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Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services evaluation

Authors: Rochelle Cox, Jessica Fulcher, Rebecca Wilkinson, Ian Watkins, Steven Hao

Evaluator company/business: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation

Year: 2020

URL or PDF: Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services evaluation

Summary: This evaluation describes how schools have used allocated Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services and reports on whether they are satisfied with their selected services or programs and if they believe that their allocated funding is sufficient. The evaluation also aims to measure the impact of Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services on student wellbeing. 

Process evaluations findings are based on surveys and interviews that were conducted at two points in them to collect information from school principals. The department's Tell Them From Me survey was used to evaluate the impact of Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services on measures of student wellbeing and engagement.

Schools most commonly spent their Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services on whole school wellbeing programs (40%) and employing a Student Support Officer (37%). Decisions on spending were guided by the student profile and the additional needs of specific sub-groups of students. A large majority of schools perceived that the services they funded had improved student wellbeing. Principals are strongly supportive of the Flexible Funding concept, are highly satisfied with their funded services, and report positive impacts on student wellbeing. Our outcome analyses found no meaningful difference between Flexible Funding schools and non-Flexible Funding schools in changes to whole school student wellbeing measures, however this analysis was limited in that it could not isolate subgroups of students that received targeted support. 

Published in Evaluation repository

Process evaluation of the expansion to the school counselling service

Authors: Rebecca Wilkinson, Jessica Fulcher, Rochelle Cox

Evaluator company/business: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation

Year: 2020

URL or PDF: Process evaluation of the expansion to the school counselling service

Summary: The expansion of the school counselling service is one of the four initiatives included in the department's Supported Students, Successful Students (SSSS) initiative. This process evaluation comprised 63 interviews with school-based staff and members of the school counselling service and; analysis of data on recruitment and separations, scholarships and sponsorships, and the number of new case files. There were 236 additional school counselling positions established through Supported Students, Successful Students, increasing the school counselling service from 790 to 1,026 positions. Recuitment took considerably longer than anticipated. Implementation has been a significant undertaking and challenging for school counselling service staff and schools. Schools that experienced with external services, and sometimes an increase in early intervention initiatives. Department data shows the annual number of new case files opened since 2015 (pre SSSS) has increased by 35% from 28,001 in 2015 (pre SSSS) to 37,796 in 2018. The new position of school psychologist is valued for the complimentary skills and experience they bring to the service. SSSS funding led to 40 permanent appointments into the school counselling service through graduate scholarships. From 2016 to 2019 the sponsorship program supported 194 teachers to retrain as school counsellors, with 94 of these funded by SSSS.

Published in Evaluation repository

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These resources are part of a series that summarise the research on student wellbeing and engagement. They support the department's strategic goal of ensuring every student is known, valued and cared for.

Related resources

Published in Tell Them From Me
Monday, 29 June 2020

Supporting advocacy at school

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These resources are part of a series that summarise the research on student wellbeing and engagement. They support the department's strategic goal of ensuring every student is known, valued and cared for.

Related resources

Published in Tell Them From Me

This page includes five case studies and an environmental scan about effective wellbeing practice. 

Case studies

Cecil Hills High School (PDF, 4.8MB)Penrith Valley School (PDF, 4.1MB)Rosehill Public School (PDF, 4.7MB)South Wagga Public School (PDF, 3.5MB)Trangie Central School (PDF, 2.6MB)

The case studies highlight how effective wellbeing practice supports learning in local contexts. They have been prepared to assist schools to meet the department's strategic goal of 'Every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools'.

Cecil Hills High School (PDF, 4.8MB)

Penrith Valley School (PDF, 4.1MB)

Rosehill Public School (PDF, 4.7MB)

South Wagga Public School (PDF, 3.5MB)

Trangie Central School (PDF, 2.6MB)

The case studies are also available in audio:

Environmental scan

environmental scan (PDF, 7.9MB)

The environmental scan (PDF, 2MB) describes the structures and approaches that support student wellbeing and improve pastoral care. It includes an assessment of: current departmental practices; departmental data, trends and information; relevant state, national and international research; and current practices in a number of NSW public, independent and Catholic schools.

Published in Case studies

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