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In 2021, Schools Plus’ Knowledge Sharing program will continue to bring opportunities to learn with, and from, teachers and leaders in the Schools Plus community of practice, as well as leading educators, researchers, and policymakers from the broader education community.  Our Semester 1 activities include:


We are excited to offer our first webinar series focused on student mental health and wellbeing. The free, 60-minute webinars will provide research and evidence-based insights from education leaders, as well as the opportunity to deep dive into practical perspectives from teachers and school leaders leading significant change in their schools. 

Webinar 1: Leading school cultures to support learning and positive wellbeing

mathewAward-winning educator, author and academic, Associate Professor Mathew White will lead the first webinar focused on positive student wellbeing – its importance and new directions in approaches – to support student success at school. With a unique combination of deep academic and extensive practical experience in schools and other settings, Mathew will share how leading cultural change underpinned by positive psychology can make a positive impact.


In this webinar participants will:

  • Learn why positive well-being is important to student success at school
  • Learn about new directions in well-being models for schools
  • Explore how to lead cultural change and establish positive wellbeing and learning in schools – with a focus on:
    • leadership and strategic vision
    • measuring wellbeing to determine needs of a school community, inform identification of interventions, monitor efficacy of interventions, and measure impact on student success
  • Consider strategies to sustain cultural change (Including role of family and community where relevant)

Webinar 2: Embedding positive education across the curriculum

warrebnWarren Symonds, Principal at Mt Barker High School and 2020 Teaching Fellow will share how the wellbeing of his school community has been strengthened by making positive psychology and practice an integral part of everything they do – curriculum, policies and procedures and relationships. His presentation will particularly focus on how they have embedded Positive Education across the curriculum, and when combined with high impact teaching and learning strategies, had a positive impact on student learning outcomes.


In this webinar participants will:

  • learn about what Positive Education ‘looks like’ across the curriculum and at different year levels
  • learn about ways to measure impact, and examples of growth
  • gain insights into staff professional learning and training
  • hear about strategies to sustain change.

Webinar 3: ‘Getting ready to learn’ – one school’s story of embedding trauma-informed practices to support learning

Picture2Julie Murphy, Principal at Elizabeth Vale School (EVS) in South Australia and 2020 Teaching Fellow recipient will share EVS’s story of bringing about a cultural change, underpinned by trauma-informed practice, to help their students be ready to learn and succeed. Julie’s leadership has been informed by her deep knowledge of the impact of trauma on the neuroscience of students


In this webinar participants will walk through the virtual school gate’ of EVS and:

  • learn how the school community identified the why and what they needed to achieve to meet the needs of their students (intentionality of practice)
  • learn what trauma-informed practice in education looks like in practice
  • explore strategies and approaches which helped staff review and shift practices
  • learn ways to know you are having an impact on students’ learning
  • reflect on the lessons learned and unexpected wins.

Webinar 4: Attendance Matters with Dr Susan-Marie Harding, Principal of Research and Evaluation at AITSL, and teacher presenters. 

Picture4Dr Susan-Marie Harding, Principal, Research and Evaluation at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) will share evidence and insights on the impact and factors influencing non-attendance, and approaches to support attendance. Susan Marie will be joined by teachers from three schools who will share their schools’ approach to supporting attendance and reflections on lessons learned.


In this webinar participants will:

  • learn about the impact of attendance on student achievement and factors influencing non-attendance
  • hear about practical approaches taken by schools in communities where disadvantage exists to address attendance issues.
  • have the opportunity to ask questions and test ideas with guest presenters and webinar participants.


Each term we will also provide an opportunity to come together for a series of informal conversationsConversations and Provocations – focused on family and community engagement. Hosted by the Fair Education team, participants will build their understanding of the importance of positive family and community engagement for both student wellbeing and achievement by engaging with selected resources and sharing insights and strategies.  Bring your coffee, questions and ideas – and remember to register early as numbers will be limited!

Conversation and Provocation 1: Parent and Family Engagement: Implementation Guide for School Communities 

Learn more about the Parent and Family Engagement: Implementation Guide for School Communities (the ‘Guide’) published by Australian Research and Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) in this first Fair Education in Focus: Provocations and Conversation. The resource focuses on both ‘how’ and ‘why’ – drawing on a body of research and providing practical guidance on implementing family and community engagement practices. Join us to listen, ask questions, test ideas, reflect on your use of the resource and share your observations on what has worked well in their settings.

Conversation and Provocation 2: The Family-School Partnership Framework

Family-school and community partnerships are an effective way to bring together family and community resources to enrich student learning and wellbeing. Join this conversation to learn about The Family-School Partnership Framework, developed by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, focused on promoting and guiding partnership building. We will explore different strategies, reflect on the evaluation tool, and share ideas that can be used to support school communities in building and improving family-school partnerships.


To complement these activities, we have developed a selection of resources, linked below. We are keen to hear what resources and readings are of interest to you, and your school, and invite you to share these with us so that they can be added to our resource library.  If a resource is mentioned in another Knowledge Sharing activity (webinar, conversation or otherwise), we will endeavour to post it below. 


  • Australian Student Wellbeing Framework 
    • The vision of the Framework is that Australian schools are learning communities that promote student wellbeing, safety and positive relationships so that students can reach their full potential. Evidence-based and practical, the Framework focuses on 5 key elements: Support, Leadership, Inclusion, Partnerships and Student Voice  
  • Student Wellbeing Hub (Resources) (Education Services Australia)  
    • The Student Wellbeing Hub contains a wealth of information and resources, aligned with the Australian Curriculum, for educators, parents, and students on strategies to build and sustain the wellbeing of the whole school community. The Hub is underpinned by the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework.  

State and Territory Education Department links 

The links below are to relevant student focused Mental Health and Wellbeing resources made available on department of education sites. Resources related to educator and parent wellbeing may also be located at the site.  

Other organisations 

Suggested readings and research (recommended by Teachers, School leaders and guest presenters)