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24 August 2016

Principals Australia Institute recognises that the involvement of all school staff is critical to a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. This is why the KidsMatter Primary Framework emphasises the importance of whole-school professional learning for all school staff in each of the four components. 

Here are some tips to ensure a successful whole-school professional learning:

  • Assign some members of your Action Team as facilitators and have them attend a PAI professional learning event on your school’s next KidsMatter component.

  • Following the event, schedule a whole-school professional learning session at your school utilising the KidsMatter Portal resources. Select a time where all staff members can attend and participate fully.

  • Consider time capacity and time constraints at your site for getting all staff together for professional learning. Speak to a Project Officer to troubleshoot any challenges you may have.

  • Decide whether you will involve parents in the sessions. Many schools have reported success when parents attend.

  • Read component literature and resources prior to the event so that the team is ready to support conversations and inform component planning. 

  • Review related school policies and procedures so these can feed into the discussion and planning.

  • Be data informed, bring your survey results and other relevant data with you.

  • Bring all staff up to speed before they participate in the professional learning.

  • During the session, have your Action Team ask and act upon questions, suggestions and concerns raised. These will provide rich information for component planning. The Action Team will take away what they learned from the session and develop the component plan. This will also ensure genuine input from the whole-school community.

Whole-school professional learning not only provides information about supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing, it also creates time for school staff to safely share ideas, discuss concerns and develop a shared vision or understanding that can flow through all aspects of school life. 

For more information, contact a Principals Australia Institute Project Officer in your state/territory.