Thank you for your interest in Linuwel School. We hope that you have had a look through our website and read this ‘Information for Parents/ Carers’. This will have given you an initial idea of the nature of our education and community.
If you are interested in applying for a place for your child, then please book a school tour via our website. For more information, please contact our School Registrar on (02) 4933 3095. There are a couple of tours in the first half of each term for families interested in a place for the following term or later. On the tour you will meet our Principal, and find out a bit about the curriculum from preschool through to Class 12 as you walk through the school viewing the grounds and facilities. An information session forms part of the school tour. At this session you will learn more about Linuwel School’s values and the ethos of a Steiner school. It is our expectation that our families support the ethos of the school, and you will be able to get an understanding of what this means for our families at the information session.
Please be aware that children need to be fully vaccinated to be enrolled in our Preschool Program as this is a government requirement.
The next step is to complete an Application Form for your child. You will need to attach your child’s most recent school report, any relevant health information and reports, and permission for us to contact your child’s existing school. Applications will be reviewed by Class Teachers and Realm (faculty) Co-ordinators and interviews will be offered to some applicants. Priority is given to siblings of existing students and staff member’s children, children moving from another Steiner school, and children whose family demonstrates commitment to supporting the ethos of Linuwel School and Steiner education. We will ask for written permission to contact your child’s current school for a reference. If your child has any additional learning needs, we may ask you to take part in a second meeting to explore how we could meet your child’s needs and support them to have a positive experience at school.
Successful applicants may be offered a place in the class for the following term, or a place on the waiting list for that class. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to re-apply at a later time.
If your application is successful, our Registrar will ask you to complete an enrolment form and pay the non-refundable enrolment fee. A refundable (subject to conditions) bond and a term’s fees must be paid before your child starts at Linuwel.
For Classes 6-12, enrolment is probationary for six months i.e. during or at the end of that time your child’s enrolment may be cancelled by the School if they are not integrating successfully into the class and school. Unsuccessful integration might include breaches of expected behaviours and a lack of willingness of the child and/or the family to work with the School to resolve any issues that arise.
We are non-denominational and welcome children from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds.
When withdrawing your child, a full term’s written notice (excluding school holidays) to the office is required. Provided such notice is given and the Leaving Form returned within three (3) months, the bond will be refunded, less any unpaid fees or charges. No notice is required for student withdrawals at the end of Class 10 and 12.
Fees are kept as low as possible and incorporate most materials used by the students. They also include an amount, which varies with year group, to cover the cost of camps and outings.
The school also operates a building fund to help finance new facilities and refurbishment of existing buildings. Donations to this fund are tax-deductible. Any such donations help keep borrowing costs and fees down and would be greatly appreciated.
Fees are due one week prior to the commencement of term and must be paid in advance unless prior arrangement has been made. Fees are non-refundable.
Continuing enrolment is conditional on all fees being finalised by the end of each term.
The current fees and term dates may be found here.
The Class Teacher works most effectively when there is good communication with the parents/carers and a shared sense of working towards the same goals for your child’s development. To this end there are regular parent/carer-teacher meetings and class performances to which parents/carers are invited. Also, the teachers make themselves as available as possible to discuss any aspects of your child’s progress and welcome any contact which will assist them in dealing with your child, such as when they might be upset or fragile for some reason. Likewise, if the teacher has some pleasing progress to convey, or has concerns which need to be addressed, they will be in touch. Of course, both parties need to work at maintaining a constructive parent/carer-teacher relationship.
Meetings are generally held for each class each term. This may be a combined meeting for part of the School (e.g. the primary classes), a single class meeting, or individual meetings with parents/carers. They provide the opportunity for parents/carers to find out what the class is doing and how it is relevant to their child’s progress and development, as well as to meet with other parents/carers.
Reporting of progress
In Kindergarten, progress will be reported verbally at a parent interview at the end of each semester. For Years 1-12 a written report will be issued near the end of each semester, and teachers will be available for interviews around this time.
A child is enrolled in Linuwel School on the understanding that the child’s class teacher and parents/carers will work together for the balanced development of the child, and that the parents/carers will support these requirements and the ethos of the school. In all dealings with members of the school community parents/carers are expected to treat others with politeness and respect. When you are attending School activities please remember your purpose is to support the children. It is a time to put your personal and business activities aside and to be fully present for the children.
Punctuality and Attendance
Students are to arrive at School no earlier than 8:15am unless a prior arrangement has been made, and no later than 8:40am. If your child arrives after 8:45am, please accompany them to the office and sign a late slip which they will need to take with them to their classroom. Office staff will accompany young children to their class.
An important aspect of Steiner education is the continuity of lesson content and social interaction from one day to the next. A low rate of absenteeism is vital to your child’s progress and to the class. Students are expected to attend to the last day of each School term, and to participate in class performances and other activities which may take place in the evening or on weekends.
Please Note: Class camps are an integral and compulsory part of the School’s programme, and non-attendance must be supported by a doctor’s certificate.
If your child will be absent please contact the office via email or phone before 8.40am to alleviate concerns regarding your child’s whereabouts. It is a legal requirement that the School is notified of the reason for absence verbally or in writing. You must contact the School each day of absence until you can advise the date when the child will be returning to School.
It is important for each child, and the continuity within the class, that holidays are not taken during term time. There are 2-3 weeks of scheduled holidays in addition to state school holidays each year.
If travel during school term is necessary, the parents/carers are legally required to apply for extended leave by completing an Application for Extended Leave form (available from the class teacher) seven (7) days prior to travel. There is no power to grant approval retrospectively. In order to grant a Certificate of Extended Leave, the Principal must follow the Department of Education guidelines. For other leave, apart from sick leave or family emergencies, parents/carers are required to complete an Application for Exemption from Attendance at School (available from the class teacher) in advance.
Diet has an important effect on a child’s well-being through the day, especially the effects of sugar and food additives. Apart from occasional class fund-raising activities there is no School canteen, and parents/carers are asked to provide a nutritious morning tea and lunch for their child. Sweets, soft drinks, crisps and other packaged treats and snacks are not permitted.
Linuwel School Dress Code
Whilst there is no school uniform, Linuwel School has a school dress code that has a focus on self-care, awareness and care of others and what the School deems as appropriate, safe and practical attire. Primary school refers to Classes 1-6, high school refers to classes 7-12. A dress code for the Kindergarten will be provided by the teachers on enrolment.
Cooperation and compliance with the dress code is expected, and any breaches of the code will be addressed by staff.
The School reserves the right to determine whether a student’s clothing is acceptable at school/school activities. This should never be confused with it being about personal judgements or preferences.
It is the responsibility of all parents to ensure that their child adheres to the dress standards.
We ask that children and young people come to school in clothing that supports our aim to provide an environment that is simple, beautiful, and free from the influence of marketing and media. A visually restful environment allows students to focus on their learning. Please support your child/ young person to dress appropriately for school.
Sun safe and appropriate for the season. Shoulders, midriffs, sides and upper thighs will always be covered.
Clean, neat and tidy, and incorporating colour. ‘Designer’ rips in clothing are not acceptable.
Students are encouraged to wear colour, as colour is enlivening. Students from Class 5 up may wear a black T-shirt/ top. A colourful design on a black background would be acceptable. In High School students may choose between a black top or black ‘bottoms’.
School is a workplace therefore clothing must be sturdy and practical to allow students to be physically active and to move freely. It needs to be unrestrictive, not too tight, too loose, too short, too long or too revealing.
All clothing, including hats, must be free from images and words that promote brands or media, are irreverent, frightening, negative, offensive or grotesque in any way. This includes images that promote illegal activity such as drug taking or gang activity. Fluorescent colours should also be avoided. Camouflage / armed services style clothing have a variety of connotations none of which belong at our school.
We don’t want children to be walking advertisements, or to distract each other from learning.
Hats and Shoes
Primary students must have a wide brimmed hat (minimum 6cm brim) for all outdoor activities.
High school students need a wide-brimmed hat for camps and outdoor day trips. During days at school high school students may wear a plain cap worn with the brim facing forwards.
Hats and head coverings are not to be worn in classrooms, unless for religious reasons.
Shoes must be suitable for impromptu walks, sports and practical activities.
All shoes for school (if they are not fully enclosed) must have a heel strap, and tread on the sole. Ugg Boots, slides, thongs, and smooth-soled sandals are not appropriate footwear for school. Pull on boots, sturdy sports shoes, walking/ sports sandals are all ideal.
Jewellery and personal grooming
In primary school the only acceptable jewellery is a pair of stud earrings or small sleepers.
If children wear a necklace for religious reasons this must be underneath their clothing.
In primary school dyed hair is not acceptable.
Hair styles must not be exaggerated or draw attention to the individual. Examples include a number 1 shave, patterns etched into shaved hair, coloured or beaded hair extensions. For individual children culturally appropriate hair styles are acceptable.
Subtle makeup and clear nail varnish are acceptable in the high school only; exaggerated synthetic nails will not be worn.
Subtle, natural hair colours or highlights are acceptable in the high school only; hair styles must not be exaggerated or draw attention to the individual. Examples include a number 1 shave, patterns etched into shaved hair, coloured or beaded hair extensions. For individual children culturally appropriate hair styles are acceptable.
Nose studs and nose rings are acceptable in the high school only. Jewellery (other than ear studs and sleepers) will be worn in the high school only and needs to be kept to a minimum for safety reasons. Rings are not permitted for safety reasons
Perfume and deodorant
Aerosol deodorant is not permitted at school, including on camps, day trips and sports activities. Perfume is not appropriate, however essential oils may be used.
Students wearing inappropriate or unsafe clothing may be required to change or may be withdrawn from classes or activities for the day.
Medical Conditions and Treatments
To ensure the health and safety of students at all times and to ensure that staff have necessary medical information, parents/carers – in relation to their children and/or charges – are responsible for:
keeping the School informed of any medical conditions, treatments and medical contact details;
providing staff with appropriate information and training/instruction where medical conditions require specialised treatment.
updating the School on any changes in medical conditions and/or required treatments.
obtaining the relevant blank medication forms from the School and arranging for their completion and return.
providing the medication in the original labelled container to the class teacher.
ensuring the medication is not out of date and has an original pharmacy label with the student’s name, dosage and time to be taken.
providing a written request by parents/carers and/or a medical practitioner for medication that is not obtained on prescription, indicating: Name of student, condition for which the medication is required, and guidelines for administration.
Daily Transport & Supervision Outside School Operating Hours
Pre-school and kindergarten children are to be brought to school and collected from school by a parent or adult known to the child, as train and bus travel are generally unsuitable for this age.
Either car park may be used for set-down in the morning. For pick up in the afternoon please use the car park near the soccer field to keep the bus turning/waiting area clear. Buses are available to most regions and a bus connects to the East Maitland railway station. Note that there is no supervision of students travelling on buses and trains. Pre-school finishes at 2:15pm, kindergarten at 2:30pm and the other classes at 2:45pm.
Prior to 8:15am and after 3pm the School does not provide supervision to students. If students are arriving early or remaining in the afternoons is it the responsibility of the parents/carers to arrange supervision for their child. If you are unexpectedly late for pick-up in the afternoon, please call the office on 4933 3095. Children who haven’t been collected by 3pm will wait in the office.
If arrangements other than normal have been made for student pick-up, or there is anything else which will impact upon transport home on the day in question, please inform the office.
Once students have left the school premises no duty of care exists on the part of the School and parents/carers must use their own discretion to determine the appropriateness or otherwise of available travel options for their child.
School outings which extend beyond normal school hours will be notified beforehand, however impromptu class outings for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes (without prior notification) are a normal occurrence. This may involve use of the School’s buses, private cars or public transport.
Access to electronic games and media
Especially in the primary years, many behavioural, social and learning difficulties can be contributed to or exacerbated by exposure to electronic games and media. This is counter- productive to the children’s education and well-being, and parents/carers are expected to work with the class teacher in monitoring and restricting this access.
Phones and electronic entertainment devices are prohibited at school and if confiscated will be returned only to the parent.
Parent and students are asked to be mindful of privacy and ethical considerations when using electronic communications and social networking sites. No photos or video clips associated with School activities may be used without the express permission of every person featured in the images/video, and then only for private purposes, unless sanctioned by the School. The use of electronic or social media to transmit material which may denigrate, be offensive or upsetting to another member of the School community is not acceptable. Do not post or share personal information about another student or member of the School community, electronically or otherwise, such as their image, name, birth date, address, telephone number, email address, current location and/or School.
Work Health & Safety
The School has an obligation to provide a safe and healthy environment for staff, students, and other visitors. The School’s WHS Statement (available at the office) provides a framework for meeting this obligation.
All persons at Linuwel, including students, parents/carers, and other visitors, must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and take reasonable care that their conduct does not adversely affect the health and safety of others at the School or School events. They must also comply, so far as they reasonably are able to, with any reasonable instructions given by the School.
All visitors/volunteers to the School must first attend the office where they must sign on/off in the visitor’s register and wear a visitor I.D. tag or be accompanied by a staff member. In the event of an emergency the volunteer must follow the directions of the staff member.
Smoking & Alcohol
Neither smoking nor consumption of alcohol is permitted on School property, in the designated parking areas adjacent to the School or near public entrances to the School.
The School is aware that some students have parents that are separated or divorced. In these cases, parents should not attempt to involve the School in any parental dispute that may arise. The School is not able to make judgments on the merits of claims made by one parent against another and should not be asked to do so. Nor should it be asked to take any action which is designed to disadvantage one party; the exception being that the School will comply with any subpoena orders made by a Court in relation to a student. It is not the role of schools to enforce family court orders or resolve family law disputes. When necessary, the School will place its obligation to ensure its duty of care towards enrolled students above the needs or wishes of a parent/carer.
It is of vital importance that the School be provided with current email addresses for parents/carers. It is the parents/carers’ responsibility to read email correspondence from the School and to notify any change of email address. The types of correspondence sent via email include: important information from the Principal or class teacher; newsletters; and weekly updates. When appropriate, some paper correspondence will be sent home with the students.
Parents and carers may also communicate with the School via the office or the class teacher’s email address if it has been provided. Where possible, emails are checked daily.
Class teachers may provide parents/carers with their personal mobile number at their own discretion and use SMS as a way to communicate group messages, for example time of arrival at school after a camp. If a teacher has provided their mobile number parents/carers may also use SMS to send non-urgent messages to class teachers. Please be considerate about the time of day and refrain from messaging class teachers on weekends and before 7am or after 9pm on business days unless there has been a prior agreement, or an urgent circumstance has arisen.
For urgent matters, please telephone the School on 4933 3095.
The office hours are 8.15am – 3.15pm for telephone or face-to-face communication. Messages received for teachers are placed in their pigeonholes and checked daily. Please allow up to 7 days for teachers to respond, depending on the urgency of the matter.
Parents/carers wishing to communicate with their child during School hours may do so by telephoning the office. Note that students are not permitted to use their own telephones at School. Depending upon the circumstances, arrangements will be made for a message to be passed to the student or for the student to speak directly to their parent/carer.
Parents/carers wishing to communicate with other students (i.e. not their own child) beyond established social communication, must only do so with the knowledge and consent of the other student’s parents/carers. If the matter has the flavour of a complaint or a grievance then follow the procedures outlined below.
Guiding the social development and behaviour of students is an important aspect of the class teacher role. Positive behaviours are modelled and encouraged, as is interaction between students of different year groups. Restorative practices form an important part of the classroom management process.
The teacher’s understanding of child development and deep concern for each individual provide the basis for establishing discipline. In our school, all teachers have the opportunity to observe and interact with each student. At staff meetings the combined experience and suggestions of staff can provide the class teacher with a wealth of strategies, to win the child’s trust and influence their patterns of behaviour. Central to the success of the school is the premise that the parents/carers and class teacher work together for the development of the child.
Where an unbalanced pattern of behaviour becomes evident the class teacher will arrange to meet with the parents/carers to discuss the issue, consider possible contributing factors and look for ways in which their combined actions could work for the benefit of the child. No form of corporal punishment is allowed at the school, nor will any member of staff suggest or sanction the use of corporal punishment by any other person.
Guidelines for handling inappropriate behaviour
Incidents of inappropriate behaviour, particularly of a bullying nature, are dealt with in a firm and timely manner, and in accordance with the School’s Anti-Bullying Statement & Guidelines which is available upon request. In some instances the School has a duty of care and will take disciplinary action for behaviours which occur outside of School.
Removal from class, suspension or expulsion
If a child’s behaviour becomes unduly disruptive or of danger to other students, and the child will not cooperate with the teacher’s requests, removal from the class (to the care of another teacher) for the remainder of the lesson or day may occur. In this case the teacher will contact the child’s parents/carers that afternoon or evening to discuss the problem, and also complete an incident report indicating what has happened and what course of action has been decided on.
Should the problem continue the teacher will meet with the parents/carers, together with the child if both parties feel that is appropriate, to agree through a restorative process on a further course of action. If there is no improvement in the child’s behaviour a further meeting will be called at which another (senior) staff member acceptable to the parents/carers will be present to help clarify and overcome the problem. At this stage the parents/carers are to be made aware that if the behaviour cannot be modified within an acceptable time frame the student will be suspended (i.e. not permitted to attend at school) for up to one week. A student may also be suspended or expelled immediately (pending due process) for serious offences such as wilful damage to property; abusive behaviour; possession or use of tobacco, alcohol or any prohibited substance. Every attempt will be made at this time to resolve the problem through parent-teacher liaison.
Support during the process
At any time during this process, if the parents/carers feel there are issues they cannot raise with the class teacher, or that they are in conflict with the class teacher, they are welcome to raise the matter with a senior member of staff whom they feel comfortable to approach. This staff member can mediate between the parents/carers and class teacher. The parents/carers may also be supported by a person who they feel can assist them.
Return from suspension
If, on the suspended student’s return to classes a satisfactory improvement in behaviour is not demonstrated he or she can be expelled. Ultimately, as it is the teacher who has a responsibility and duty of care to the class, the teacher has the right to refuse to have a child in the class if the child’s presence prevents them from effectively fulfilling their obligations as a teacher. This is particularly important if the teacher has cause to believe that the child will not obey directions from the teacher outside the classroom situation. Class outings and camps are an integral and compulsory part of the school programme, and as the risks and potential consequences are much greater in these circumstances a teacher will not take a child off the school grounds if they pose an unacceptable risk. This could ultimately preclude the child from continuing at the school.
has otherwise engaged in conduct which is prejudicial to the school or its students or staff;
then the Principal may suspend the student or expel the student permanently. The Principal has the final decision regarding suspension/expulsion. In exercising its powers under this section the school will follow the process below.
The Expulsion Process:
The Principal may immediately suspend the student;
The student and the parents/carers of the student will be provided with details of the conduct which resulted in suspension and which may result in a decision to expel or further suspend the student;
The student and the parents/carers will be provided with a reasonable opportunity to respond;
The Principal will review all the information and make a decision;
The student and parents/carers may request a meeting with the school’s Board of Directors to review and reconsider the decision.
If the school’s Board of Directors or the Principal believes that a mutually beneficial relationship of trust and co-operation between a parent/carer and the school has broken-down to the extent that it adversely impacts on that relationship, then the school may require the parent/carer to remove the child from the school.
No remission of fees will apply in relation to any of the above cases.
The School values an ongoing good relationship with parents/carers and welcomes feedback on the School’s operation.
It is important that any complaint or grievance is addressed and every effort made through Restorative Practice to resolve it to the satisfaction of both parties. All grievances will be dealt with in confidence.
Issues relating to a parent/carer’s child should be taken up with the class teacher. If the matter cannot be resolved restoratively and satisfactorily with the class teacher, the parents/carers are welcome to arrange a meeting with the relevant Realm Co-ordinator who will work towards an acceptable outcome & follow up after an appropriate interval. Parents/carers may bring a support person with them to any such meeting. If, after an appropriate time frame, your complaint is still not resolved satisfactorily, please contact the Principal.
Issues relating to administrative matters or the School in general should be brought to the Principal who will endeavour to resolve them.
Parents/carers and community members are encouraged to report to the Principal any employee (including volunteer) conduct that is in their view inappropriate, reportable or criminal conduct. All such reports will be dealt with in accordance with this complaints and grievance procedure, the School’s Whistleblower Policy, and the School’s Child Protection Policy. Information about reportable conduct may be found here. If the concern involves the Principal, a report should be made to the Chairperson of the School Board.
Process for reporting to the Principal
If you have any concerns about any employee /volunteer engaging in inappropriate, reportable or criminal conduct, please report your concern to the Principal as soon as possible. You may telephone the office and ask to speak to the Principal or arrange a meeting with the Principal. You may also write a letter or send an email addressed to the Principal.
Process for reporting to the Chairperson of the School Board
If you have any concerns about the Principal engaging in inappropriate, reportable or criminal conduct, please report your concern to the Chairperson of the School Board as soon as possible. Contact details for the Chairperson can be provided by the office. Upon receipt of a concern the Chairperson will contact AISNSW to obtain direction about the steps they must follow.
Perceived Conflict of Interest
Linuwel is a small school with a close community. Many members of staff have children at the school, some members of staff are directly related to each other and many have close personal friendships. The School has processes in place to manage any perceived conflicts of interest. On most occasions conflicts of interest are resolved at the school level by utilising senior staff and the Education Committee (the Education Committee reports to the Board); however on occasion the School will ask the Board of Directors to assume responsibility for a particular decision process. At any time the School can and does seek assistance from AISNSW.
Regarding inappropriate, reportable or criminal conduct, if your concern involves a relative of the Principal, you are required to report to the Deputy Principal. You may telephone the office and ask to speak to the Deputy Principal or arrange a meeting with the Deputy Principal. You may also write a letter or send an email addressed to the Deputy Principal.
If, for any reason, you perceive a conflict of interest for both the Principal and the Deputy Principal then you are required to take your concern to the Chairperson of the School Board as above.
If a mutually acceptable resolution cannot be reached, the parents/carers may: –
address a letter to the School Board who have ultimate responsibility for the School. They will review the matter & the School’s position, take any appropriate action, & advise the parents/carers of their determination; or
contact the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) (or other relevant authority) if they believe the School is in breach of law; or
contact the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT), who can provide further advice.
Reasonable Time Frames.
The School will always endeavour to acknowledge receipt of any complaint within a timely manner and begin taking action to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible in the circumstances. There are many variables which may affect the perceived timeliness of our process including camps and staff leave. Please allow the following time frames for acknowledgement of complaints brought to:
a Class Teacher – 7 days
the Principal – 7 days
the Board of Directors – up to 3 months (the Board meets quarterly)
The School will continue to communicate time frames as the matter proceeds to resolution. Some matters will understandably take longer than others.
Linuwel School is committed to being a child safe organisation and places child safety as paramount; this is evidenced in our policies and procedures including the Child Protection Policy.
The School’s policies are developed pursuant to the registration requirements set out in section 47 of the NSW Education Act and the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards. Access to relevant policies can be arranged by contacting the office.
Linuwel School collects personal information, including sensitive information about students and parents/carers before and during the course of a student’s enrolment at the School. This may be in writing or in the course of conversations. The primary purpose of collecting this information is to enable the School to provide schooling to the students enrolled at the school, exercise its duty of care, and perform necessary associated administrative activities, which will enable students to take part in all the activities of the School.
Some of the information we collect is to satisfy the School’s legal obligations, particularly to enable the School to discharge its duty of care.
Laws governing or relating to the operation of a school require certain information to be collected and disclosed. These include relevant Education Acts, Public Health, and Child Protection laws.
Health information about students is sensitive information within the terms of the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act. We may ask you to provide medical reports about students from time to time.
The School may disclose personal and sensitive information for educational, administrative and support purposes. This may include to:
other schools and teachers at those schools;
people providing educational, support and health services to the School, including specialist visiting teachers, sports coaches, volunteers, counsellors and providers of learning and assessment tools;
assessment and educational authorities, including the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority;
people providing administrative and financial services to the School;
anyone you authorise the School to disclose information to; and
anyone to whom the School is required or authorised to disclose the information to by law, including child protection laws.
Personal information collected from students is regularly disclosed to their parents or guardians.
We may include students’ and their parents/carers’ contact details in a class list.
If you provide the School with the personal information of others, such as doctors or emergency contacts, we encourage you to inform them that you are disclosing that information to the School and why.
In the event that your child does not proceed to enrolment the School may store your personal information on a waiting list for a period of up to one year. If, at that time, you no longer wish to be on the waiting list the information will be destroyed.
It is important that the School has accurate, complete and up-to-date information. Please ensure that you notify the School of any changes to personal information such as emergency contacts and health information as soon as possible.