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New ways to help students engage at mainstream schools

Engaging students in school.

young people engaged in education

Every school has a plan to meet the needs of every student, recognising that every child is different.  Schools also recognise that parents are the best advocates for their child and therefore seek to work with parents in responding to the needs of students. In addition, the Department of Education is trialling some new ways to support those students who struggle most to stay engaged at school. While these new approaches are promising, they are being piloted at a small number of schools across Queensland and are only available to a small number of students for now.

Expert teams to support young people across the state

Schools work hard to engage every student in their learning and help them feel a sense of belonging within their school community. If you feel your child is struggling at school with their learning or wellbeing, please contact your child’s school to seek their help. Today’s schools want to work with parents, as partners, to see every child succeed and will welcome hearing from you if you have any concerns.

On rare occasions, some parents may find their child need additional support to overcome their challenges at school. To help in these circumstances, the Department of Education has created teams, known as Regional Youth Engagement Services (RYES). These teams comprise guidance counsellors and other professionals who can help young people who have disengaged from their education. If you have worked closely with your child’s school and tried everything they have suggested, and your child is still not engaging with their education, it might be time to contact your local RYES.

Flexible learning spaces in mainstream schools

Available in just a small number of Queensland state schools, FlexiSpaces are learning spaces that can be adapted to suit the needs of students who are struggling to stay engaged in their learning at school. These learning spaces are designed to support selected existing students to learn in a specially created space while remaining at school with their friends.  At these schools, the leadership teams carefully consider which students are most likely to benefit from learning in a FlexiSpace, taking into account student behaviour and the types of learning approaches that teachers have already tried with them in their regular classrooms. This carefully considered approach means that parents are not able to elect for their child to be enrolled in a FlexiSpace, and nor can new students at these schools automatically be enrolled in one.

There are 17 schools introducing FlexiSpaces across the state right now, with up to 52 being rolled-out across Queensland over the next three years.  You can find out more about FlexiSpaces here.

Support for students to find their way after leaving school

Research shows that young people who complete Year 12 are nearly three times more likely to go on to further study or work compared with early leavers While there are lots of study, work and training opportunities out there, it can be hard for some young people to work out what they want to do and how to make it happen.

To help these young people, the Department of Education has introduced a ‘Link and Launch’ program in a small number of Queensland schools. The program is for young people who recently completed Year 12, and who live in areas surrounding the host school. These young people can get the one-on-one support they need from a specially trained person who can help them make decisions about their future and link them to education, employment and training opportunities that will help them achieve their goals.

There are plans to have 14 ‘Link and Launch’ sites operating at selected schools by the end of 2020, with up to 30 sites by 2022. If you have a child who is due to finish Year 12 this year or completed Year 12 last year and is struggling to move into further study, training or work, find out if the Link and Launch program is available near you.  You can read more about the ‘Link and Launch’ program here.

Equipping our schools to help their students

Research has found there are some things schools can do that work best for keeping most students engaged most of the time. The Department of Education in Queensland is working to build these skills and practices in our school teams across the state. These practices include:

  • putting as much effort into students who struggle to learn as those students who find learning easy
  • building the skills of teachers and the teams who work with the students who need the most help
  • collecting data to keep track of every student’s progress so that no student falls through the cracks
  • creating learning environments that are more engaging for students.

You can read more about this research and how we are supporting schools to engage every young person here.

Want to know more?

Engaging our young people in their education is key to helping them fulfill their potential and enjoy successful lives. You can read more about what the Department of Education is doing to help kids across the state here.

Last Updated: 01 February 2022