School Policies


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all students and members of our school community understand:

  • our commitment to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for students
  • expectations for positive student behaviour
  • support available to students and families
  • our school’s policies and procedures for responding to inappropriate student behaviour.


Frankston Special Developmental School (SDS) is committed to providing a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment for all students. We understand that students reach their full potential only when they are happy, healthy and safe, and that a positive school culture, where student participation is encouraged and valued, helps to engage students and support them in their learning.  Our school acknowledges that student wellbeing and student learning outcomes are closely linked.

The objective of this policy is to support our school to create and maintain a safe, supportive and inclusive school environment consistent with our school’s values.



This policy applies to all school activities, including camps and excursions.


  1. School profile
  2. School values, philosophy and vision
  3. Wellbeing and Engagement strategies
  4. Identifying students in need of support
  5. Student rights and responsibilities
  6. Student behavioural expectations and management
  7. Engaging with families
  8. Evaluation



  1. School profile

Frankston SDS is a Department of Education and Training (DET) school for students with a moderate to profound intellectual disability.  We offer a comprehensive and engaging curriculum in alignment with the Victorian Curriculum. We acknowledge the diversity of learners within our school and provide a highly individualised program that targets each student at the point at which they have demonstrated a readiness for learning.

Our school program runs from our early education, four year old kindergarten program through to our Pathways program for our 16 to 18 year olds.  Our learning priorities are the development of independence, communication and social competencies skills in order to enable students to achieve the highest level of independence over their lives as they move into adulthood.

Our school is located in Frankston, with students enrolled from a range of locations including:  Frankston, Carrum Downs, Mount Eliza and Baxter.  The majority of students travel to and from school via DET funded buses.  In order to access bus transport students must live within our designated transport zone.


  1. School values, philosophy and vision


At Frankston SDS students are ‘Learning for Life.’ Central to all teaching and learning programs is the development of skills in communication, independence and social competencies.


Frankston SDS is committed to:

  • Enabling students to achieve their personal best in an atmosphere of mutual respect, cooperation and celebration.
  • Ensuring all students feel valued and cared for in all aspects of their school experience.


The following values are seen as being central to the life of our school and how all members of the school community should conduct themselves.

            Respect           for yourself and others, being kind and learning our school rules

            Caring for others in our classroom, school and the wider community

            Sharing           with others, taking turns and working with others

            Individuality   being the best you can and doing the best you can.


Wellbeing and Engagement strategies

Students behave positively when they know: what is expected of them, when they feel safe, and that people care about them and their learning.  Great teachers and great teaching make a significant difference to how students behave and learn.  Positive behaviour doesn’t just happen.  Students need to know what is expected of them and what positive behaviour looks like.

Frankston SDS has a range of strategies to promote engagement, positive behaviour and respectful relationships for all students.  See Welfare Policies and Procedures Manual, 2016

  • School-wide Positive Behaviour Support. An evidence-based approach to teaching and managing student behaviour.  This tiered approach to teaching behaviour explicitly teaches students how to behave appropriately across all aspects of their school day. 
  • Whole school reward system. Students are able to earn Dolphin Dollars which they exchange for rewards.  Dolphin Dollars are earned when students follow the school rules and expectations.
  • Individual reward system. Personalised to students when required.  This system is used to shape behaviour more instantly.  Students earn a series of tokens which then enables them ready access to an immediate reward.
  • I Can Be Independent Our social safety program empowers students by developing knowledge around what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviours around their bodies.
  • Welfare and Therapy Team.  The team meets with students and teachers to provide all elements of welfare and wellbeing support for students.  Teachers follow a referral process to initiate support.
  • Assemblies and METV.  This whole-school programs provide an opportunity to publicly celebrate achievements of our students.
  • Trauma.  Staff working with students who exhibit behaviours as a result of childhood trauma have access to training.

Whole School

At Frankston SDS we use a variety of strategies to guide us in supporting student wellbeing and engagement. At Frankston SDS we:

  • set high and consistent expectations for all staff, students and families
  • prioritise positive relationships between staff and students through our School-wide Positive Behaviour Support approach to developing positive behaviour
  • analyse and respond to a range of school data such as attendance, Attitudes to School Survey, parent survey data, student management data and school level assessment data
  • deliver an individualised and targeted learning program in alignment with the Victorian Curriculum
  • provide individual learning plans in three priority areas: communication, independence and social competencies
  • provide opportunities for students to succeed in their learning through the use of targeted communication tools: Picture Exchange Communication, augmentative alternative communication, Boardmaker
  • provide positive behaviour plans for students who exhibit Tier 3 behaviour
  • monitor student attendance and implement attendance and address on a case by case basis
  • provide student voice through our Student Representative Council
  • we engage in school wide positive behaviour support with our staff and students, which includes programs such as:
    • Respectful Relationships
    • Bully Stoppers
    • Safe Schools



Frankston SDS implements a range of strategies that support and promote individual engagement. These can include:

  • Student Support Groups
  • Individual Learning Plan
  • Behaviour Support Plan
  • Referral to Student Welfare Coordinator and Student Support Services
  • Referral to ChildFirst, Headspace, Lookout
  • Attendance at Care Plan meetings with external stakeholders
  • Working with Student Support Services (SSS) psychologists


  1. Identifying students in need of support

Frankston SDS is committed to providing the necessary support to ensure our students are supported intellectually, emotionally and socially. Frankston SDS teaching, ES and therapy staff play a significant role in developing and implementing strategies to help identify students in need of support. Frankston SDS will utilise the following information and tools to identify students in need of extra emotional, social or educational support:

  • personal, health and learning information gathered upon enrolment and while the student is enrolled
  • attendance records
  • academic performance
  • observations by school staff such as changes in engagement, behaviour,  self-care, social connectedness and motivation
  • involvement with external child-focused agencies
  • communication with families
  • this policy also includes our commitment to upholding the standards under our Child Safe obligations.


  1. Student rights and responsibilities

All members of our school community have a right to experience a safe and supportive school environment. We expect that all students, staff, parents and carers treat each other with respect and dignity. Our school’s Statement of Values highlights the rights and responsibilities of members of our community.

Students who may have a complaint or concern about something that has happened at school are encouraged to speak to family and approach a trusted teacher or a member of the school leadership team.  We explicitly teach this important skill through our I Can Be Independent program.

  1. Student behavioural expectations and management

Suspension, expulsion and restrictive interventions are measures of last resort and may only be used in particular situations consistent with Department policy, available at:

In line with Ministerial Order 1125, no student aged 8 or younger will be expelled without the approval of the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training.

The Principal of Frankston SDS is responsible for ensuring all suspensions and expulsions are recorded on CASES21.

Corporal punishment is prohibited by law and will not be used in any circumstance at our school.


  1. Engaging with families


Frankston SDS values the input of parents and carers, and we will strive to support families to engage in their child’s learning and build their capacity as active learners. We aim to be partners in learning with parents and carers in our school community.


We work hard to create successful partnerships with families by:

  • ensuring that all parents have access to our school policies and procedures, via our school website
  • maintaining an open, respectful line of communication between parents and staff, supported by our Communicating to Families Policy.
  • providing parent volunteer opportunities so that families can contribute to school activities
  • inviting families to celebration events such as school concert, literacy parade and Christmas parties
  • coordinating resources and services from the community for families
  • providing opportunities for families to attend Student Support Groups


  1. Evaluation

Frankston SDS will collect data each year to understand the frequency and types of wellbeing issues that are experienced by our students so that we can measure the success or otherwise of our school based strategies and identify emerging trends or needs.

Sources of data that will be assessed on an annual basis include:

  • student survey data
  • positive behaviour data through the Dolphin Dollar program
  • STAR behavioural incident data
  • school reports
  • parent surveys
  • case management
  • CASES21, including attendance and absence data



This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways:

  • Available publicly on our school’s website
  • Included in staff induction processes
  • Made available in hard copy from school administration upon request

Our school will also ensure it follows the mandatory parent/carer notification requirements with respect to suspensions and expulsions outlined in the Department’s policies at:

Further information and resources

The following Department of Education and Training policies are relevant to this Student Engagement and Wellbeing Policy:

The following school policies are also relevant to this Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy:

  • Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy
  • Bullying Prevention Policy
  • Inclusion and Diversity Policy
  • Statement of Values and School Philosophy



Policy last reviewed

July 2022


School Council July 2022

Approved by


Next scheduled review date

July 2024

How to enroll your child at Frankston SDS

How to enroll your child at Frankston SDS

Enrolment at Frankston SDS is based on specific eligibility criteria. Should you wish to discuss eligibility please feel free to contact the school. We look forward to your call.