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  • Referral

Intake Transition and Pathways

We provide individual learning plans and supported pathways and transitions.

MacKillop Education aims to provide an environment that empowers students to re-engage in education and supports them academically and socially so they can experience success in learning and either continue their education at MacKillop or return to their host school.

MacKillop Education enrols young people who meet specific eligibility criteria. Generally, the school the child or young person is currently attending makes the referral. We refer to this school as the Host School. It may be the parent/guardian who requests the referral is made or it may be the Host School, or other agency, that recommends MacKillop Education.

The referral process explores the individual needs of the young person, in collaboration with the referring school or agency and family.

Who is eligible?

Young people who have disengaged or are at risk of disengaging from their education setting. Our schools are suited to students whose learning needs and social and/or emotional behaviours cannot be adequately supported in a mainstream setting.

How does the referral or application process begin and who can make a referral?

MacKillop Education will take referrals from a variety of sources. A young person can be referred by:

  • Their current school (the 'host school')
  • The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools or The Department of Education and Training
  • A community service agency or allied health professional

How to make a referral?

Step 1: The host school, department or agency initiates or supports the referral by completing the Referral Forms.

Step 2: MacKillop Education reviews the referral and makes contact, to organise an interview.

Step 3: The parent/guardian, student and host school and/or agency representative must attend the interview.

Step 4: At the interview, the focus is on understanding the student and their learning needs.

*A tour can be organised separate to the referral, if families or agencies would like to assess suitability prior to referring

When can a referral be made?

Referrals and enrolments can happen, at any time, throughout the year. At times, there may be limited spaces in the suitable class; if this is the case, a young person may be placed on a waiting list, until a place becomes available.

If the referral is accepted, what’s the next step?

  1. MacKillop Education contacts the person who has made the referral and the parent/guardian to offer a place.
  2. The family and young person accept the offer and a meeting is scheduled to complete enrolment forms and discuss transition process.
  3. Sessions are organised to transition the young person into the program; these sessions include: Induction, Wellbeing Session, Literacy and Numeracy Assessments, the development of an Individual Education Plan and Safety Plan.
  4. The young person starts 1:1 or classroom transition sessions.
  5. The school and family review the timetable, to support a full engagement in the program

How long will the young person stay enrolled?

MacKillop Education is a specialist school that individualises programs based on the child or young person’s needs. Decisions around transition pathways are made in collaboration and consultation with MacKillop Education, the young person, the family, and the host school.


MacKillop Education will assist with individualised pathways and ensure transitions are carefully considered and supported.

Pathways may include:

  • Return to the mainstream primary or secondary host school
  • Enrolment at a new primary or secondary mainstream school
  • Transition to MacKillop secondary and VPC program
  • Transition to further education, TAFE, apprenticeship or employment

What is the role of the host school?

MacKillop Education works collaboratively with host schools to enhance the educational outcomes for all students. If a student is enrolled at MacKillop Education, the host school, or agency representative, will continue to be a critical support person and will remain involved in the following ways:

  • The host school makes a commitment to support the student, by attending the initial Referral Meeting and attending scheduled Student Support Group Meetings, during the child’s enrolment at MacKillop.
  • The host school will de-activate the student's enrolment, while the child is attending MacKillop and will then reactivate his/her enrolment, when the child returns to the host school.
  • Attendance at Care Team Meetings, as required.
  • Contribution to, and support of, Transition Plans into MacKillop and back to host school.
  • If the student does not return to the host school, they will support the parents/guardians or carers to access enrolment at a suitable primary or secondary school.