Our Approach to Child and Student Wellbeing

Many factors influence a child’s sense of wellbeing. Wellbeing, in turn, has an influence on learning. The Department offers many kinds of support to enhance learner wellbeing. 

The Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy supports the Tasmanian Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework. It adopts the six ARACY  wellbeing domains:  

  • Loved and Safe 
  • Material Basics 
  • Healthy 
  • Learning 
  • Participating  
  • Positive sense of culture and identity.  

For more information on the domains click the title below. 

 Loved, Safe and Valued

Objective: Learners have positive relationships and connections with others, feel safe and are respected in their learning environments 

Learners experience many challenges throughout their lives.  They need the tools to help them feel safe in their world. 

These challenges may include:  

  • being bullied by a peer 
  • being impacted by trauma 
  • lacking confidence 
  • family instability. 

It is important for children and students to have positive and trusted relationships in their education setting. We have a shared responsibility to ensure that students receive this support.  

Support for Students 

  • School Social Workers 
  • School Psychologists 
  • Inclusive Practice Team 
  • Interagency Support Team 
  • School Health Nurses 
  • School Chaplains.  

Curriculum resources and professional learning 

There are many curriculum programs and resources to help our students feel loved, safe and valued. This includes resources that support Respectful Relationships Education and the Combatting Bullying Initiative. 

Respectful Relationships Education – Resources to teach students about respectful relationships. 

Bullying Stops Here –  this webpage provides resources for educators, students, parents and carers. Content includes: articles, videos, webinars, infographics, teacher tools, and student leadership resources. 

Student Wellbeing Hub – this is an Australian Government website. The resources available are underpinned by the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework. They support the creation of learning communities that:  

  • promote student wellbeing  
  • encourage respectful relationships.  

Office of the eSafety Commissioner – a portal for:  

  • school-based online safety resources 
  • reporting online abuse (image-based abuse, cyberbullying and offensive and illegal online content). 

eSmart (Alannah and Madeline Foundation) – offers a range of educational tools for:  

  • principals (tackling bullying and cyberbullying) 
  • teachers (lesson plans and training)  
  • students (classroom activities and active learning) 
  • parents (how to see the signs and get help) 

Be You – a national initiative supporting children’s and young people’s mental health. It provides educators with professional learning, resources, and strategies.   Be You consultants are available to support implementation of Be You within education settings. 

Working it Out – Tasmania’s gender, sexuality, and intersex status support service. It offers a range of services including: 

  • individual support  
  • support groups 
  • support in schools 
  • professional learning. 

Stay ChatTY Schools Program –  a Tasmanian mental health awareness and suicide prevention program.  Year 9 to 12 students in eligible schools can access the program. It is free of charge to eligible Tasmanian Government schools.   

Material Basics

Objective: Learners have materials to access and fully participate in education, and the resources to function well and actively engage. 

The Department for Education, Children and Young People has a role to play in ensuring that the basics are in place for learners to access and fully participate in education. 

This includes providing resources for a child or student to function well and actively engage. 

What material basics look like varies in different learning environments. It may include:  

  • breakfast clubs to set students up for a day’s learning 
  • tools for learning such as laptops and books 
  • a school uniform to connect students to their school community 
  • transport to get to and from school. 

Support for students 

  • School Social Workers  
  • School Psychologists 
  • School Health Nurses 


Objective: Learners have their physical, developmental, psychosocial and mental health needs met, with resources provided to support their growth. 

Physical and mental health are key elements of wellbeing. 

Positive and strong mental wellbeing allows students to engage, participate and learn. Alternatively, poor mental wellbeing is a real barrier to being an engaged and successful learner. 

We know that mental health is incredibly important. There are ways that we can strengthen resilience early, to prevent poor mental health. Supporting mental wellbeing extends from prevention and early intervention through to intensive intervention. 

Support for Students 

  • School Health Nurses 
  • School Social Workers 
  • School Psychologists 


Objective: Learners are supported to be curious, creative and empowered life-long learners. 

Learning and wellbeing are deeply interrelated. 

A positive culture that promotes learning has many benefits. Children and students are able to explore, experiment and engage in their learning. 

Social and emotional wellbeing plays an important role in education. We know that effective social and emotional skills have a positive impact on learning and achievement. 

Support for students 


Objective: Learners are able to have a voice with their views taken into account and are involved in decision-making that affects them and their learning 

For positive wellbeing, learners must: 

  • be active participants in their own learning 
  • have opportunities to have their voice heard 
  • have opportunities to influence decisions about their learning. 

Each student is entitled to a learning environment that: 

  • is safe 
  • is inclusive 
  • is responsive to their needs and aspirations 
  • allows them to participate and thrive.  

Support for Students 

Positive Sense of Culture and Identity

Objective: Learners have a positive sense of identity and belonging, and are optimistic about their future and success in learning. 

Having a positive sense of culture and identity is central to the wellbeing of learners. 

For our learners to be well and succeed, they must: 

  • feel that they belong 
  • have a safe, valued and respected place in their learning environment. 

Resilience, positive self-image and self-esteem are important life-long qualities for all learners. 

Aboriginal Education Services 

Aboriginal Education Services works with schools and the Department to: 

  • enable all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to reach their learning potential 
  • help all learners understand and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures 
  • build connections between our learning environments and the families of Aboriginal learners. 

​​​​The Orb 

The Orb is a publicly available website. It assists the teaching of Tasmanian Aboriginal Histories and cultures, and is suitable for all year groups. 

English as an Additional Language 

The EAL team works with schools to: 

  • strengthen teaching and learning practices for English language learners 
  • ensure all English language learners have the opportunities to engage in learning 
  • establish links between home and school for EAL students and families 
  • support the health and wellbeing of all EAL students by: 
    • fostering cultural responsiveness amongst staff, students and the school community.  

LGBTIQ+ Students 

Working it Out 

Working it Out helps create safe and inclusive environments for LGBTIQ+ students, staff and families. Funded by the Department, Working it Out works with schools, teachers, and families.  

Their Valuing Diversity Framework works towards reducing stigma and creating inclusion. 

Wellbeing in Support Schools

Support schools support the wellbeing of their students through: 

  • sensory supports to help students regulate by themselves or with support from staff 
  • safe, calm and predictable environments which promote wellbeing and learning 
  • teaching and learning programs to meet the individual learning needs of each student 
  • rich communication systems and environments 
  • continuity in educational and behavioural strategies for students that are dual enrolled. Working in collaboration with, and building capacity in, local schools 
  • social skills training programs  
  • teaching and learning with visual supports (scripts/social stories/role plays) 
  • specialised equipment 
  • professional and trained staff 
  • high staff to student ratios 
  • small class sizes 
  • use of visual supports throughout the school 
  • specialised programs e.g. Zones of Regulation 
  • team approach 
  • working with parents and carers 
  • working with support staff and professionals including: 
    • School Nurses  
    • Psychologists  
    • Social Workers  
    • Speech and Language Pathologists 
    • Physiotherapists  
    • Occupational Therapists 
    • SoSAFE! program used throughout the Support Schools 

Student wellbeing in Support Schools is recorded in a variety of ways including: 

  • communication books to communicate with parents/carers daily  
  • apps to regularly communicate with parents (e.g. Seesaw) 
  • scheduled communication between school support staff and parents/carers  
  • tracking wellbeing and behaviour data 

Support for Students 

Professional support staff 

Our professional support staff play a vital role in supporting student wellbeing and safety. This includes supporting vulnerable children and students. Vulnerable students are:  

  • those impacted by trauma 
  • those with emotional and behavioural challenges. 

Professional support staff include: 

  • support teachers 
  • school psychologists 
  • speech and language pathologists 
  • social workers 
  • chaplains. 

School Social Workers work closely with students and school communities. They promote positive school culture through inclusive practice and the celebration of diversity. This encourages access, participation, engagement and positive student wellbeing.  

School Social Workers have professional skills and knowledge in: 

  • Personal safety and wellbeing  
  • Attendance and retention  
  • Relationships  
  • Mental Health: depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts  
  • Grief and loss  
  • Parenting support  
  • Homelessness  
  • Pregnancy  
  • Sexual Health  
  • Sexuality  
  • Drugs and alcohol  
  • Critical Incidents  
  • Bullying  
  • Conflict resolution and restorative justice 
  • Physical activity and nutrition. 

School Social Workers provide early intervention programs. These programs include counselling, case management, and group work.  

Generally, teaching or senior staff refer students to the School Social Worker. Guardians can also make referrals to the School Social Worker. Students can self-refer without parent consent. It is best, however, to inform, and work with, guardians. 

School Psychologists provide counselling, therapy and programs for students and school communities. They provide interventions for learning, engagement and positive student outcomes.  

School Psychologists have professional skills and knowledge in: 

  • Child protection and wellbeing 
  • Trauma and attachment disorders 
  • Bullying, cyberbullying and respectful relationships 
  • Anxiety disorders 
    • Generalised Anxiety 
    • Separation Anxiety 
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 
    • Panic Attacks 
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 
  • Grief and Loss 
  • Resilience 
  • Self-harm and suicide risk assessment 
  • Eating and body image difficulties 
  • Substance Abuse 

School Psychologists also provide assessments of developmental, cognitive and educational functioning. This helps to develop learning plans and educational adjustments for student learning. These assessments consider: 

  • Intellectual abilities of students with disability or exceptional ability 
  • Early identification of students with developmental delays 
  • Specific learning disorders 
  • Strategies and interventions to support targeted literacy, numeracy or extended learning 
  • Social and emotional learning.  

Generally, teaching staff make referrals to School Psychologists. Parents may need to talk with their child’s teacher or senior staff if they wish to arrange a referral. Older students can self-refer. 

School Health Nurses support schools, families and communities to: 

  • Foster healthy choices (physical, social and emotional) 
  • Create positive outcomes 
  • Encourage a culture of lifelong learning.  

Primary School Nurses focus on: 

  • Kindergarten assessments 
  • Hearing and vision screening 
  • Developmental checks  
  • Local/state/national health promotion initiatives  
  • Targeted screening 
  • Health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum. 

Secondary School Nurses focus on health education aligned with the Australian Curriculum, including: 

  • Healthy relationships 
  • Mental health and wellbeing 
  • Body image 
  • Nutrition 
  • Local/state and national health promotion initiatives 
  • Targeted screening  
  • Positive parenting programs.  

School Chaplains support emotional wellbeing by providing pastoral care services. They must also complete professional learning with eSafety about preventing bullying and cyberbullying.  

Speech and Language Pathologists assess, diagnose and treat disorders and difficulties in: 

  • speech 
  • language  
  • Feeding. 

Inclusion and Diversity Services – coordinates services and support for inclusive learning environments. These environments benefit: 

  • students with disability  
  • students for whom English is an additional language.  

Specialist services include: 

The Inclusive Practice Team works with schools to support diverse learning needs. They provide expertise and evidence-based recommendations, including: 

  • “at the shoulder” support 
  • identifying students with diverse and complex needs 
  • planning and monitoring for improved outcomes for identified students (educational adjustments, learning plans) 
  • mentoring and coaching school staff in inclusive practice 
  • planning and delivering professional learning to promote inclusive practice 
  • positive behaviour supports at a whole-school and individual level 
  • providing advice and direction around teaching students with disability 
  • establishing and maintaining an inclusive, respectful culture 
  • student engagement 
  • trauma-informed practice 

The Inclusive Practice Team usually works with: 

  • primary schools 
  • high schools  
  • district high schools 
  • colleges.  

They can also provide support to Child and Family Learning Centres, Specialist Schools, and Programs. They will also work with support teams and external agencies (if needed).  

The Interagency Student Support Team (IASST) works closely with other Student Support services. Children and students whose wellbeing is impacted by abuse, neglect, or exposure to family violence have unique needs. The IASST helps Principals and Child and Family Learning Centre Leaders to respond to these needs.  

The IASST includes: 

Support for Student Carers 

Resources for Cultural Diversity