Centennial Park School (Sydney)
Improving post-school outcomes for students with mental health disorders
Centennial Park School (CPS) is a Specific Purpose school that assists high school-aged young people with mental health issues. CPS is constantly looking for ways to ensure students can experience success and transition to meaningful learning and employment after school.
HSC subjects are currently offered through Sydney Distance Education High School, with support to complete work and manage mental health onsite at CPS. While this model has worked for some students, many students are disengaged from their subjects, drop courses halfway through completion, or do not complete enough subjects to attain an HSC.
CPS will implement a blended model of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses and school subjects for Years 11 & 12 by upskilling teachers with the qualifications needed to deliver VET courses and give them time to develop engaging programs targeted to the abilities and interests of students. This model will enable students to complete the HSC through subjects delivered onsite by staff familiar with their mental health needs. The inclusion of VET courses also ensures that every student will leave school with at least a statement of attainment demonstrating their achievements, work experience and industry knowledge.
CPS is investing in its own staff to ensure that this model is sustainable. In 2020, five teachers were studying their Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to be qualified to deliver VET courses onsite, with an additional two teachers planning to undertake the training in 2021.
These teachers are either completing or planning to complete additional qualifications so they can deliver courses in hospitality, work skills, sports coaching, dance, drama, and computing in future years.