The Stewart House Program is designed to provide children with…
Student Placement Process
As NSW Public Education’s Charity of Choice, Stewart House is a not-for-profit organisation based at Curl Curl on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Stewart House was formed over 88 years ago by the NSW Departments of Education and Health in collaboration with the NSW Teachers Federation. Since 2009, the organisation has been governed by an independent Board of Directors who administer the Stewart House program across the entire site including health, education and residential facilities.
Stewart House invites public school students from across NSW and the ACT to participate in a 12day residential program. Our Student Placement Officer manages this process in consultation with our Student Wellbeing Managers (clinical psychologists), Residential Programs Manager and School Principal. Most importantly, we rely on the sound judgement of referring Principals as to whether students will benefit from the program.
THE ROLE OF PRINCIPALS
Principals are essential to ensuring that public school children are appropriately placed into the Stewart House Program. We rely on your knowledge of schools and students. A principal also acts as Area Co-ordinator to arrange transport and supervision of children to and from Stewart House at the local level. Their voluntary actions ensure that student participation in our program is at no cost to parents or carers.
Referrals Comprehensive referral information is sent to Principals each year and current information is available by contacting the Stewart House Student Placement Officer.
Enrolment Process The statewide allocation of places at Stewart House has been built on an equity-based model using school enrolment numbers and other relevant factors. Stewart House is limited to accommodating 84 students each fortnight. Placements for 2019.
We want to add value to your students’ skillsets across their stay and, to this end, you may be asked to provide additional information about your students in order for their individual needs to be met.
Please note that the more information we have upfront about your student’s circumstances and behaviours, the better we will be able to provide appropriate care.
Enrolments will only be considered after the home school principal has confirmed that the nomination is in accordance with Stewart House guidelines, has agreed to support the student throughout the stay and has provided us with mobile contact details.
Schools must only use the most recent version of our enrolment forms. In recent times both Health and Education policy has changed in relation to permissions and privacy and these are reflected in our current documents. Schools attempting to process student information using old forms will have these returned for update and placements will not be guaranteed.
THE ENROLMENT PROCESS
Annually In August/September each year, Stewart House publishes a calendar offering placement to NSW public schools within the 43 PPA Areas and the ACT across the next school year.
Three months prior to your visit The Stewart House Student Placement Officer (SPO) contacts Area Co-ordinators at least three months before the Area’s scheduled visit. (Timings can change when school holidays fall within the placement cycle. The Co-ordinator receives:
1. An individualised timeline for referrals together with deadlines that need to be met.
2. Confirmation that all schools within the Area have received the current enrolment documents and guidelines
3. An undertaking that the Stewart House SPO and Wellbeing Managers will be available for support through the process
At the Area level The Co-ordinator manages the placement process to ensure that equal numbers of boys and girls according to Area allocation arrive safely on the first Monday of their 12-day stay and the same are returned to home schools on the Friday of the next week. Co-ordinators:
- arrange transport for the forward and return journeys for students and supervising staff from within your Area
- contact Principals / Schools to ensure they are using the most up-to-date enrolment forms and that they are aware of your timeline for lodgement of information
- collect and collate the STEWART HOUSE STUDENT REFERRAL FORM (4 pages) sent to all schools under separate cover and to be completed by the home school Principal
- check that these forms are completed with sufficient detail to inform the placement process
- advise Principals as to the results of this placement process and request that they assist in the completion of their student’s STUDENT HEALTH INFORMATION (PARENT) FORM, within the recommended timeframes
- collect and check the completed health and permission forms – all details must be included together with appropriate signatures. Supplementary health/behaviour/legal documentation should also be included at this stage.
- collate and return all forms to Stewart House together with a list of students and completed travel itinerary
- ensure that each school is aware of the travel requirements for their students and that you will co-ordinate replacements for students who may be not able to attend
- remind schools of the need to ensure parents/carers send their children with the necessary requirements for the trip to Stewart House – food, medications etc
- liaise with Stewart House staff after forms are processed to provide additional student personal information or group travel information.
SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS TRAVELLING TO AND FROM STEWART HOUSE
Escorts (Department of Education personnel accompanying children to and from Stewart House) are also a vital component of the Stewart House program. Co-ordinators must ensure that there is adequate supervision (as per NSW Department of Education guidelines) provided to minimise risk and to manage any unforeseen circumstances on the journey.
Any medication which needs to be dispensed throughout the journey needs to be handed from the parent/carer to the escort on the day of travel. The escort must manage this process and document what was dispensed, when and to whom. Stewart House staff will ensure escorts have appropriate medications for the return journey.
Escorts should ensure they take custody of these medications in addition to those for Asthma and Allergy (Epipens), dispense as required and ensure safe transfer to Stewart House personnel on arrival.
Escorts should also be in receipt of any Health Management Plans (Anaphylaxis, Allergy, Asthma) pertinent to the student’s travel and hand these to Stewart House personnel on arrival.
Parents/carers should be reminded to safely pack other medications in the student’s luggage not accessible by the student during travel. Students should be reminded that Stewart House personnel will expect them to hand in all medications on arrival for checking, safe storage and dispensing across the 12-day stay.
Escorts should ensure that medications in their safe keeping are handed back to parents/carers on arrival at home destinations. (Escorts should be aware that some of these may be restricted expensive prescriptions that may not be reissued should they not be handed back at the time of the child’s exit from the train or bus).
Student Comfort The Co-ordinator, with knowledge of the duration of travel, should remind home school Principals to ensure parents/carers provide food for their child for the forward journey. Escorts should ensure travel sickness bags are available for use by students who may be unwell.
Students should be advised that money, smart phones, ipods etc applied to entertainment on long journeys will be securely stored at Stewart House for the duration of the program and only given back to them for the return journey.
As a general rule, Stewart House will provide food for the return journey home if the expected arrival time is beyond 1.00pm
Contingency planning Escorts should be advised that the Stewart House Student Placement Officer or Residential Programs Manager will contact them en route (on the mobile phone number provided in source documents) to confirm their passenger list and expected arrival times.
Stewart House will send a text message to home school principals and parents/carers confirming safe passage only after all children have arrived at Stewart House on Day 1 of the program. Co-ordinators should ensure Escorts have sufficient information to advise any known travel delays to parents or carers (via Co-ordinators, Home School Principals, etc). Escorts should also know the local procedures for what to do if no-one is at return location to pick-up a student.