Invest in our young people to engage in learning that creates successful pathways for their future.
The School of Alternative Learning Settings (SALS) was established at the beginning of 2022, coinciding with a significant expansion of the Alternative Learning Settings (ALS) program. The ALS program is a cornerstone of the State Government's 2018 commitment to address violence in public schools. ALS provides alternative learning facilities and targeted support programs to students who have been excluded from school, or who are at risk of exclusion for violent and/or aggressive behaviour.
In 2022, the number of ALS school sites was increased from four to ten sites, which are located across metropolitan and regional areas of Western Australia (WA). At the beginning of the 2023 school year all 12 sites around the state are now operational. Education Regional Offices work in collaboration with our team to refer students.
The ALS program aims to create learning environments that support students with the personal skills and knowledge they need to re-engage and minimise disconnection from education when they have been excluded or are at high risk of exclusion for aggression or violence towards staff and students.
The purpose of the ALS is to effect positive and lasting change in students' behaviour as well as restore safety and good order at the referring school, acting as an early intervention and prevention program.
The ALS program was initially established in early 2019 to target a cohort of students who had demonstrated signs of physical aggression and would benefit from a short-term (ten weeks), intensive intervention program. The ALS program delivers specialised activities and learning programs that build students' social skills and self-regulation abilities in environments designed to effect positive and lasting change in their behaviour.
Each setting accommodates up to 10 students at any one time who are provided with an intensive, individualised program of support while they continue their education. There is a strong focus on developing students' social skills and ability to self-regulate, as well as preparing students for a successful transition back into the mainstream school system or onto further educational opportunities and post-school options. Students attending the ALS Program remain enrolled in their home school and are expected to transition back to a mainstream school or alternative education placements once completed.
The ALS program provides a supportive approach to improve interpersonal relationships and re-establish students' positive engagement and connection with education. Staff work with students and families to identify support needs and assist families to connect with appropriate supports in their community. This may include a range of services to support family and student functioning and wellbeing. ALS staff develop individual learning programs in partnership with students and families to ensure both strengths and needs are incorporated.
Support is also provided to build stronger student and family relationships with their school to assist with successful transition to longer-term education placement. The ALS program focuses on the use of project-based learning and social and emotional skills development to support learning across a selection of integrated and single subject areas. The program engages students in a range of interest-based activities, which may include design and technology, sport, art, music, cooking, outdoor education, and other experiential activities.