National Student Wellbeing Program Launched

2 February 2023

The National Student Wellbeing Program (NSWP) has been launched to replace the former National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) after all Australian Education Ministers signed a new five-year $307.18 million 'Federation Funding Agreement'.

Like its predecessor, the NSWP is administered by state and territory governments.

NSWP adds the option of 'student wellbeing officers' to chaplains, with both working in collaboration with school communities to support the wellbeing of school students through:

  • providing pastoral care
  • organising volunteer activities within the school community
  • running programs such as breakfast clubs and lunchtime activities
  • coordinating excursions, school incursions and parent/carer workshops.

In their role working with school communities, NSWP student wellbeing officers and chaplains:

  • do not provide religious instruction or religious counselling
  • may be of any faith, or of no faith
  • must not proselytise
  • must respect, accept and be sensitive to other views, values and beliefs
  • must promote a safe and inclusive school community
  • must comply with state and territory laws and policies in relation to child protection matters
  • must have relevant and valid state and territory working with children or vulnerable people checks
  • meet the qualification requirements of the NSWP
  • must undertake the cyberbullying Professional Learning Package delivered by the eSafety Commission.

Participating schools can receive up to:

  • $20,280 in metropolitan areas
  • $24,336 in remote or very remote areas.

The launch of the renamed program followed the release of the 2022 independent evaluation of the NSCP for the years 2019 to 2022 that found that the program provided valued support for the wellbeing of students and school communities. A previous independent evaluation of the NSCP in 2018 also found the program to be effective in supporting student wellbeing.

More details of the program can be found on the Department of Education website here.


 

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