Independent Expert Panel Review backs full-service school models

The report recommends the full-service school model to be more widely implemented to better meet the needs of students experiencing disadvantage and a review of how services and education interact to improve effectiveness.

This recommendation is closely aligned with the Our Place approach, which enables the local school to be the place that holistically supports the education, health and development of children and families in communities experiencing disadvantage.

The report also stressed that successful full-service schools were locally driven and had cross-sector collaboration with support for partnership development such as a “partnership broker”. This independent broker is the same as The Glue role of Our Place, which builds relationships and connects families to education and service providers.

Our Place was consulted as part of the review process by The Independent Expert Panel, who visited the Frankston North site in 2023. Commissioned following a meeting of all Commonwealth, State and Territory Education Ministers in December 2022, the report focuses on driving real and measurable improvements for students most at risk of falling behind.

A total of seven reform directions were recommended with Recommendation 2B focused on full-service school models to overcome the barriers to participation and achievement faced by too many students, particularly those from priority equity cohorts.

The report said “many students and their families have difficulty in navigating and accessing the services students require to effectively engage in education. The Panel believes governments should support schools to better connect students to a wide range of community and health services. The Panel has seen the success of full-service school models in connecting students to services and believes that such models must be more widely implemented to better meet the needs of students experiencing disadvantage.”

The full report can be viewed at Expert Panel’s Report – Department of Education, Australian Government


“To ensure that all students come to school ready and able to learn, the Panel recommends that all governments take steps to embed and strengthen linkages between schools and other services, such as community, family, health (including speech and occupational therapists), and disability support services, by:

i. implementing full-service school models that better integrate these services within schools and improve partnerships between schools and external agencies, institutions and community members. Priority should be given to schools with a high concentration of students experiencing disadvantage, and care should be taken to avoid cost-shifting from other portfolios to education

ii. committing to a 12-month whole-of-government review of the interactions between education and other key Commonwealth and state-based services, with recommendations to National Cabinet by the end of 2026 focused on improving the effectiveness of service delivery to school-aged children through streamlining referral pathways, improved uptake of screening and services before and during school years among priority equity cohorts, and greater preventative investment.”