NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Premier's Award winners Karen Zwi and Lisa Woodland
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Premier's Award winners Karen Zwi and Lisa Woodland

Optimising health and learning in refugee and vulnerable migrant students

Delivering Quality Customer Services

The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
Health

This partnership project between public education and health services is designed to improve early identification and intervention for health issues likely to impact on the learning of refugees and other vulnerable newly arrived students. Funding was secured through NAB Schools First Awards program to pilot the project at Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre. The project was then expanded (with existing funding) to Evans Intensive English Centre in Western Sydney to further test the model. Over 77% of students who participated in the nurse-led health care screenings and general practitioner referral program are refugees and less than 25% of all participants had regularly visited a GP. Teachers reported that students who participated in the health screenings were more engaged, confident, focused on their learning and more prepared to transition to their local schools. Parents, having been referred to a local GP or other health provider, felt more supported and informed about health issues and the impacts they have on their child’s learning.