School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement frequently asked questions

Q. What is the School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement (SSEN:BE)?

A. SSEN:BE is one of four schools of special educational needs that form part of the Student Support Directorate in the Statewide Services Division, the other three being SSEN:Disability, SSEN:Sensory and SSEN:Medical and Mental Health. SSEN:BE is led by a Level 6 Principal, who has overall responsibility for the delivery and monitoring of services and support for students with extreme, complex and challenging behaviours across the public school system.

SSEN:BE comprises 14 engagement centres, the Midland Learning Academy and staff who deliver Classroom Management Strategies (CMS) and Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) professional learning.

Q. What is an Engagement Centre?

A. Engagement Centres coordinate the K-12 provision of the following three services:

  • Professional learning to improve student engagement and behaviour.
  • Consultative support for schools needing additional assistance with planning for those students with very complex needs.
  • Intensive support for individual students exhibiting the most extreme, challenging and complex needs.

Every centre is led by a Program Coordinator and line managed by the Principal and Associate Principals of the school.

Every Education Region has an Engagement Centre (see the Fact Sheet for the location of the Engagement Centres).

Q. What is professional learning support?

A. SSEN:BE offers a range of professional learning opportunities for school staff relating to behaviour and engagement, based on the identified needs of the school.

Q. What is consultative support?

A. Consultative support builds the capacity of staff to identify and understand student needs, plan to address/support identified needs, implement plans and review the intervention.

Q. What is intensive support?

A. Where a school’s ongoing efforts at intervention have not resulted in significant improvement in student behaviour, a more intensive service may be offered. Intensive support requires parental permission and may be provided directly to the student and/or indirectly via support to school staff.  This may include:

  • the allocation of staff from the Engagement Centre to provide individualised student support, staff training and development, and assistance for the formulation and implementation of student support plans in the school;
  • ongoing support for a school in challenging circumstances to implement whole-school intervention planning; and
  • direct support to the student within the school setting. When indicated, direct student support may be delivered at a SSEN:BE site for a period of time as part of the planned intervention (section 3.2 of the Student Attendance procedures outlines school responsibilities for this arrangement to occur).

 Q. How does a school access SSEN:BE services?

A. The Principal or delegate contacts SSEN:BE on (08) 9402 6200 or via email at

Requests are allocated to SSEN:BE staff for initial information gathering to inform decisions regarding service provision.

Please refer to the Request for Assistance Pathway for further information.

Q. What are the responsibilities of schools when requesting assistance?

A. Department of Education schools provide every student with the educational support the student needs to learn and maintain positive behaviour.

This will include maintaining evidence of:

  1. Planning, implementation and assessment cycles of school based support
  2. Engagement with local expertise
  3. Engagement with appropriate regional office services

The School Psychology Service (local and regional) will typically provide support to schools for these planning cycles and can assist schools in the decision to request further assistance.

When a school lodges a Request for Assistance, SSEN:BE staff will seek information regarding the school’s planning and the involvement of the School Psychology Service, and/or other regional and statewide services.  Direct consultation with these services may then be sought to assist decision making.

Q. What are the expectations of schools whilst accessing support from SSEN:BE?

A. Services provided by SSEN:BE aim to build capacity within schools to cater for students with complex needs relating to behaviour and engagement, by supporting development of staff knowledge and skills, and school processes and systems.

The school retains primary responsibility for the case management of individual students who receive support from SSEN:BE.

A collaborative approach is used, engaging school staff, parents and carers, and other relevant intra- and interagency partners in problem clarification and intervention planning. Schools will be expected to make available time and resources to engage in collaborative processes.

 Q. What monitoring occurs to ensure students with the greatest support needs receive the services they require?

A. Each Education Region has a Regional Advisory Group (comprising representation from Engagement Centres, the Region, schools, and where appropriate, other relevant agencies) that has oversight of the services for individual students that require intensive support. The Regional Advisory Groups operate from the following principles:

  • access to services must be fair and aligned to the needs of both individual students and their schools;
  • allocation of resources must be transparent and open to review; and
  • communication between Engagement Centres, schools, and Regional and Statewide Services staff must be regular, open and ongoing.

Q. How does SSEN:BE prioritise services?

A. Requests for Assistance are prioritised based on the identified needs of students and schools. There is a guarantee of service to students excluded from school and those exiting a custodial sentence.  Engagement Centres will prioritise planning and facilitation of appropriate educational options for these students.

Youth Transition Coordinators will support students exiting a custodial sentence and work within the requirements of the Young Offenders Act and the Children and Community Services Act.

Q. How does SSEN:BE integrate with other statewide student support services?

A. SSEN:BE is part of the Student Support Services Directorate in the Statewide Services Division.  This Directorate integrates school and student support services across the domains of behaviour, attendance, disability, learning support needs, medical and mental health, child protection and social and emotional learning.

The Student Support Directorate has an agreed process to enable schools and branches to seek collaborative support to best meet the identified needs of students.

In working with schools on the case management of individual students, SSEN:BE will ensure these services and supports are accessed as required.

Q. How does SSEN:BE collaborate with other Government agencies and services providers?

A. Complex cases often require interagency cooperation to ensure the most appropriate services and effective allocation of resources and expertise.  This is supported through existing arrangements, such as the protocols in place with the Department of Communities – Child Protection and Family Support.

SSEN:BE has established partnerships with:

  • Big Picture Education Australia
  • Education Mental Health Steering Committee
  • Department of Corrective Services

Q. What should a Principal do if they have concerns regarding SSEN:BE services?

A. The Principal can contact their regional/local Engagement Centre to discuss the concern with the Program Coordinator. If this does not resolve the concern, an Associate Principal for the region can be contacted via 9402 6200. For information about or discussion regarding the SSEN:BE scope of service and operation, Steve Watson, Principal, School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement can be contacted on 9402 6200.


Contact Information

School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement
(08) 9402 6200