or updates of the Policy to employees.
      • promoting positive working relationships in the Department’s workplaces
      • ensuring information and training to support the effective implementation of this Policy is accessible and available

       

      RESPONSIBILITIES OF ALL EMPLOYEES

      Executives, managers and principals are responsible for:

      • promoting and modelling appropriate behaviour the Department’s values
      • understanding what constitutes discrimination and knowing how to prevent or respond to any alleged discrimination
      • monitoring the working environment to ensure as far as practicable that acceptable standards of conduct are maintained at all times and that discrimination and/or harassment are not tolerated
      • promoting awareness of the avenues for advice and the complaints procedures with respect to discrimination and/or harassment as set out in this Policy
      • treating complaints and behaviour which may constitute discrimination and/or harassment seriously and taking immediate action
      • treating complaints of discrimination and/or harassment with appropriate confidentiality
      • ensuring that a person is not victimised for making, or being involved in, a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment
      • providing contact details for Workplace Contact Officers to complainants or respondents where appropriate
      • referring to this Policy in their employee codes of conduct and practice.

       

      RESPONSIBILITIES OF ALL EMPLOYEES

      Employees are responsible for:

      • complying with this Policy
      • reporting any incident of discrimination and/or harassment that they have experienced or witnessed
      • participating in any training provided by the Department, including completing the Equal Opportunity eLearning module
      • modelling appropriate behaviour, including the employment principles , the Public Sector standards and the Department’s Values on A-Z HRWeb.
      • treating any allegations or complaints of discrimination and/or harassment with appropriate confidentiality

       

      TRAINING

      The Equal Opportunity, Workplace Bullying,  Understanding DET Values and Human Rights online modules aim to increase awareness and understanding of the obligations, rights and responsibilities of all employees of the Department under the relevant Commonwealth and Victorian legislation and in accordance with the Department’s values.

      All Department employees are required to complete these modules which address Department policies on workplace conduct and educate employees about their rights and responsibilities under equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and workplace bullying laws and the Human Rights Charter. These modules support the Department’s commitment to providing safe, inclusive and respectful workplaces.

      The training courses may be accessed by employees at any time and at any stage of their employment.

       

      MONITORING EMPLOYEE PROGRESS

      Executives, principals and managers can monitor their employee completion rates of the online modules through their Manager Self-Service on eduPay.

      Further information can be obtained via staffdevelopment@edumail.vic.gov.au

       

      REPORTING OR MAKING A COMPLAINT

       

      Employees can report or make a complaint about any incident of discrimination and/or harassment to their executive, manager, principal or seek advice from a Workplace Contact Officer.

      The procedures for dealing with allegations of discrimination and/or harassment and possible consequences regarding any breach of this Policy are dealt with in the Department’s Guidelines for Managing Complaints, Unsatisfactory Performance and Misconduct (Teaching Service and Public Service on A-Z HRWeb Complaints – Information for Employees.

      The Department encourages its employees to use the internal complaints processes to resolve any complaints relating to discrimination and/or harassment.

      The Department encourages any employee who believes they have been the victim of a criminal offence to report the incident to the Victoria Police as soon as possible, as well as reporting the matter to their manager or principal.

      If a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment is made, observed or brought to the attention of an executive, principal or manager, it must be acted upon immediately and managed in a sensitive and confidential manner.

      Where discrimination and/or harassment is found to be substantiated, the consequences for the person against whom the complaint is made will depend on the particular circumstances. The consequences may include an apology, counselling, undertaking training, or disciplinary action including termination of employment.

      At any time, employees may also choose to take a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment to the following organisations.

       

      SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE

      Support is available to all employees, principals and managers involved in reporting and managing a complaint, even after the matter has been resolved.

      The Department encourages all employees to speak to their manager or principal to discuss any questions or concerns they may have regarding the conduct of any Department employee.

      Employees can also seek support from a Workplace Contact Officer, the Employee Assistance Program, the Employee Conduct Branch, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) or the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Contact details for these supports are set out below or can be found by following the below links:

      • contact a Workplace Contact Officer (see A-Z HRWeb)
      • contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and/or Manager Assist (see A-Z HRWeb Employee Health and Wellbeing Portal)
      • contact the Employee Conduct Branch or email any query to conduct@edumail.vic.gov.au
      • contact VEOHRC’s free and confidential dispute resolution service
      • contact AHRC’s free and confidential dispute resolution service
      • contact the FWC .

      You can also find further information by accessing the A-Z topic list on HRWeb.

       

      FURTHER ASSISTANCE

      The Department encourages school councils to use this Policy for volunteers, school council employees and contractors.

       

      LEGISLATION AND RELATED POLICIES

      There is a range of legislation and related policies available which can be accessed on the Equal Opportunity page on A-Z HRWeb.

      VOLUNTEERS POLICY

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      PURPOSE

      To outline the processes that Sunshine Heights Primary School will follow to recruit, screen, supervise and manage volunteers to provide a child safe environment, and to explain the legal rights of volunteers.

       

      SCOPE

      This policy applies to the recruitment, screening, supervision and management of all people who volunteer at our school.

       

      DEFINITIONS

      Child-related work: work that usually involves direct contact (including in person, over the phone, written and online communication) with a child that is a central part of that person’s duties. It does not include work that involves occasional contact with children that is incidental to the work.

      Closely related family member: parent, carer, parent/carer’s spouse or domestic partner, stepparent, parent/carer’s mother or father in-law, grandparent, uncle or aunt, brother or sister, including step or half siblings.

      Volunteer worker: A volunteer school worker is a person who voluntarily engages in school work or approved community work without payment or reward.

       

      School work: School work means:

      • Carrying out the functions of a school council
      • Any activity carried out for the welfare of a school, by the school council, any parents’ club or association or any other body organised to promote the welfare of the school
      • Any activity carried out for the welfare of the school at the request of the principal or school council
      • Providing assistance in the work of any school or kindergarten
      • Attending meetings in relation to government schools convened by any organisation which receives government financial support

      This is a broad definition and means that volunteers who participate in school community activities, such as fundraising and assisting with excursions, are legally protected (ie indemnified) from action by others in the event of an injury or accident whilst they are performing volunteer school work in good faith.

       

      POLICY

      Sunshine Heights Primary School is committed to implementing and following practices which protect the safety and wellbeing of children and our staff and volunteers. Sunshine Heights Primary School also recognises the valuable contribution that volunteers provide to our school community and the work that we do. We encourage a diverse range of community members to volunteer at Sunshine Heights Primary School.

      The procedures set out below are designed to ensure that Sunshine Heights Primary School’s volunteers are suitable to work with children and are well-placed to make a positive contribution to our school community.

       

      Becoming a Volunteer

      Members of our school community who would like to volunteer are encouraged to respond to a call out for volunteers for specific events (usually done through our school newsletter). On occasions, there will also be a call out to volunteers with a specific skill set. Alternatively, volunteers may approach a teacher, Principal, Assistant Principal or office staff to voice their desire to volunteer.

       

      SUITABILITY CHECKS INCLUDING WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECKS

      Working with students

      Sunshine Heights Primary School values the many volunteers that assist in our classrooms; with sports events; camps; excursions; school concerts other events and programs. To ensure that we are meeting our legal obligations under the Working With Children Act 2005 (Vic) and the Child Safe Standards, Sunshine Heights Primary School is required to undertake suitability checks which may include a Working

      With Children Check, proof of identity, work history involving children and/or reference checks.

      Considering our legal obligations, and our commitment to ensuring that Sunshine Heights Primary School is a child safe environment, we will require volunteers to obtain a WWC Check and produce their valid card to the office for verification in the following circumstances:

      • Volunteers who are not parent/family members of any student at the school are required to have a WWC Check if they are engaged in child-related work regardless of whether they are being supervised.
      • Parent/family volunteers who are assisting with any classroom or school activities involving direct contact with children in circumstances where the volunteer’s child is not participating, or does not ordinarily participate in, the activity.
      • Parent/family volunteers who assist with excursions (including swimming), camps and similar events, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not.
      • Parent/family volunteers who regularly assist in school activities, regardless of whether their own child is participating or not
      • Parent/community School Council members sitting on School Council with student School Council members, regardless of whether their own child is a student member or not

      In addition, depending on the nature of the volunteer work, our school may ask the volunteer to provide other suitability checks at its discretion (for example, references, work history involving children and/or qualifications). Proof of identity may also be required in some circumstances.

       

      Non child-related work

      On some occasions, parents and other members of the school community may volunteer to do work that is not child-related. For example volunteering on the weekend for gardening, maintenance, working bees, parents and friends club coordination, school council, participating in sub-committees of school council, fete coordination, other fundraising groups that meet in the evenings during which children will not be, or would not reasonably be expected to be, present.

      Volunteers for this type of work are not required to have Working with Children or other suitability checks as they are not engaged in child-related work and children are not generally present during these activities. However, Example School reserves the right to undertake suitability checks, including proof of identity, Working with Children Checks, at its discretion if considered necessary for any particular activities or circumstances.

       

      School Council members and volunteers on any sub-committee of school council will be asked to provide a valid WWC Check. Whilst we acknowledge that these volunteers will not be engaging in child-related work as part of their role, even when there is a student sitting on the school council, we believe that it is important that our volunteers who are involved in making important decisions about our school which will have an impact on students do have a valid WWC Check.

       

      MANAGEMENT AND SUPERVISION

      Volunteer workers will be expected to comply with any reasonable direction of the principal (or their nominee). This will include the requirement to follow our school’s policies, including, but not limited to our Child Safety Policy / Statement of Commitment to Child Safety, our Child Safety Code of Conduct, and our Statement of Values and School Philosophy. Volunteer workers will also be expected to act consistently with Department of Education and Training policies, to the extent that they apply to volunteer workers, including the Department’s policies relating to Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying. These Policies can be found on our website.

      The principal has the discretion to make a decision about the ongoing suitability of a volunteer worker and may determine at any time whether or not a person is suitable to volunteer at Sunshine Heights Primary School.

      Sunshine Heights Primary School will provide any appropriate induction and/or training for all volunteer workers. The principal (or their nominee) will determine what induction and/or training is necessary depending on what type of work the volunteer will be engaged in.

      All volunteers will be provided induction in relation to Sunshine Heights Primary School’s child safety practices, including reporting obligations and procedures. Our school has a Child Safety Reporting Obligations Policy which all staff and volunteers should be aware of.

      The principal (or their nominee) will determine what supervision, if any, of volunteers is required for the type of work being performed.

       

      COMPENSATION

      Personal injury - Volunteer workers are covered by the Department of Education and Training’s Workers Compensation Policy if they suffer personal injury in the course of engaging in school work.

       

      Property damage - If a volunteer worker suffers damage to their property in the course of carrying out school work, the Minister (or delegate) may authorise such compensation as they consider reasonable in the circumstances. Claims of this nature should be directed to the principal who will direct them to the Department’s Legal Division.

       

      Public liability insurance - The Department of Education and Training’s public liability insurance policy applies when a volunteer worker engaged in school work is legally liable for:

      • a claim for bodily injury to a third party
      • damage to or the destruction of a third party’s property.

       

      RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES

      [Insert links to related local policies, including Statement of Values, Visitors Policy, Statement of Commitment to Child Safety/Child Safe Policy, Child Safety Code of Conduct]

       

      REVIEW CYCLE

      This policy was last approved by school council on November 2019 and is scheduled for review in November 2022.

      DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY

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      VISION

      The Department has set a bold vision in the Statement of Strategic Intent:

      The Department has set a bold vision in the Statement of Strategic Intent:

      Together we give every Victorian the best learning and development experience, making our state a smarter, fairer, more prosperous place.

      This aspiration is for a future where:

      • children and young people are confident, optimistic, healthy and resilient;
      • students reach their potential, regardless of background, place, circumstance or abilities;
      • victorians develop knowledge, skills and attributes needed now and for the jobs of the future;
      • the Department’s workforce is high-performing, empowered, valued and supported.

       

      To achieve this, we have developed the DET Victorian Public Service (VPS) Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Its vision is to have a:

      VPS workforce that is broadly representative of the Victorian population;

      • workplace culture that values the individual characteristics of each person, and supports each of them to thrive and reach their potential;
      • workplace that acknowledges and values diversity, provides equal opportunities, and is inclusive of all differences.

       

      INTRODUCTION

      As part of the Department’s Investing in Our People Strategy (the People Strategy), a focus on building a workplace culture that values diversity and respect is necessary to ensure all our VPS workforce can do their best work.

      This DET VPS Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (the Strategy) outlines the Department’s commitment to building a workplace that is grounded in respect, fosters inclusion, promotes diversity and embraces the unique skills and qualities of all our people. It supports other work being undertaken to build safe and inclusive workplaces described in the People Strategy and is complemented by the Culture of integrity and respect sub-strategy.

      The organisational benefits of developing a workplace that values diversity and inclusion are undeniable (Roberge & van Dick, 2010). People thrive and are more innovative in working environments that are free from bias and discrimination and where diversity of experiences and views are valued. In addition, organisations that have strong reputations in workforce diversity and inclusion attract and retain top talent (Deloitte, 2012; VPSC, 2015).

       

      WHAT IS WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION?

       

      WORKFORCE DIVERSITY

       

      • Acknowledges the diverse skills and perspectives that people bring to the workplace because of their gender, age, language, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation, working style, work and life experiences, and other qualities and diversities.
      • Ensures that our workforce is reflective of the Victorian community that we serve.
      • Means having diversity of thought and leadership to make our work the best it can be.

       

      WORKFORCE INCLUSION

      • Removes barriers to enable all staff to reach their potential and feel included.
      • Supports the development and achievement of organisational outcomes.
      • Values the individual characteristics each person brings to the workplace.
      • Creates an environment of respect, trust and appreciation of difference.
      • Allows all employees to work to their potential and produce the best outcomes for the Victorian community.

       

       INCLUSION RESULTS IN

       

      • People feeling valued and supported in their work to achieve their full potential.
      • Increased collaboration, innovation, initiative and improvement in overall organisational performance.

       

      DIVERSITY IS THE MIX; INCLUSION IS GETTING THE MIX WORKING WELL TOGETHER

      THE STRATEGY

       

      • Recognises the need to reflect the diversity of our community in the way we promote, design, develop and deliver our services.
      • Sets the foundations for us to build an inclusive workplace culture, based on the Department values, where all staff are valued and recognised for their unique qualities, ideas, voices and perspectives.
      • Promotes the significant benefit of the skills, experience, backgrounds and talents that exists within our workforce.
      • Demonstrates the Department’s commitment to being a model employer for diversity and inclusion with the aim to retain current and attract new staff.

       

       

      SCOPE

      The Strategy is focused on the VPS workforce, corporate and regional, employed directly by the Department. A range of actions, including resources and tools will be developed as part of this Strategy’s actions, and it is intended that these would be made available for other public sector workforces including schools.

      This is a four-year strategy that acknowledges that change, especially significant cultural change, takes time. The efforts in the first year of this Strategy will aim to establish the foundations on which further actions will be built over time. This can be described through phases of maturity. The diagram below depicts the predicted progress in Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Maturity over time covered by this Strategy.

       

      (See below for the DET VPS Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Maturity Table)

       

      CONTEXT

      INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE STRATEGY

      In 2016 the Department released the People Strategy. The People Strategy highlights our people as the strength of the organisation in achieving its goals and commits to working across five key areas to ensure our people are capable, able to perform at their best, and feel empowered, valued and supported.

       

      The five elements are:

      • Leading for Outcomes: strengthening our leadership practice and developing our future leaders.
      • Learning-Centred Organisation: developing our people to be their best.
      • Culture of Integrity and Respect: ensuring we act with the highest ethical standards, as well as treating each other with respect.
      • Safe and Inclusive Workplaces: safe and healthy workplaces free from physical or psychological harm, where everyone’s contribution is valued.
      • Empowered and Responsible People: delivering on commitments at every level of our organisation.

      This Strategy is a key enabler of the People Strategy and its implementation is an action under the Safe and inclusive workplaces element.

       

      DET VALUES

      The Department’s values underpin the behaviours that the government and community expect of all public sector employees. The values provide guiding principles for the decisions we make and the behaviours we seek to demonstrate every day at work. All our values are important, however the values of Respect and Human Rights are the foundational values that underpin this Strategy.

       

      RELEVANT LEGISLATION

      UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT

      Discrimination means treating a person unfavourably because of a protected attribute, such as the person’s age, disability, race, gender, gender identity or sexuality. Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination occurs if a person treats a person with a protected attribute unfavourably because of that attribute. Indirect discrimination occurs if a person imposes a requirement or condition on everyone but it has the effect of disadvantaging persons with an attribute and is not reasonable.

      State and federal anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for employers or prospective employers to discriminate against a person in the area of employment on the basis of a protected attribute (including age, disability, race, gender, gender identity and sexuality).

      It is unlawful for an employer or prospective employer to discriminate in offering employment, determining the terms of employment or limiting access to opportunities.

       

      POSITIVE DUTY TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION

      In addition to making discriminatory conduct unlawful, state and federal anti-discrimination laws also create a positive duty for employers to take reasonable measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination from the workplace.

      The Strategy aims to ensure a workplace free from discrimination and to set out positive actions to achieve a diverse and inclusive workplace.

       

      RELEVANT LEGISLATION

      • The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
      • The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)
      • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
      • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
      • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
      • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
      • Disability Act 2006 (Vic)

       

      WHOLE OF VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT PRIORITIES

       

      Together with the Department’s Strategic Priorities, the People Strategy and the DET Values, the Department works within the context of broader social change. In Victoria this includes a range of social change policies aimed to improve tolerance and acceptance of difference within the Victorian community, to reduce stereotypes and biases towards groups because of their difference, and to facilitate greater social cohesion.

       

      Whole of Victorian Government (WoVG) priorities:

      • Strategic Framework to Strengthen Victoria’s Social cohesion and the Resilience of its Communities (2015)
      • Its key purpose is to guide the Victorian Government in how to further strengthen Victoria’s social cohesion and how to build and empower resilient communities in order to prevent and reverse the development of racial, ethnic and religious intolerance that can lead to violence.
      • Victorian Gender Equality Strategy (2016)
      • Changing stereotyped attitudes towards women, contribute to the prevention of family violence and work towards gender equality.
      • Multicultural Policy Statement
      • The key purpose of Victoria’s Multicultural Policy Statement, Victorian. And proud of it. (2017) is to safeguard our social cohesion and ensure that every Victorian is able to contribute and belong. It contains a Victorian Values Statement, which sets out the shared values upon which our success as a multicultural state has been built: equality, freedom and shared responsibility. It also details the policies, programs and services that will extend this work, and sets out clear outcomes to measure progress.
      • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Inclusion Plan 2016-2017
      • A commitment to the right to equality and removing discrimination. Attitudes and ideas that might be adverse to LGBTI inclusion can be the result of conscious and unconscious behaviours. It is our responsibility to challenge these ideas and work towards promoting inclusion for all employees.

       

      • Victorian Government Aboriginal Inclusion Framework
      • The Victorian Government Aboriginal Inclusion Framework, released in November 2011, outlines the main barriers Aboriginal Victorians face in accessing services and resources, following consultations in 2009 and 2010. The Framework includes as a key action the development of departmental action plans to demonstrate how access to and inclusion in mainstream services will be improved. Progress against inclusion plans is reported in the annual Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Report.
      • Aboriginal Employment Strategy
      • The Victorian Public Sector Commission is developing a Strategy for implementation in 2017. The Strategy will encompass 2016 initiatives such as the Aboriginal Undergraduate Cadetship Program, the Aboriginal Career Development Program, and Aboriginal Pathway to GRADS and develop a coordinated approach to Aboriginal employment across the Victorian Public Sector.
      • State Disability Plan 2017-2020
      • Greater inclusion, to tackle the negative attitudes and barriers that many Victorians with a disability face, and to focus on changing attitudes and reduce discrimination.
      • Public sector reforms 2016
      • Building a public sector that is open, results-orientated and collaborative, uses the latest technology, is innovative, joined up and is an employer of choice.
      • Building public sector capabilities to match new requirements, take a systems approach to the work of the public sector, focus on outcomes to demonstrate value to the community; ensure accountability that places integrity at the centre of the public service.

       

      WHAT THE EVIDENCE TELLS US

      The Department’s data on workforce diversity compares well with other VPS organisations and the broader Victorian labour market.

      We have an older workforce and a higher proportion of women than other public sector organisations. Six in ten of our employees are aged over 45, and nearly three in every four VPS employees are women. We have an even gender split in our executive officer (EO) cohort. We are comparable with other departments in our proportion of employees from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and employees who report having a disability. We have a lower proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, and fewer employees working part time than other VPS organisations.

      To reduce discrimination, ensure human rights are upheld, and to increase opportunities for all people who want to and are able to work, there are goals emerging from the whole-of-government work that call on the Department to increase its workforce diversity, including to:

      • meet a 1 per cent public service employment target for Aboriginal people by 2018
      • increase the proportion of employees with
      • a disability
      • increase the use of flexible work options
      • meet a 50/50 gender target at executive level and address gender pay gaps
      • prevent discrimination against all diversity groups, especially through recruitment processes and addressing unconscious bias.

      PEOPLE MATTER SURVEY RESULTS - 2016

       

      The People Matter Survey, conducted by the Victorian Public Sector Commission, is an employee opinion survey that provides data that helps us understand our current diversity profile and attitudes. The 2016 survey results found strengths of:

      • work colleagues having positive attitudes towards other employees with diverse backgrounds
      • a positive culture in relation to cultural diversity. Managers support people with diverse backgrounds.

      Opportunities for improvements included:

      • perceptions about senior managers supporting diversity
      • perceptions about the organisation having an environment that fosters inclusiveness, that treats employees with fairness and respect, and that is supportive towards people with a disability.

      While some groups have benefited from increased awareness, such as LGBTI inclusion, other areas, like disability employment are falling behind. Furthermore, the intersectional characteristics found across diversity areas can make inclusion and monitoring inclusion even more difficult for some groups.

      The People Matter Survey is conducted annually and will help us track our progress.

       

      FOCUS AREA

      The Strategy has nine focus areas.

      This approach allows for a range of coordinated and overarching actions that support the broad organisational culture, policy and behaviour changes to best support diversity and inclusion. There will be specific actions in each focus area.

      The Strategy specifies how the Department will develop, implement, monitor and report on progress towards achieving its commitments.

      It provides a strong foundation for driving change over the coming years.

       

      Focus 1 -  Inclusive and Diverse Leadership

      ‘Leaders who fail to appreciate this fundamental precept of accountability must also fail to muster the profound commitment true leadership demands.’

      General Sir Peter Cosgrove, A Very Australian Conversation, Boyer Lectures, 2009

      Inclusive leadership is associated with greater team engagement. People working in more inclusive teams report higher levels of commitment and satisfaction (Roberege and van Dick, 2010).

      Building inclusive leadership will support the development of inclusive capability in all individuals, teams and leadership roles so we can deliver work that best meets the needs of the community.

      Effective leadership is key in promoting and supporting workforce diversity and inclusion. Every EO and manager in the Department is responsible for actively encouraging an open and collaborative culture that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

      Inclusion is about understanding what influences inclusion, and exclusion, and how to create new behaviours and work practices.

      Strengthening the diversity in our leadership group will assist organisational decision-making to be informed by a wider range of experience and knowledge and reflect the diversity of the Victorian community.

      All leaders in the Department have signed up to a Leadership Charter, which sets out their shared commitment to living the values and modelling the behaviours the Department needs to realise its Strategic Intent. Strengthening leadership capability while fostering diverse leadership is critical to cultural change. Please refer to the Leadership Charter page on HRWeb

       

       

      Focus 2 – Inclusive Systems and Processes

      ‘Innovative thinking in technology has the potential to be a game changer for diversity and inclusion.’

      Chandler Macleod, The Future of Work, 2016

      Building effective systems and processes that everyone can use helps us to deliver our services more effectively. It also shows that we are serious about ensuring everyone has access to opportunities, that we are committed to accommodating a diverse range of abilities, and effectively adapting our systems and processes to eliminate barriers to participation.

      Changes in technology provide opportunities to design approaches that better support diversity and inclusion than ever before. For example, automation of some stages of the recruitment process may eliminate some unconscious bias and increase the diversity of the pool of candidates that make it to shortlisting.

      Technology to support accessibility can also be used to assist people to overcome workplace impediments that prevent them from doing their job well. For example, improving web accessibility and providing hearing loops in our conference spaces.

      It’s not just about our technology. The Department’s systems and processes can present barriers and make it harder for staff to feel included. For example, the lack of inclusive language in Department documents and reports; only providing binary descriptions of gender on forms; not providing accessible options for documents for those with a vision impairment; or limiting flexible work options. We need to enhance our understanding of these systems and processes in order to overcome these challenges.

       

      Focus 3 – Workplace Flexibility

      ‘Our communities are full of people who are caring - for children, grand-children, parents, in-laws, for others in our community with disability, chronic illness or old age… As caring is not simply an after-hours job, or something that ceases when the kids grow up, flexible working arrangements provide immense assistance in reducing the stress associated with managing these responsibilities.’

      Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, 2013

      The Department has well-established and long-standing flexible work options available to all its VPS staff. Many staff have formal and informal arrangements in place.

      We are working towards enhancing our current arrangements to support a whole of Victorian government approach to ‘mainstreaming flexible work’ across the VPS. We know that each job is different and there are a wide range of options when it comes to working flexibly. Individuals and managers are encouraged to consider each case on its merits when making these decisions.

      Flexible work requires genuine commitment from individuals, their managers and their team. Mainstreaming flexibility is about building a culture at the Department where we say ‘yes’ to flexibility, and to giving people permission and support to balance their work and careers with other things they love, care about and need. Offering flexible work also increases employment options for people with disability or chronic illness.

      The demands of work, the way we work, where, and how we work are less defined than ever before. New technologies make it easier to undertake work in many locations, any hour of the day. Flexible working gives employees a meaningful level of control over when, where and how they work. This impacts positively on staff productivity, efficiency and quality.

       

       

      Focus 4 – Cultural Diversity

      ‘Discriminating against men and women in terms of their race or ethnic heritage or sexual orientation is ridiculous and it means we deny in society the talent that is on offer by everybody.’

      David Morrison, Retired Chief of Army and Australian of the Year, 2016

      Australia is one of the most successful multicultural nations in the world (Kymlicka, 2007) and Victoria is a leading multicultural state. Victorians speak more than 200 languages at home (including Aboriginal and migrant languages) and follow 135 different faiths - and more than a quarter of Victorians were born overseas (2011 ABS Census). Having a diverse workforce that is reflective of the cultural backgrounds of the wider population helps us to make policy and program decisions that best meet the needs of the Victorian community we serve.

      Cultural diversity is an important dimension of our organisation’s diversity that brings experiences and knowledge relevant to both the workplace culture and the provision of services to the Victorian Community.

      The Victorian community expects that the public service ensures fairness and equity in employing staff and does not discriminate. This is because our work plays a significant role in helping Victoria grow and develop as a multicultural community that values diversity, and supports new immigrants and refugees to settle and flourish in our community.

       

       

      Focus 5 – Disability

      ‘There are more than one million people with a disability living in Victoria. They have a wide range of conditions and impairments. What they have in common is a shared experience of encountering negative attitudes and barriers to full participation in everyday activities.’

      State Disability Plan 2017-2020 (December 2016)

      Around one in five Australians has some form of disability. These are our existing employees, clients, service users, stakeholders, students and service providers.

      Discrimination in the workplace is the number one barrier for people with a disability (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2016). Many wish to work, are capable and have the skills, however face individual and structural barriers to employment.

      A disability confident organisation is one that understands the relevance of disability to the organisation and identifies and removes barriers for individuals with disability. This includes organisational plans to prioritise disability employment issues, provision of flexible work arrangements and process for workplace adjustments. Training and support is also involved to ensure managers and staff have a better understanding of disability.

      The implementation of the actions in this strategy will enable the Department to provide a more ‘disability confident’ workplace that provides a supportive, positive and inclusive environment for employees with a disability. These actions will also assist the Department to eliminate disability discrimination, direct, unintentional or indirect.

       

      Focus 6 – Gender Equality

      ‘We are all responsible for making gender equity a reality in our workplaces and this change needs to be led from the top. Real change becomes possible when we have open and challenging conversations about gender equity.’

      Adam Fennessy, Secretary, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, in the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy 2016

      Workplace gender equality is achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of gender (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2016). 

      Despite there being progress in recent years, the gender gap in the Australian workforce is still prevalent; women continue to earn less than men, are less likely to advance their careers as far as men, and accumulate less retirement or superannuation savings. At the same time, men have less access to family-friendly policies such as parental leave and flexible working arrangements than women. 

      The aim of gender equality in the workplace is to achieve broadly equal outcomes for women and men, where all can achieve their ambitions, experience gender-balanced leadership, and value men’s and women’s contributions equally. This requires:

      • challenging conscious and unconscious bias
      • removal of barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce 
      • access to all occupations including leadership roles, regardless of gender
      • elimination of discrimination on the basis of gender, particularly in relation to family and caring responsibilities
      • flexible work arrangements for those suffering from or caring for someone suffering from family violence.

       

      Focus 7 – Koorie

      ‘The Department acknowledges and respects Aboriginal culture, its values and practices, and is committed to take actions to provide better support to Aboriginal people employed by the Department. These actions will develop a more inclusive culture through leadership, workforce practices and communication.’

      Wiralung Ganai, DET, 2015

      Research has found that organisations have much work to do to create inclusive working environments where Koorie people feel safe to identify as such. Part of the problem is that many non-Indigenous Australians have little knowledge about Indigenous history and culture (DCA, 2013).

      The Department has a strong commitment to Aboriginal inclusion as evidenced by its Aboriginal Inclusion Plans which support a more inclusive culture and provide better support to Koorie people employed by the Department. The Strategy lends support to the Department’s commitment to Aboriginal inclusion by promoting a workplace which respects Koorie culture, values and practices. Fundamental to these efforts is the provision of a safe and welcoming environment for everyone that ultimately contributes to making the Department a more inclusive workplace and an employer of choice for Koorie people.

      More broadly the Department’s Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-26, Marrung, which is framed within context of the Education State, provides a long-term vision for Aboriginal inclusion including the aspiration of making ‘the success of Aboriginal Victorians the core business for all educational leaders’.

      The aim of the Strategy is to complement the Department’s approach to Aboriginal inclusion by increasing the visibility and support for Koorie culture across the Department and to facilitate career development opportunities that supports Koorie people to develop and progress their careers to match their aspirations and potential. These efforts are framed within the People Strategy which is dedicated to ‘empowering our people to be the best’.

      The following actions will complement and support existing departmental commitments regarding Aboriginal inclusion.

       

       

      Focus 8 – LGBTI

      ‘With workplace equality now an integral part of many businesses in Australia, more and more companies are recognising the enormous value and benefits of creating an inclusive workplace for their LGBTI employees. All the available data shows that people will perform better and make a more productive contribution to a workplace if they can be themselves and feel safe at work. That is precisely why so many of Australia’s leading companies have recognised that workplace inclusion is not only good for their employees but also good for their business bottom line.’

      Mark Orr, Former President, Aids Council of NSW, 2015

      Sexual orientation is often a sensitive topic in the workplace but is not something unique to those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. We all have a sexual orientation. Most people, identifying as heterosexual, don’t even consider the fact that their sexual orientation is on display 24/7 and is brought to work on a daily basis (Pride in Diversity, 2016).

      One in two LGBTI Australians hide their sexual identity in the workplace for fear being ‘out’ could damage their careers (Pride in Diversity, 2016). Furthermore, LGBTI people who are not ‘out’ at work worry about hiding their sexual orientation.

      The 2016 Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) found that people in the public sector feel there is less support (than the private sector), and that their senior management are less likely to genuinely support inclusion initiatives (Pride in Diversity 2016).

      The Department is committed to ensuring that we are raising awareness about the specific challenges and experiences LGBTI staff have at work, and to promote inclusion and make it safe at the Department for LGBTI staff to be who they are.

      Raising awareness and showing support for LGBTI staff is essential to support a diverse and inclusive workplace. Addressing unconscious bias and discrimination are critical to creating a workplace that is inclusive and enables people to meet their potential.

       

       

      Focus 9 – Generational Diversity

      ‘Workplaces are becoming increasingly age diverse… Just as we went through with gender and ethnic differences – what can we learn from that? This is not about assimilating the generations, it’s about adaptability for the people and for the organisation’s initiatives.’

      Julie Cogin, Australian School of Business, 2011

      Negative stereotypes about people’s abilities to undertake tasks can apply to young and older people. Age discrimination has the potential to shape how people are treated and perceived by others, limit a person’s potential and can impact on their health and wellbeing (Willing to Work, Australian Human Rights Commission 2016). Addressing ageism upholds a person’s rights and enables their full contribution to work and job satisfaction.

      It is critical that we support mature age workers, that we do not make assumptions about their work life intentions, and that we support them in achieving their goals. In some cases, this may be by supporting staff who wish to further their career aspirations or to scale back their hours if they wish, encouraging them to take on mentoring roles in the organisation or work on specific projects that can tap into their extensive expertise.

      It is also important to support younger staff by providing them with challenging and interesting work that helps them to realise their potential and to learn the skills they will need for the future. Staff in-between who might be experiencing a career plateau for example, or who are returning from study or family leave may also need support to consider their next career steps.

       

      THE WORKPLAN

      There is much work to do. The Department will develop an annual workplan each year that will set the Department up to support and sustain the cultural and behavioural changes to come in the years ahead. The annual workplan has been organised around types of actions. Each focus area is then addressed within as follows:

       

      PROVIDING GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT

       

      This includes policies, guidance documents, tools and resources to support inclusive practice. It also includes having knowledgeable staff who can provide advice and influence decisions that will improve workforce diversity and inclusion.

       

      RAISING AWARENESS

      This focuses on the range of communications options available to raise awareness of workforce diversity and inclusion, foster supportive attitudes and influence the workplace culture over time.

       

      BUILDING SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES

      Focuses on actions that provide learning and development opportunities for staff to improve their practice. This includes providing formal and informal development opportunities such as the 70:20:10 model – experience, engage, educate.

       

      BUILDING EVIDENCE AND TRACKING PROCESS

      Enhancing our ability to capture and access data and research that can inform our decisions about where action is needed, and help us to prioritise actions over the life of the strategy. This could include influencing current data collections or introducing new ones that will help us to track our progress and report on our achievements and opportunities.

       

      ENSURING GOOD GOVERNANCE

      Strengthen the governance around diversity and inclusion, including leadership buy-in and sponsorship. Develop governance processes that model accountability and champion respect and human rights. Be good public sector citizens by contributing to improving the WoVG diversity and inclusion agenda.

      For a copy of the annual workplan go to Diversity and Inclusion on HRWeb.

       

      REFERENCES

      Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (2016) Willing to work: National inquiry into employment discrimination against older workers, Sydney, Australia

      Diversity Council Australia (2013) Closing the work gap in corporate Australia

      Deloitte (2012) Inclusive leadership: Will a hug do, Human Capital, Deloitte Australia point of View

      Graffam, J; Smith, K; Shinkfield, A and Polzin, U (2002) Employer benefits and costs of employing a person with a disability’, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp 251-363

      Kymlicka, W (2007) Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the new international politics of diversity, Oxford University Press, New York.

      Linkow, P, Barrington, L, Susanne, B, Figueroa, I and Wrigth, M 2013, Leveling the playing field: attracting, engaging and advancing people with disabilities, The Conference Board, New York, United States.

      Marrung, (2016) Aboriginal Education Plan 2016-26, Department of Education and Training, State of Victoria

      Morgan, R and Alexander, M (2005) The employers’ perception: Employment of individuals with developmental disabilities, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp 155-162

      Allies toolkit (2016) Pride in Diversity

      Roberge, M and van Dick, R (2010) Recognizing the benefits of diversity: When and how does

      diversity increase group performance? Human Resource Management Review Vol 20 pp 295-308

      Victorian Public Sector Commission (2015) Attracting and Retaining an Ageing Workforce

      Wiralung Ganai, (2016) Aboriginal Inclusion Plan 2015-17 Department of Education and Training, State of Victoria

      Workplace Gender Equality Agency (2016) The business case for gender equality, Sydney, Australia

      PRIVACY POLICY

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      PRIMARY SCHOOL PRIVACY INFORMATION for parents, guardians and carers

      During the ordinary course of your child’s attendance at Sunshine heights primary School, school staff will collect your child’s personal and health information when necessary to educate your child, or to support your child’s social and emotional wellbeing or health in the school context. Such information will also be collected when required to fulfil a legal obligation, including duty of care, anti-discrimination law and occupational health and safety law. If that information is not collected, the school may be unable to provide optimal education or support to your child, or fulfil those legal obligations.

      For example, health information may be collected through the school nurse, primary welfare officer or wellbeing staff member. If your child is referred to a specific health service at school, such as a Student Support Services officer, the required consent will be obtained. Our school also collects information provided by parents, guardians and carers through the School Entrance Health Questionnaire (SEHQ) and the Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) Transition Form.

      Sunshine Heights Primary school may use online tools, such as apps and other software, to effectively collect and manage information about your child for teaching and learning purposes, parent communication and engagement; student administration; and school management purposes. When our school uses these online tools, we take steps to ensure that your child’s information is secure. If you have any concerns about the use of these online tools, please contact us.

      School staff will only share your child’s personal or health information with other staff who need to know to enable the school to educate or support your child, or fulfil a legal obligation.

      When our students transfer to another Victorian government school, personal and health information about that student will be transferred to that next school. Transferring this information is in the best interests of our students and assists that next school to provide optimal education and support to students.

      In some limited circumstances, information may be disclosed outside of the school (and outside of the Department of Education and Training). The school will seek your consent for such disclosures unless the disclosure is allowed or mandated by law.

      Our school values the privacy of every person. When collecting and managing personal and health information, all school staff must comply with Victorian privacy law. For more information about privacy including about how to access personal and health information held by the school about you or your child, see our school’s privacy policy: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Pages/schoolsprivacypolicy.aspx

      Throughout this notice, ‘staff’ includes principals, teachers, Student Support Service officers, youth workers, social workers, nurses and any other allied health practitioners and all other staff at our school. This includes employees, agents and service providers (contractors) of the Department, whether paid or unpaid.

      ONLINE SERVICES

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      Online Services at Sunshine Heights Primary School:

      What type of online services are used at our school?

      Our school uses a variety of online services and applications (online services) to support and enhance our students’ educational experiences and to create a high quality and innovative learning environment. Our school uses online services for:

      • teaching and learning;
      • communication and engagement with parents;
      • student administration;
      • school management;
      • complying with legal requirements; and
      • other purposes stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy.

      Our school collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information on these online services for these purposes or where permitted by law. Where appropriate, school staff or service providers may access information in online services for those permitted purposes. For example, when the service provider provides technical support.  

      Please click this link to read important

      How do we protect personal and other information?

      Victorian privacy laws require schools to handle personal and health information in accordance with the appropriate principles such as the Information Privacy Principles. Our school take steps to ensure data is securely handled, such as: privacy assessments, contractual arrangements and monitoring. We also educate students on cyber safety so that they can have positive online experiences.

      What content and materials will be shared through the online services?

      Students may have the ability to create, store and share any school work related content, such as photographs, audio, video recordings, and non-classroom related information. Where this work contains personally identifiable information of students or others, we will guide students on how to handle it safely and respectfully, and to seek appropriate permissions.

      What school polices and support apply to these services?

      The following school policies and documents apply: Privacy Policy, Student Engagement Policy, and Digital Technologies Policy. These will be used to inform the school community on acceptable behaviours. Our school policies are available from sunshine.heights.ps@edumail.vic.gov.au

      If you wish to request access to your child’s information, or have any questions, please contact the Principal on 8311 7100.

       

       

      Online services used for multiple purposes

      Online Service

      Purpose

      Information type

      Data Storage Location

      Accounts

      Xuno

       

      * teaching and learning

      * parent communication and engagement

      * student administration

      * school management

      (online payment system)

      Student Full Name

      Student Year Level

      Student Class

      Student DOB

      Student Email

      Student Photo

      Student ATSI status

      Student Health and Welfare Information

      Sick Bay

      Attendance

      Excursion Permission notification

      Student Behavioural Information

      Student Assessment

      eCases ID

      Parent Details

      Australia

      Student Teacher Administrator

      Parent

       

      Online services used for teaching and learning, and (where applicable) for parent communication and engagement about the student’s learning outcomes

      Online Service

      Purpose

      Information type

      Data Storage Location

      Accounts

      Mathletics

       

      Mathematics

      * communication and engagement with parents

      Student First Name (and Initial)

      Student Year Level

      Student Class

      Student Work

      Student Assessment

      Overseas

      Student

      Teacher

      Reading Eggs

      Literacy

      * communication and engagement with parents

       

      Student First Name (and Initial)

      Student Year Level

      Student Class

      Student Work

      Student Assessment

      Overseas

      Student Teacher

      Seesaw Class

      Teaching and learning

       

      Communication and engagement with students and families

       

      Student First Name & Surname

      Student Year Level

      Student Class

      Student Work

       

      Overseas

      Student Teacher

      Other online services used for short periods

           

      or Teacher only

       

       

      UNIFORM/DRESS CODE POLICY

      UNIFORM/DRESS CODE POLICY

      PARENT PAYMENT POLICY

      PARENT PAYMENT POLICY

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