Children in the CEO's care, particularly Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children and those from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds, are likely to have experienced disruption to their education due to abuse and/or neglect.
To ensure that these children are supported to achieve positive educational outcomes, the collaboration between educators and the Department of Communities (the Department) is essential.
Under s.10 of the Children and Community Services Act 2004, education officers also need to emphasise the importance of child participation, particularly in relation to significant events and times of intense planning for the child:
When a decision is being made that is likely to have a significant impact on a child's life, to make sure the child is able to participate in the decision-making process, the child must be given:
In relation to the extent of a child's participation, due regard must be given to the child's age and level of understanding.
The term 'education officer' is used throughout this entry and is inclusive of senior education officers, residential care and secure care education officers.
Note: CEO refers to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department.
You must consult an education officer (EO) when there is a concern regarding the educational needs of a child in the CEO's care.
You must ensure all children in the CEO's care have an education arrangement that best suits their needs and circumstances.
You must ensure all children in the CEO's care (of compulsory school age) have a Documented Plan.
must consult an EO when there is a concern regarding the educational needs of a child in the CEO's care.
Education officers are located in districts, metropolitan residential care homes and secure care and are available to support and address the educational needs of a child in the CEO's care.
Reasons for engaging an EO include (but not limited to):
enrolment and/or transition between schools
attendance or participation concerns
disability, medical or mental health support needs
school absences (including suspension)
the transition from detention or secure care
the transition or other support services (including speech or occupational therapy)
homework or study support, and
post-compulsory education and/or training.
To request EO consultation:
Email the EO a summary of any education-related concerns.
The EO will provide you with a Consultation Case Note, with recommendations and/or required actions.
Depending on the complexity of the concerns, the EO may open an Education Service in Assist. Refer to Assist User Guide Service Provision – Education Services.
The EO will work with you to address the education-related concerns identified in the service.
After consultation with you and the childs care team, the EO will close-out the service once all education-related concerns have been addressed or no further action is viable. Cases may be re- opened where there is a change in the child's circumstances, or there is demand for further Education Service involvement.
For children in a metropolitan Department Residential Care Home, the relevant residential care EO will take on the Education Service.
Although not compulsory, a child in the CEO's care should be enrolled in kindergarten to have early learning experiences. To determine when a child is eligible to start kindergarten, refer to the Department of Education: Enrolling in School page for further information.
By law, in Western Australia, a child of compulsory school age must be enrolled in a school and attend every day. Compulsory school age is from the beginning of the year that a child reaches the age of five years and six months, until the end of the year that the child reaches the age of 17 years and six months or turns 18, whichever happens first. Refer to the Department of Education: Schooling page for further information.
For a list of all primary and secondary public, independent and Catholic schools, refer to the Australian Schools Directory.
1. You must email a completed Form 587 - School Notification and Education Planning for a child in the CEO's care (in related resources) to the school Principal if a child has entered the CEO's care and is already enrolled at school.
2. You must complete an Application for Enrolment and lodge it with a completed Form 587 - School Notification and Education Planning for a Child in the CEO's care to the school Principal if a child has entered the CEO's care and is not enrolled.
a. A carer may lodge an Application for Enrolment; however, you must email a completed Form 587 with the application as proof of address to the school Principal.b. At the pre-enrolment meeting or at enrolment, provide relevant information including the most recent DP and school reports (if available), medical, behavioural or social difficulties that may impact on the child's ability to access and participate in school and any known disability or medical or health condition.
a. A carer may lodge an Application for Enrolment; however, you must email a completed Form 587 with the application as proof of address to the school Principal.
b. At the pre-enrolment meeting or at enrolment, provide relevant information including the most recent DP and school reports (if available), medical, behavioural or social difficulties that may impact on the child's ability to access and participate in school and any known disability or medical or health condition.
3. Place the email and Form 587 on the child's education file and attach to their Child Information Portal (CIP) under Education Planning Requirements.
4. Once an application for enrolment has been accepted and the Form 587 received by the school, the school Principal will verify that a DP is developed within 30 working days. During this period a planning meeting with the school and the child's care team could be held to inform the development of the DP. Arranging this meeting should not delay development of the plan within the timeline. Consideration should be given to the views of the child.
5. Once the DP has been received, update the Education Planning Requirements in the CIP, status as 'completed' and link the document via the Document Reference in the CIP. This is reportable data compliance.
6. Update the Education Arrangements in the CIP to reflect the child's current enrolment status and record past enrolments in the history.
If an enrolment is declined, the Principal will provide you with the information about requesting a review of the decision. For further information, refer to the Department of Education - Enrolling in School.
Notify the school Principal via email and include a completed Form 585 within 15 working days if:
a child has left the CEO's care
a child's orders change
a child in the CEO's care leaves the school and is enrolled in a new school
there has been a change in place of residence, or
there are changes in the child's particulars.
The Department will cover the costs associated with:
To initiate a payment, refer to Chapter 3.5.2 Case management costs - case support costs.
A child in the CEO's care enrolling in TAFE or with a private training provider (and between the ages of 15 and 18 years) may be eligible for a waiver of fees. Refer to the Department of Training and Workforce Development VET Fees and Charges Policy 2021 and the Fact sheet - Fee Waivers for Students in State Care for further information.
must only share or request information in line with the relevant Memorandas of Understanding (MOUs).
To help promote information sharing, collaborative planning and support practices, MOUs have been agreed to between the Department and:
Schools are responsible for keeping you and the child's care team informed of the child's wellbeing and academic progress. Refer to the relevant MOU to confirm what information can or cannot be requested.
Email a completed
Form 585 - School Notification of a Change of Arrangements for a Child in the CEO's care to the school Principal within 15 working days if:
Place the Form 585 on the child's education file.
A child in the CEO's care (of compulsory school age) must have at least one current Documented Plan (DP).
Documented Plans take a variety of forms including:
Documented Education Plans (DEPs)
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
Individual Behaviour Management Plans (IBMPs)
Curriculum Adjustment Plan (CAP)
Individual Transition Plans (ITPs), and
Risk Management Plans (RMPs).
The child's school is responsible for developing the DP; however, you and the child's care team are key partners in developing and recording the plan.
A DP informs the education dimension of the child's care plan and details the child's academic and wellbeing needs for the current school year.
You should support the school by:
participating in DP meetings with the school, the child's carer and the child (where appropriate)
using the DP to inform the child's care plan
consulting with the child about their DP and considering their views and wishes
informing the child about their DP in accordance with their age and capacity to understand it, and where appropriate, inviting the child to participate in the planning meeting, and
providing a copy of the DP to the carer and the child (if appropriate).
Save DPs in the child's education file and record, link and update as 'completed' in Assist under education planning requirements and record the documentreference. Documented Plans are reviewed bi-annually by the school Principal.
Public schools may provide a coversheet which indicates if a child in the CEO's care requires academic or wellbeing adjustments. If a child needs additional support, their coversheet will be accompanied by an updated DP. Record coversheets in Assist and save in the child's education file.
You must encourage and support attendance at school for all children in the CEO's care. Where a child in the CEO's care has problematic attendance, you must request an Education Planning Meeting with the aim to reinstate positive attendance. Refer to the Department of Education's Student Attendance in Public Schools Policy and Procedures for further information.
A child should be supported to maintain their existing enrolment to minimise the disruption that transitioning from one school to another can have. Where there is a need to transfer the child to another school, consult an EO for assistance.
Avoid organising appointments and visits (including completing Viewpoint) that interrupt learning or disrupt positive attendance and engagement during the school day.
Where possible, notify the school in advance where a meeting during school hours is required.
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) is responsible for setting standards, assessing and certifying student achievement according to those standards.
The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) is a senior secondary certificate recognised nationally in the Australian Qualifications Framework and universities, industry and other training providers.
Students must demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy to be eligible for a WACE. The minimum standard of literacy and numeracy encompasses the skills that are considered essential for individuals to meet everyday life demands and work.
The Authority will report on the demonstration of the standard for each component (reading, writing and numeracy) for each student on the Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA) on completion of Year 12.
Students can demonstrate the standard for each component through performance in either the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Year 9 or Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA).
Refer to the OLNA Fact Sheet (in related resources) for further information.
You must inform schools of any behaviourial, medical or mental health concerns that might affect the child's learning, interactions and participation, and request an Education Planning Meeting to develop a plan to support the child.
Provide the necessary documentation for schools to access supplementary resources and support for a child with disability or severe mental health issues.
Eight categories attract additional resources through the Department of Education, and each category has its own criteria, some requiring specific assessment or diagnosis by a specialist:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Global Development Delay
Severe Medical Health Condition
Severe Mental Disorder
For eligibility requirements, refer to the Department of Education Disability Allocation – Statewide Support Services for further information.
Refer to the Department of Education's Children with Special Education Needs page and the Disability and Mental Health Support Information Sheet for further information.
A child who has experienced trauma due to abuse and/or neglect is more likely to experience anxiety, stress or depression and to engage in aggressive or impulsive behaviours. Without appropriate intervention, these behaviours can escalate and result in disciplinary absences from school.
Department of Education Policies (attendance, behaviour management, exclusion) for further information.
Notification of suspension and negotiation process
Before a school Principal can suspend a student for a breach (other than a serious breach) of the school's code of conduct, the principal provides oral or written advice to the student, their parents, carers or other responsible person (unless they are an adult or an independent minor) about the duration of, and reasons for the proposed suspension.
The school Principal
must give a reasonable opportunity for the student, parents, carers or person responsible for the student to discuss why they should not have been suspended or why the suspension should not continue.
For serious breaches of school discipline, this will occur in writing as soon as practicable after the provisional suspension decision.
On notification of a child's suspension, contact the school Principal to:
verify that the notification has been received
discuss the incident details
discuss the factors that may have contributed to the behaviour and possible solutions, and
request education material by the school to support the child while suspended from school.
The school Principal will not apply suspension for reasons associated with:
an incident occurring outside of school, except where the school Principal can establish a reasonable nexus between the incident and the school, or
If you are not satisfied with the school's response, consult an EO.
Schoolwork and activities during the suspension
must provide any student who is suspended from school for three or more consecutive school days (or has accumulated five days suspension within the year), with educational material and instruction during the period of suspension.
There is no formal in-school suspension where a child attends school while being suspended from their regular classroom activities. However, this may be negotiated with the school depending on their policy.
School re-entry meeting and planning
The child must return to school immediately following the end of the suspension period. Attend the child's re-entry meeting to help in the development of a DP which encourages and supports the child to engage in positive behaviour.
Planning for a return to school should occur during the suspension period as this allows the child to return to classes immediately at the end of the suspension period. When attending re-entry meetings, consider the need for referrals to specialist services and supports.
If a child is suspended from a public school for a total of 10 or more days in one school year, the school Principal should consult with a parent or a person responsible for the child (unless they are an adult student or an independent minor) to discuss the child's behaviour to avoid any further breaches of school discipline.
If a child accumulates eight suspensions from a public school or 20 days of suspension in a calendar year (whichever comes first), the school Principal will:
Inform the Regional Executive Director and Principal, School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement as part of a case management approach.
Work with Regional Education Office and the Department of Education Statewide Services (Statewide Services) staff, family and relevant agencies to formally review the students situation and jointly develop or improve personalised behaviour support. Consult with the District or Residential Care Education Officer and regularly monitor and review the plan.
An exclusion order is the most extreme sanction that can be applied to a student and as such is reserved for the most serious breaches of school discipline.
The Principal may recommend to the Director General that a student be excluded from attending school as part of the school's behaviour support plan. Exclusion may be temporary or permanent and only the Director General may exclude a student.
The Regional Executive Director will appoint a School Discipline Advisory Panel or Disabilities Advisory Panel to consider the recommendation for exclusion.
During this time the child will be suspended from school for 10 days to allow for the process to be concluded.
You must attend the School Discipline Advisory Panel meeting to advocate for the child's best interests. For students who are excluded, the Department of Education's RED is responsible for case coordinating placement and support for the student. This includes case coordination with Statewide Services and other internal and external stakeholders to support a successful transition and re-engagement for the child.
must consult an EO to identify suitable academic supports where there are concerns for a child's academic development.
A child in the CEO's care may receive tutoring (for a time-limited period) to supplement their learning; however, it does not replace a child's school program. Discuss the provision of tutoring as part of care planning and have it endorsed by an EO. To be eligible for tutoring, a current DP
must be in place, detailing any areas of concern and informed by assessments and diagnostic testing.
Once an approach has been agreed to, submit a funding plan in Assist for endorsement by a team leader (TL) and the initial contract for service signed by the district director (DD).
The following information should be detailed in the funding request:
The child's education background.
A summary of discussions with the school, carer and potential service.
The recommended service, frequency and location (e.g. in-school, group, home-based).
The recommended service's quote, with the payment rate and total cost.
The proposed review timeframes.
The EO's endorsement that the service is required.
Once approved by a TL, the tutor
must have a completed and cleared Form 395 Screening Check and a valid Working with Children Check. Refer to Chapter 3.1 Working with Children Card for further information and access to required forms.
Regular tuition reports and initial and final assessments should be provided and placed on the child's education file in Objective.
At the end of each school term the tuition reports should be reviewed by you and/or the EO to assess the child's progress and determine if the service should continue.
If a child is not attending or engaged in schooling or other education arrangements, tuition may not be considered suitable as tutoring should not replace an education program. Additionally, a child attending an Education Support School may not necessarily benefit from tuition.
Once an EO is notified of a tutoring request, they will evaluate the justification for tuition and either endorse or recommend an alternative such as scholastic tuition, speech pathology, or occupational therapy.
A child in the CEO's care is particularly vulnerable to many factors that have an adverse impact on language development. On consultation with the EO, speech pathology services may be considered in place of academic tutoring.
Speech Pathology services focus on a range of speech and literacy issues such as speech articulation and impediments (stuttering or lisps), expressive language (vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure), receptive language (comprehension, following instructions), literacy and phonological awareness (letter knowledge, syllabification, rhyme, spelling and reading).
Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on the connection between emotional and physical wellbeing for children and adolescents. Occupational Therapists work with children with any condition, disability or impairment that affects their ability to perform everyday activities. Consult with the EO as OT may be considered more appropriate than other supports.
Academic Tuition Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy Information Sheet for further information.
The child's DP should detail any tuition, other supports and evaluations proposed or undertaken. An EO can also support non-scholastic tutoring, such as singing or music lessons.
Grade retention or repeating a year
The Department is sometimes required to consider a request for a child in the CEO's care to be retained in a grade or to repeat an academic year at school. Repeating a year of school is often suggested by teachers and parents as an intervention strategy for students with learning difficulties and/or disability who are not performing at school as well as their peers.
Extensive longitudinal research conducted on the efficacy of retention (repeating) does not support this belief and in fact, indicates strongly that retention is likely to have a detrimental effect on educational outcomes in the long term.
The research results are consistent regardless of the age the student repeats or whether the student changes schools to repeat.
A more effective intervention strategy for students experiencing learning difficulties is to promote the student with their peer group and address their needs through appropriate teaching and learning adjustments through Documented Planning and/or differentiating the curriculum.
You must consult with an EO where there is a request for a child to repeat a year. Requests are considered on a case by case basis.
A child in the CEO's care will generally attend a public school; however, on a case by case basis, an alternative education arrangement may be considered.
If a child comes into the CEO's care and is already enrolled in an alternative education arrangement, this can continue as long as it still meets the childs needs and poses no issues in relation to the care arrangement location, travel or transport to the arrangement.
Private or Independent School
A child in the CEO's care may attend a Private or Independent School in exceptional circumstances; if they have a special education, disability or inclusion need; and/or has been offered a scholarship or place in a specialist learning program.
Consult with the EO if there is justification and support for on-going funding, discuss any considerations and decide as part of the care planning process. The decision
must be approved by a DD who determines if it is justified to seek the relevant Executive Director's consideration for funding from the special purpose funding budget as a major and extraordinary event.
Boarding Schools and Residential Colleges
Boarding school and residential colleges are not considered care arrangements for a child in the CEO's care; however, there may be a need for a child in the CEO's care to attend these facilities in certain exceptional circumstances.
If the child identifies as Aboriginal, contact Services Australia to discuss subsidised costs through
To discuss funding arrangements, consult the Coordinator, Client Support Services. If a special purpose subsidy is required, refer to
Chapter 3.5 Case Managements Costs – Special Purpose Subsidies: Major, Extraordinary and Capital Costs.
The childs living arrangements must be updated in Assist as the carer's subsidy ceases during the school term while the child is at Boarding School or Residential College and reinstated during holidays.
Boarding Schools Australia for further information.
Home schooling for a child in the CEO's care will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and final approval
must be sought from the DD.
The Department of Education requires home school parents to register as a home educator under the
School Education Act 1999. Consult your EO for further information.
School of Special Education Needs (SSEN)
These facilities provide education support for students with disability and diverse learning needs including when medical or mental health prevents them from successfully participating in their enrolled school programs.
The SSEN specialises in Disability, Medical and Mental Health, Sensory (vision and hearing) and Behaviour and Engagement. Schools should refer to the SSEN team when appropriate, but you can encourage schools to contact SSEN for assistance. Refer to the
the Department of Education: Children with Special Education Needs for further information.
Curriculum and Re-engagement Education Schools (CARE Schools)
Curriculum and Re-engagement Education Schools are specialist non-government schools that focus on supporting at-risk secondary students. They offer flexible programs to support students with complex needs to achieve readiness for employment and/or further education. Refer to Curriculum and Re-engagement Education Schools.
Education Officers can provide up to date information on current CARE Schools, their supports, programs offered and suitability for individual young people.
Under the School Education Act 1999, other arrangements may be sought, to allow children to seek alternative education, training or employment options.
For further information about options available, Notice Of Arrangements, s.24's and Exemptions, consult with an EO.
Children and young people up to 25 years who are or have been in the CEO's care, can apply to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for consideration against financial hardship criteria as per the organisation's policy.
Support the young person to enrol with the RTO by confirming their status as a child in the CEO's care at the time of enrolment if there is fee waiver eligibility (under 18 only).
When requested by an RTO, verify the young person's care status as a care leaver. If no waiver is granted, a young person eligible for leaving care services should receive assistance from the Department. See The Department of Training and Workforce Developments Fees and Charges.
An RTO's Student Services also offer a range of services to support young people in the CEO's care, such as life skills development, career guidance, job search training, work experience and literacy and numeracy support.
The young person and their care team must participate in the decision to enter into an apprenticeship. The Department's decision to support them is based on assessing their capacity to make such a decision.
Under s.127 of the Children and Community Services Act 2004, the CEO has delegated authority to TLs and senior practice development officers (SPDOs) to make decisions and approve and sign Consent Forms for apprenticeship agreements for a children under a protection order (time-limited), a protection order (until 18), and a child who is the subject of a negotiated placement agreement where the agreement authorises the CEO to give consent.
The Department of Training and Workforce Development Apprenticeship Office registers and administers training contracts and regulates the apprenticeship and traineeship system in WA. It assists employers, apprentices and trainees through each stage of their apprenticeship or traineeship.
To commence the apprenticeship process: :
Complete the Apprenticeship Indentures' template in Assist and submit to your TL or SPDO for approval.
Complete Form 253 Letter of Consent to Apprenticeship Agreement and once signed by your TL or SPDO, email/mail the form to the employer.
Record all information in Assist and save any documents within the childs education file in Objective.
If the matter is contentious. forward the submission to the DD for approval.
The annual Achiever Awards provide financial assistance and encouragement to young people aged 15 to 25 years who have been in the CEO's care and are persevering with their further education and training. The only criteria is that the young person is currently enrolled in the first year of:
Award recipients receive funding to assist with further study and/or training in two amounts; the first half is presented at the award presentation event and the second half after the successful participation in the second semester of study or next six months of an apprenticeship. The Department requires proof of continued enrolment to process the second payment.
Nominations can be made by the child protection worker, EO, foster carer, family member, or interested person.
All children in the CEO's care must have an Objective education file (one education file per child, not one for multiple siblings). There is no requirement for a physical file to be created.
If educational documents are received in a digital format, file them into the child's Objective education file. Refer to the Administration Manual 6.1 Born digital documents - stay digital documents for further information.
Current source educational documents can be handed to your districts Business Administration Team to scan into Objective and to correctly store the physical file as per the Administration Manual 6.1 Scanning of client source documents. The Records Management Quality Assurance Team scans educational documents, except:
Place the following education documents on the child's Child History Folder and File:
Place the following documents on the child's education file:
You must update the CIP's education dimension at least quarterly, and anytime there is a change of education arrangement.
All services provided should be recorded on ASSIST and education records filed as required in Chapter 4: Recording Obligations.
An agreed decision is made about what level of action will be taken during a consultation.
Place any consultation correspondence in the child's Education File in Objective (create a new Education File in assist under the child's name if one does not exist).
Open the service in Assist and record any Education Service and/or provision, whether education planning or tuition. All should be opened and closed as a case support service on Assist.
If the case has been reviewed in more detail and does not need to be or doesn't warrant continuation, the EO will close the Assist service.
When there are no further issues e.g. the child is attending school and is supported to achieve appropriate educational outcomes, or when no further action is viable, the EO should notify the child's care team about case closure and close the Education Service on Assist.
The period of time that a case can be open for is based on the needs of the individual child.
Once closed, cases may be re- opened upon change in the child's circumstances or further demand for Education Service involvement.
An EO's caseloads can vary in intensity and in workload and should be determined through supervision. The number of cases open is determined by whether the EO is full-time or part-time, the intensity of the cases and/or the distances that need to be travelledIf a child resides in a metropolitan Residential Care Home, the Residential Education Officer attached to that house will take on any consultation, service and record as appropriate.
If a child enters Secure Care, the Secure Care Senior Education officer will take on any consultation, service and record as appropriate.
If the child's case requires transfer to another district, the EO will notify the corresponding new district EO (if there is one) and close the Assist case.
When a child moves into a metropolitan Department Residential Care Home, the district EO will notify the residential care EO and close the Assist service and other way around.
Education Services Case Management when Youth Justice is involved
When a child in the CEO's care also has case management with Youth Justice services, the Department retains the leading case management role. This also applies to EO case management.
The Youth Education Advisor however, case manages, supports and facilitates the exchange of information from custodial education for all detainee students.
Department EOs may attend Discharge Meetings. Upon release, the Department EO, where appropriate, will assume case responsibility/co-ordination as lead EO and may request Youth Justice support for the duration of the Order.