Learning & Wellbeing

Learning Diversity and Equity

The ongoing Implementation of the Students with Disability Review Recommendations remained the core focus for the Learning Diversity and Equity team throughout 2022.

Key milestones included:

  • the development and endorsement of the Students with Disability Strategy
  • expansion of Regional Clinic Partnerships: providing Allied Health Services to schools in the mid north, upper north and Port Lincoln. This partnership brings Allied Health Services directly to regional schools for a set number of days each term. The type of support/service is individualised for each school with a two-fold focus on building capacity of staff whilst providing a much-needed service to the school community
  • review, refinement, and digitalisation of the Personalised Plan for Learning (PPL) into SEQTA for SwD, Gifted, EALD, Children and Young people in Care as well as the development of a Cultural Learning Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • CESA and NDIS Collaborative Partnership: Expansion of Mission Australia and inclusion of FEROS Care in the North
  • collaboration with the Learning and Curriculum team in developing the Assessment and Reporting Guidelines for Students with Disability
  • trial of the ABLES (Abilities Based Learning and Education Support) assessment suite for students with disability at or below foundation in 16 schools
  • incorporation of NCCD into the August CENSUS processes
  • eight additional Partners in Inclusive Practice (PIP) Projects, a total of 16 projects across 46 schools since its inception.

The targeted approach to aligning CESA’s NCCD with the Australian Government’s four phases of the NCCD – Planning, Implementation, Validation and Reflection provided schools with a structured, planned and more support-based approach to the NCCD cycle which continued to be refined in 2022.

To understand and improve the consistency and reliability of the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on school Students with Disability (SWD), the Learning Diversity and Equity team provided:

  • region and cluster-based moderation sessions
  • individual school-based Quality Assurance term by term meetings
  • Quality assurance prior to census for all 103 schools.

Region Network days continued once a term, with a focus on: National Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD), the Personal Plans for Learning (PPL), functional impact on learning, moderation and SEQTA.

Individual school requests for support focused on complex disability, assessment, differentiation, the PPL, and transition and enrolment for students with high support needs.  This included:

  • 905 direct school visits/support
  • 32 Region Network meetings
  • 48 whole school professional learning days
  • 117 CEO funded Psychological and Language Assessments
  • 37 High level grants to schools for complex cases
  • 16 Specialised Equipment grants to schools.

The CESA Complex Case Multi-Disciplinary Team (CESA CCMT) was established in Term 4, 2021.The CESA CCMT works collaboratively with the Learning Diversity and Wellbeing team and the Schools Performance Leaders to provide specialised services and tailored responses to support the inclusion and wellbeing of students with complex and high needs. The CESA CCMT is coordinated through a referral process by the Learning Diversity and Wellbeing Team and includes a Psychologist and a Speech Pathologist. 26 referrals were made to the CESA CCMT throughout 2022.

In 2022 CESA contracted a consultant for two days per week, to support pre-school and early years disability inclusion. The core focus was to build allied health partnerships to support early intervention and identification, facilitate responsive, evidence and research based professional learning and support transition for students in CESA pre-schools. 69 direct support visits were provided by the Consultant to Pre-Schools and ELCs.

Key tasks included:

  • the design and development of a coordinated transition approach into and from preschool to school for young children with disability
  • provision of significant collaborative support to leaders and educators in disability, behaviour, data analysis, Department for Education (DfE) resourcing applications and Personal Plans for Learning (PPL) in a way that develops and improves culture of inclusion for all children
  • attendance at meetings and forums related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Early Years
  • promotion of a system culture and partnership that is based on the principles and practices of inclusion and equity for all.

Gifted Education

Throughout 2022 CESA continued to work in partnership with Dr Jae Yup Jung, University of New South Wales. Despite ongoing COVID-19 interruptions, the survey collection and quantitative data analysis with students, teachers, and parents/caregivers was completed.  A total of 355 teachers, 346 parents and 416 students participated.  The final report, due in January 2023, will outline the findings of the research study that commenced in 2019 at the initiative of Catholic Education South Australia to promote and refine its offerings for gifted students in the school system.

Two professional learning workshops for teachers and two sessions for parents were also facilitated by Dr Jae Yup Jung.

Catholic Education South Australia facilitated Gifted Awareness Week with competitions that drew over 233 student entries from Reception to Year 12.

A focus for 2022 was responsive, evidence and research-based professional learning aimed at building teacher knowledge and capacity. School and region request for professional learning included identification, support to develop Personal Plans for Learning (PPL), understanding and supporting acceleration and enrichment as well as assistance in developing guiding documents at an individual school level.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education

In 2022, 632 Primary and 388 Secondary students enrolled in Catholic schools across South Australia identified as either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (or both).

For the first time in CESA history, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student numbers surpassed 1,000 (1,020 students in total). With total enrolment numbers across all CESA schools in SA being 49,544.3, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students represent 2.06% of the total enrolment. (N.B. As of June 2021 there were 984,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally, representing 3.8% of the total Australian Population)[1]

Of the total 1,022 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in 2022, 413 (or 40.41%) were included in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) as having received adjustments because of a disability.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students account for 80 of the total 350 CESA Scholarships provided since 2020 (22.8%).

47 direct visits to schools were provided by the Aboriginal Education Advisor around student support, curriculum planning, Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) development and Residency planning.

During 2022, CESA hosted cultural events for students at the Living Kaurna Centre, Bedford Park. Close to 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and support staff, were in attendance. Additionally, CESA hosted two graduation or ‘School Completion’ events for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who had completed their education in a Catholic school. One event was held at the Arid Lands Café in Port Augusta where we celebrated eight successful ‘completers’ in regional schools. The metropolitan event was held at Tandanya where 22 students attended with key school staff (there were 56 Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Year 12 students in Catholic schools in 2022). CESA commissioned an artwork from prominent Aboriginal artist, Mali Isobel, as a gift for each student.

The ‘Aboriginal Community Engagement Grants’ (formerly the ‘Artist in residence’ program) continued to provide funding support to schools wishing to engage with local Aboriginal community members. 25 grants were provided to Catholic schools in 2022 for local artists to offer ‘Residencies’ and work with students. In addition, four Mentoring Grants were also provided to three schools. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 has lessened, it still impacts the ability to source artists and performers.

CESA partnered with Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics from Adelaide and Flinders Universities to support us in our work on “Improving schooling outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners in South Australian Catholic Schools and Centres”. Although Focus Teacher engagement was limited in the first half of 2022, 47 teaching staff and school leaders attended Professional Learning sessions provided by the Aboriginal Education Strategy team members (University of Adelaide and Flinders University) at the Thebarton office during Term 4. CESA anticipates the completed ‘Strategy’ work to be presented in early February 2023.

[1] ‘Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples/estimates-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-australians/latest-release

Engagement and Wellbeing

In 2022 the Engagement and Wellbeing Team consisted of three Education Advisors who supported two regions each. Despite COVID-19 the Engagement and Wellbeing Education Advisors continued to provide response-based and initiative-taking support across schools, clusters, and regions. This included

  • responding to 234 requests for direct advice and support in primary schools
  • responding to 23 requests for direct advice and support in secondary schools
  • providing 40 Wellbeing Intervention Support Grants to schools (WISS).

In supporting the Student With Disability (SWD) Review priority: Relationship between disability, behaviour, learning and wellbeing the team delivered

  • 45 school based, whole-day professional learning sessions
  • 19 school based professional learning staff meeting sessions
  • 38 centrally based professional learning sessions
  • 14 workshops led by from Louka Parry (The Learning Future) comprised seven LearnWell: Building Momentum workshops in Term 2, followed by seven LearnWell: Peace and Wellbeing Ambassador Community workshops in Term 3 to familiarise participants with the LearnWell paper, build capacity and use the paper as an inspiration in schools. These 14 workshops were attended by more than 60 schools
  • CPI Safety Intervention™ Foundation — Working with Children and Young People (previously known as MAPA-Managing Actual and Potential Aggression Training) to eight schools including all staff in the two Special Schools and key staff in three units
  • the mandated Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum to 12 schools and more than 340 teachers
  • the two-day Restorative Practices professional learning to staff and leadership of three schools
  • the Making Space for Learning (Trauma Responsive Education) professional learning to more than 15 schools and more than 250 staff
  • Allied Health roundtable cluster meetings in 15 schools
  • presentations in partnership with Jarrod Carter CESA Educational Data Analysis to four school regions to empower schools to use a range of wellbeing data in their schools and
  • collaborative presentation on Social Emotional Learning with the Learning and Curriculum team at the Middle schools’ conference.