Responding to wellbeing issues and concerns

This is the inverted triangle called responding to issues and crisis. The box is split into three parts. In this image the top box is blank. The second box reads Repsonding to issues (some students sometimes). The third box reads Responding to a crisis (a few students)

Circumstances can change very quickly for students and for schools and their communities. The way schools respond to wellbeing related concerns, issues and incidents is closely linked to the way in which their school culture and associated values and beliefs underpin their curriculum and their responses and care decisions.

The first step when managing a critical incident or a crisis is to seek additional support to manage the crisis. Evaluation of how the incident was managed will only begin after the student/s and teacher/s wellbeing is taken care of.

If you have an extreme event at your school, the Behaviour Crisis Response Service can respond to your emergency. Reach them through your Special Education District Office.

The service's specialists assess the situation and tailor a response that:

> stabilises the school

> ensures everyone is safe

> prevents the situation from getting worse

> begins immediately while a long-term plan is devised

> links the school to more resources and support.

The following section uses the evaluation and reasoning processes framework to help schools review how well they are responding to the wellbeing needs of students.


To respond to patterns or trends in data, in behaviours, in the number or frequency of wellbeing concerns or issues, ask:

A green circle called Noticing

> What's going on here?

> Is this what we expected?

> Has this happened before?

> Should we be concerned?

> What is the problem or issue here?

> What do our students think about this?

 Noticing examples reads for example we might: be aware of incidents of inappropriate students behaviour in the community, notice discrepancies between playground bullying incidents and what students report in a wellbeing survey, observe a rise in antisocial behaviour, notice an increase in students truancy, become aware of changes in friendship groups, see patterns of non-attendance to classes by Year 10 students, note an increase in sick bay use, observe a spike in the number of referrals to the guidance counsellor or number of stand downs.


To find out more about what is happening or to clarify the wellbeing concern or issue, ask:

a magenta circle called investigating

> What do we already know about this?

> Do we have information to help us to understand what is happening and why?

> What don't we know and how might we find this out?

> Who should we involve and why?

> How do we involve students in this process?

Investigating examples reads for example we might: set up focus groups wiht students to listen to their views about recent changes to the Year 10 health and physical educatin curriculum, use a teaching session as an opportunity to explore a wellbeing issue with students, read and discuss the research evidence about restorative practice to identify what effective practice looks like, gather information about what support a group of vulnerable students have recieved since their time in the school.

Collaborative sense making

To make sense of the data/information gathered, ask:

a blue circle called collaborative sense making

> What is it telling us?

> How do we feel about this?

> Is it good enough - how might we know?

> What does 'good' look like? How close are we to that?

> Is there anything that still puzzles us? Do we need to explore this further?

> What insights can students provide?

collaborative sense making examples reads for example we might: invovle students in the analysis of survey data to get their perspective on the respoinses from their peers, use the descriptions of effective wellbeing practise in this resource to determine how well or curriculum promotes wellbeing for a group of Year 8 boys.

Prioritising to take action

To decide what particular action(s) to take, ask:

An orange circle called Prioritising to take action

> What do we need to do and why?

> Do we have the capability to do this?

> What support might we need?

> Who should we involve?

Prioritising to take action reads for example we might: decide to involve the community in a review of  the schools vision and values , seek external expertise to build capability of pastoral care staff to implement a restoriative practices approach.

Monitoring and evaluating impact

When we want to know how we are going or want to know whether our actions have had the desired impact, we ask ourselves:

a black circle called Monitoring and evaluating impact

> How are we doing and for whom?

> How do we know?

> What evidence do we have?

> Do we need to do something different? Why?

> What do we want to keep doing? Stop doing? Why?

> Are we getting the outcomes we wanted? How do we know?

Monitoring and evaluating impact examples reads for example we might: keep an eye on the nature and number of incidents in the playground after training a group of playgroup mediators, set up regular focus groups with Year 11 students to see how they are going with their assessments