Doveton College – more than a school
The College has an Early Learning Centre and Prep-Year 9 school at its centre, with wrap-around health, family and children’s services on site. It is Australia’s first fully integrated education service, offering child and family services that include:
- Parent support services – information and brokerage
- Daily supported playgroups
- Child and family health services, including immunisation programs and Maternal and Child Health sessions
- Home visiting
- Family drop in facilities
- Adult education –entry to work, community leadership training
- Adult activity groups – language classes, sewing, cooking
Advantages of an integrated service model
- Creates strong links between early years services and school
- Better collaboration and co-ordination between service agencies
- Families have quicker, more efficient access to services
- Clearer referral pathways for families and service agencies
- Enables on-going intensive support for vulnerable families
- Improves prevention and early intervention in child and family health
- Builds neighbourhood capacity through volunteerism, community hub structure and programs
- Increased adult presence at the College encourages parental involvement in school
What we aim to do
Every child deserves a high quality education, regardless of where they live. Doveton College aims to engage the entire Doveton neighbourhood to create a healthy environment for children and families to learn and thrive.
To do this the College has created a network of support for Doveton families by partnering with local services and philanthropic organisations. Our College aims to:
- Provide consistent support for children’s healthy growth, starting with pre-natal programs for parents and finishing with preparing Year 9 students for further education, training or employment
- Deliver extra programs that help families raise their children and help them with their own educational and work opportunities
- Improve children’s readiness for school
- Lift student achievement in literacy and numeracy
- Strengthen the community by developing closer ties between residents, institutions and grassroots groups
- Evaluate results from programs to ensure what we are doing is transparent and that every success or failure teaches us how to improve
- Develop and support a culture of success based on passion, accountability, leadership and teamwork
Creating a transparent, accountable culture
The College will undertake an evaluation study to determine whether it is meeting its goals. The evaluation will be done in partnership with the University of Ontario in Canada. The University of Ontario is one of only a few research centres in the world that has the tools and research experience to evaluate a project like Doveton College.
The University has been involved in a 12- year evaluation of the internationally renowned Toronto First Duty, a system of integrating early childhood services and parenting support in Toronto, which has informed the development of Doveton College’s structure.
The College has employed a researcher to co-ordinate the evaluation and collect all data in partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Findings from the evaluation will be made available each year on the College’s website and through the Department’s reports.