The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all students and members of our College community understand:

    1. our commitment to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for students
    2. expectations for positive student behaviour
    3. support available to students and families
    4. our policies and procedures for responding to inappropriate student behaviour.

    Leongatha Secondary College is committed to providing a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment for all students.  We understand that students reach their full potential only when they are happy, healthy and safe, and that a positive school culture helps to engage students and support them in their learning.  Our College acknowledges that student wellbeing and student learning outcomes are closely linked.

    The objective of this policy is to support our College to create and maintain a safe, supportive and inclusive school environment consistent with our school’s values.


    This policy applies to all school activities, including camps and excursions.


    School profile

    Leongatha Secondary College is a co-educational secondary college with a current enrolment of 640 students, located in Gippsland’s famous dairy country and in the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges. Forming part of the wider Leongatha Education Precinct (consisting also of Leongatha Primary School, South Gippsland Specialist School, TAFE Gippsland and the South Gippsland Bass Coast Local Learning and Employment Network), Leongatha Secondary College has a proud academic history and continues to provide a well-rounded, quality education for all our students in this 21st Century of learning.

    At Leongatha Secondary College, we are dedicated to assisting our students to be as successful as they can be during their time at the College, and in preparing them for their future beyond school. To that end, we have co-constructed the college’s Effective Teacher and Learner Traits in consultation with the broader school community, including students, staff, parents and carers. By embedding these traits in our curriculum, not only are we directly responding to global, national and local needs, but we are nurturing successful and responsible citizenship.

    The College’s Effective Learner Traits are: Motivation – self-motivated, organised and inquisitive; Respect – respects peers, teachers and the school; Resilience & Reflection – accepts, understands and uses feedback for improvement: and Self-Awareness – aware of strengths and areas for improvement.

    All members of the Leongatha Secondary College community are encouraged to take responsibility for their own actions. They are encouraged to contribute to a learning environment that is healthy, supportive and enables others to develop skills aligned to the Effective Learner Traits, as well as strong literacy and numeracy skills, and the ability to work alongside diverse viewpoints, cultures and needs.

    Every student at Leongatha Secondary College can experience success and we value the many different pathways that each young person wants to pursue in life. We also appreciate that we must equip them with a range of skills that are transferable across a broad spectrum of industries and which can be built upon further as they grow in their years beyond secondary education. To this end, our teachers understand that no two students are the same and their focus is on teaching the individual no matter where they are on the learning continuum. Our staff are adaptable, flexible and ensure that all students have an opportunity to develop and progress in the classroom and beyond.

    The College’s inclusive learning environment aims to empower all students to be the best versions of themselves. We strive to foster a supportive and caring atmosphere that allows students  to be challenged and to grow. We believe that all students can develop and achieve success across a range of curricular and co-curricular activities. By setting high expectations, we empower them and inspire confidence to take on responsibility for their own learning progress.

    Our end goal is to ensure that students experience significant learning growth, particularly with respect to literacy and numeracy skills. While we acknowledge the fundamental importance of this goal, we also understand that students need and deserve  a positive school experience; to maintain and develop wellbeing and to feel a strong sense of belonging. We know that the happier the student, the more likely it is that they will experience success at school. We aim to make learning fun and look to celebrate successes at every possible moment, no matter how big or small.

    We are committed to ensuring that every student at Leongatha Secondary College receives a high quality education, has the opportunity to experience success, and develops a positive disposition to lifelong learning.

    Core Values and Vision

    At Leongatha Secondary College we expect all in our school community to take responsibility for their actions.

    Effective Learner and Teacher Profiles have been developed via a community consultation process and these serve to provide guidance as to how each member of the College community can contribute to a safe, supportive and challenging learning environment.

    An Effective LSC Learner:

    • Is self-motivated, inquisitive and organised.
    • Displays resilience and a positive mindset.
    • Is aware of their strengths and areas for improvement.
    • Respects their peers, teachers and the school.
    • Is willing to receive feedback and is reflective.

    An Effective LSC Teacher:

    • Creates positive relationships.
    • Displays empathy and is focussed on student wellbeing.
    • Is student-focused and enthusiastic.
    • Provides clarity, feedback and engaging lessons.
    • Understands that challenges and change are necessary for professional growth.

    Leongatha Secondary College will provide educational opportunities for all students to reach their maximum potential as lifelong learners. As a College we will embrace the notion that all students can learn and are deserving of every opportunity to experience success in their education.

    To realise this vision, Leongatha Secondary College will function as a learner-centred organisation which recognises not only the need for partnerships between home, school and community but also the need for a highly skilled and flexible professional staff. The College’s organisational structure will promote an environment for creative and reflective teaching practice.

    The College will respond to the impact which changing social and economic patterns have on the needs of learners.

    The learning opportunities provided will promote the development of healthy, happy, productive individuals as members of society. These experiences will develop our students’ personal well-being, communication skills, social competencies, vocational and life skills.

    Wellbeing and engagement strategies

    Leongatha Secondary College has developed a range of strategies to promote engagement, an inclusive and safe environment, positive behaviour and respectful relationships for all students in our school. We recognise the importance of student friendships and peer support in helping children and students feel safe and less isolated.  We acknowledge that some students may need extra social, emotional or educational support at school, and that the needs of students will change over time as they grow and learn.

    A summary of the universal (whole of College), targeted (year group specific) and individual engagement strategies used by our College is included below:

    Universal (whole of school)

    • high and consistent expectations of all staff, students, and parents/carers
    • prioritise positive relationships between staff and students, recognising the fundamental role this plays in building and sustaining student wellbeing
    • creating a culture that is inclusive, engaging and supportive and that embraces and celebrates diversity and empowers all students to participate and feel valued
    • welcoming all parents/carers and being responsive to them as partners in learning
    • analysing and being responsive to a range of school data such as attendance, Attitudes to School Survey,  student management data and school level assessment data
    • deliver a broad curriculum including VET programs, VCE and VCAL to ensure that students are able to choose subjects and programs that are tailored to their interests, strengths and aspirations
    • teachers at Leongatha Secondary College use Learning Intentions and Success Criteria to frame the learning and reflection for lessons and work toward ensuring evidenced-based, high yield teaching practices are incorporated into all lessons
    • teachers at Leongatha Secondary College adopt a broad range of teaching and assessment approaches to effectively respond to the diverse learning styles, strengths and needs of our students and follow the standards set by the Victorian Institute of Teaching
    • our college’s  Statement of Values and School Philosophy are incorporated into our curriculum and promoted to students, staff and parents so that they are shared and celebrated as the foundation of our school community
    • planned transition programs to support students moving into different stages of their schooling
      • – Grade 6 into Year 7 Transition Program and activities with feeder schools
      • – Junior School (Years 7-9) into Senior School (Years 10-12) Transition
    • positive behaviour and student achievement is acknowledged in the classroom, through Compass using Chronicle entries and formally in school assemblies and communication to parents
    • monitor student attendance and implement attendance improvement strategies at a whole-school, cohort and individual level
    • students have the opportunity to contribute to and provide feedback on decisions about school operations through the Student Representative Council and the Attitudes To School Survey. Students are invited to become a member of the School Council. Students are also encouraged to speak with their teachers, Year Level Coordinator, Sub-School Leader, Assistant Principal and Principal whenever they have any questions or concerns.
    • create opportunities for cross-age connections amongst students through athletics, music programs and peer support programs and also with Leongatha Primary School
    • all students are welcome to speak directly to the Student Wellbeing team, School Nurse, Year Level Coordinators, Sub-School Leaders, Assistant Principal and Principal if they would like to discuss a particular issue or feel as though they may need support of any kind. We are proud to have an ‘open door’ policy where students and staff are partners in learning
    • we engage in school wide positive behaviour support with our staff and students, which includes programs and process such as:
      • – Respectful Relationships
      • – Bully Stoppers
      • – Safe Schools
      • – Hands on Learning (Working Group)
      • – Rock and Water
      • – Drumbeat
      • – Restorative Practices
    • opportunities for student inclusion (i.e. sports teams, clubs, recess and lunchtime activities)
    • buddy programs, peers support programs
    • measures are in place to empower our school community to identify, report and address inappropriate and harmful behaviours such as racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination or harassment.


    Leongatha Secondary College implements a range of strategies that support and promote individual engagement. These can include:

    • each year group has a Year Level Coordinator responsible for their year, who monitor the health and wellbeing of students in their year, and act as a point of contact for students who may need additional support
    • Koorie students are supported to engage fully in their education, in a positive learning environment that understands and appreciates the strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture
    • our English as a second language students are supported through our EAL program, and all cultural and linguistically diverse students are supported to feel safe and included in our school including through our engagement with the South Gippsland EAL Network/Partnership arrangement.
    • we provide a positive and respectful learning environment for our students who identify as LGBTIQ+ and follow the Department’s policy on LGBTIQ Student Support
    • all students in Out of Home Care are supported in accordance with the Department’s policy on Supporting Students in Out-of-Home Care including being appointed a Learning Mentor, having an Individual Learning Plan and a Student Support Group (SSG) and being referred to Student Support Services for an Educational Needs Assessment
    • students with a disability are supported to be able to engage fully in their learning and school activities in accordance with the Department’s policy on Students with Disability, such as  through reasonable adjustments to support access to learning programs, consultation with families and where required, student support groups and individual education plans
    • wellbeing and health staff will undertake health promotion and social skills development in response to needs identified by student wellbeing data, classroom teachers or other school staff each year
    • staff will apply a trauma-informed approach to working with students who have experienced trauma
    • students enrolled under the Department’s international student program are supported in accordance with our legal obligations and Department policy and guidelines at: International Student Program
    • all students from Year 10 and above will be assisted to develop a Career Action Plan, with targeted goals and support to plan for their future
    • Leongatha Secondary College assists students to plan their Year 10 work experience, supported by their Career Action Plan


    • building constructive relationships with students at risk or students who are vulnerable due to complex individual circumstances
    • meeting with student and their parent/carer to talk about how best to help the student engage with school
    • developing an Individual Learning/Education Plan and/or a Behaviour Support Plan where deemed necessary
    • considering if any environmental changes need to be made that will benefit the student, such as class changes, seating plans, inclusion in the Hands on Learning Working Group, engagement in targeted intervention support program such as ‘I am Ready’ or ‘Reset’ that are facilitated by the Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN), support from Educational Support staff in class, participation in other targeted Response To Interventions (RTI) strategies and/or programs.
    • referring the student to:
      • – school-based wellbeing team, including DET-appointed Mental Health Practitioner
      • – Student Support Services
      • – external professional supports such as Headspace, Child and Youth Mental Health Services (CYMHS), ChildFirst, other allied health professionals
      • – re-engagement programs such as Navigator

    Where necessary the College will support the student’s family to engage by:

    • being responsive and sensitive  to changes in the student’s circumstances and health and wellbeing
    • collaborating, where appropriate, with the support of the student and their family, with any external allied health professionals, services or agencies that are supporting the student
    • monitoring individual student attendance and working in collaboration with the student and their family to improve attendance
    • engaging with our regional Koorie Education Support Officers
    • running regular Student Support Group meetings for all students:
      • – with a disability
      • – in Out of Home Care
      • – with other complex needs that require ongoing support and monitoring.

    Identifying students in need of support

    Leongatha Secondary College is committed to providing the necessary support to ensure our students are supported intellectually, emotionally and socially. The Student Wellbeing team plays a significant role in developing and implementing strategies to help identify students in need of support and enhance student wellbeing. Leongatha Secondary College will utilise the following information and tools to identify students in need of extra emotional, social or educational support:

    • personal, health and learning information gathered upon enrolment and while the student is enrolled
    • attendance records
    • academic performance
    • observations by school staff such as changes in engagement, behaviour,  self-care, social connectedness and motivation
    • attendance, detention and suspension data
    • engagement with families
    • self-referrals or referrals from peers

    Student rights and responsibilities

    All members of our school community have a right to experience a safe and supportive school environment. We expect that all students, staff, parents and carers treat each other with respect and dignity. Our school’s Core Values highlights the rights and responsibilities of members of our community.

    Students have the right to:

    • participate fully in their education
    • feel safe, secure and happy at school
    • learn in an environment free from bullying, harassment, violence, racism, discrimination or intimidation
    • express their ideas, feelings and concerns.

    Students have the responsibility to:

    • participate fully in their educational program
    • display positive behaviours that demonstrate respect for themselves, their peers, their teachers and members of the school community
    • respect the right of others to learn.

    Students who may have a complaint or concern about something that has happened at school are encouraged to speak to their parents or carers and approach a trusted teacher or a member of the school leadership team. Further information about raising a complaint or concern is available in our Complaints Policy.

    Student behavioural expectations and management

    Behavioural expectations of students, staff and families are grounded in our school’s Core Values. Student bullying behaviour will be responded to consistently with Leongatha Secondary College’s  Bullying prevention policy.

    Violence, bullying, and other offensive and harmful behaviours such as racism, harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated and will be managed in accordance with this policy. Bullying will be managed in accordance with our Bullying Prevention Policy.When a student acts in breach of the behaviour standards of our school community, Leongatha Secondary College will undertake a staged response, consistent with the Department’s Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidelines and Behaviour policy. Where appropriate, parents/carers will be informed about the inappropriate behaviour and the disciplinary action taken by teachers and other school staff.

    Disciplinary measures may be used as part of a staged response to inappropriate behaviour in combination with other engagement and support strategies to ensure that factors that may have contributed to the student’s behaviour are identified and addressed. Disciplinary measures at our school will be applied fairly and consistently. Students will always be provided with an opportunity to be heard.

    Disciplinary measures that may be applied include:

    • warning  a student that their behaviour is inappropriate
    • teacher-controlled consequences such as moving a student in a classroom or other reasonable and proportionate responses to misbehaviour
    • withdrawal of privileges
    • referral to a Year Level Coordinator/Sub-School Leader
    • restorative practices
    • detentions
    • behaviour support and intervention meetings
    • suspension
    • expulsion

    Suspension, expulsion and restrictive interventions are measures of last resort and may only be used in particular situations consistent with Department policy, available at:

    In line with Ministerial Order 1125, no student aged 8 or younger will be expelled without the approval of the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training.

    The Principal of Leongatha Secondary College is responsible for ensuring all suspensions and expulsions are recorded on CASES21.

    Corporal punishment is prohibited by law  and will not be used in any circumstance at our college.

    Engaging with families

    Leongatha Secondary College values the input of parents and carers, and we will strive to support families to engage in their child’s learning and build their capacity as active learners. We aim to be partners in learning with parents and carers in our school community.

    We work hard to create successful partnerships with parents and carers by:

    • ensuring that all parents have access to our school policies and procedures, available on our school website
    • maintaining an open, respectful line of communication between parents and staff
    • involving families with homework and other curriculum-related activities
    • coordinating resources and services from the community for families
    • including families in Student Support Groups, and developing individual plans for students.


    Leongatha Secondary College will collect data each year to understand the frequency and types of wellbeing issues that are experienced by our students so that we can measure the success or otherwise of our school-based strategies and identify emerging trends or needs.

    Sources of data that will be assessed on an annual basis include:

    • student survey data
    • incidents data
    • school reports
    • parent survey
    • case management
    • CASES21, including attendance and absence data
    • SOCS

    Leongatha Secondary College will also regularly monitor available data dashboards to ensure any wellbeing or engagement issues are acted upon in a timely manner and any intervention occurs as soon as possible.


    This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways:

    • Available publicly on our school’s website
    • Included in staff induction processes
    • Made available in hard copy from school administration upon request

    Our school will also ensure it follows the mandatory parent/carer notification requirements with respect to suspensions and expulsions outlined in the Department’s policies at:

    Further information and resources

    The following Department of Education and Training policies are relevant to this Student Engagement and Wellbeing Policy: