Guidelines. for Chaplains. in State Primary Schools. in Tasmania

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1 Guidelines for Chaplains in State Primary Schools in Tasmania Tasmanian Department of Education Tasmanian Council of Churches Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools

2 1 Tasmanian Department of Education 116 Bathurst Street Hobart Tasmania 7000 (03) and Tasmanian Council of Churches Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools 163 Macquarie Street, Hobart Tasmania 7000 (03) January 2006

3 2 Why Chaplaincy in State Primary Schools? Christian chaplaincy in Tasmania s state secondary schools has proven so helpful to the school communities where it operates that primary school communities would like to see some of the same benefits for younger children. Through Chaplaincy, Christian churches make themselves available to support schools in helping students to develop appropriate values, attitudes and behaviours and to explore the spiritual issues raised during their formal education. The ministry that chaplaincy provides to the school is consistent with the Essential Learnings Framework formulated by the Department of Education and provides support for the values fundamental to that framework. Chaplains journey with the students, sharing their joys and sorrows and seeking to support their young lives in the context of faith, hope and love, as outlined in these guidelines. Tasmanian Department of Education Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools The school We would like a chaplaincy in our school Representatives of school community Here s how Chaplaincy Working Group Representatives of local churches S.U. as employer The responsibilities of the various stakeholders in chaplaincy in state primary schools is detailed in these guidelines Local chaplaincy committee Chaplaincy Development Coordinator Diagram 1. A structure for sustainable and accountable chaplaincy service in state primary schools

4 3 Accountability Responsibility for the learning environment of the primary school is delegated to the school association and principal of a school within policy and guidelines developed by the Department of Education. Any activity occurring within that environment must meet Departmental standards for safety (physical, emotional and mental) for students. Through partnership with the Department of Education, the Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools has accepted oversight of state school chaplaincy. The Chaplaincy Working Group of the Commission, with Scripture Union (the major Employing Agency of chaplains on behalf of Local Chaplaincy Committees) and the Chaplaincy Development Coordinator provide support, information and ongoing advice to Local Chaplaincy Committees and chaplains throughout the State. The responsibilities and accountabilities of the Local Chaplaincy Committee, the School and the Employing Agency are contained in a Memorandum of Understanding. A proforma for such a memorandum is in appendix 1 of this document. So what will a chaplain do in and for our school? Chaplains function as resources in the school. Religious faith is an important aspect of personal beliefs and values for many families. Chaplains provide tangible support to these families, and are an available source of information and advice to others who, in their search for meaning, choose to explore this dimension of human existence. Chaplains must always be mindful of parental values and respect the rights of families. Chaplains are integral members of the school s welfare team and provide a complementary service to students in need. By having someone with expertise in matters of faith and religion on staff, a school s educational resources are increased. There are lots of things this resource person can do within the school: Providing pastoral support and care for students and their families Supporting the school in its aim to be a safe, caring environment Act as a role model for students Be a reference point for teachers and students concerning spirituality issues and the Christian tradition generally Act as a resource for units of work on values issues Provide a link to other community resources Become a resource person for voluntary clubs and groups of students in unscheduled time The sort of things he or she might be asked by the school to do, include: assist school counsellors and staff in the delivery of student welfare services provide access to the helping agencies in the community, both secular and church based be a support person in grief, family breakdown and other crisis situations for staff, students and parents where appropriate

5 4 be a liaison person for welfare activities in the community provide support in areas concerning human relationships be available to explore spiritual and values questions help with school camps or sports activities, musical productions or other things to which their personal skills and experience might contribute. Having a chaplain on their team strengthens the school s relationship with its local community. A chaplain represents the local Christian community in a broad, non-sectarian sense. Chaplains respect the range of religious views in the school and the community. While chaplains can be support persons and provide oversight for voluntary student groups, no attempts to coerce people into Christian activities will occur. Chaplains begin their appointment with qualifications and experience appropriate to the position that may include theology, counselling, children s ministry or education. This will be added to through regular professional development. How do we get a chaplain in our school? 1. Check out the level of commitment When a school community decides it wants a chaplaincy, it can go to the local Christian churches, the Chaplaincy Development Coordinator of Scripture Union or the Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools (CCMISS see appendix 3). Any of these sources will operate within these guidelines to ensure a wide base of support and financial sustainability for the chaplaincy. Those on the committee need to identify what the school wants from a chaplaincy service if these wants are consistent with other school aims and programs if the local Christian churches can fund the chaplaincy to the level required by the school community The working group considering and planning a chaplaincy should not proceed unless: it is clear that there is a consensus within the school community about the nature and aims of a chaplaincy service in the school the proposed service is consistent with Department of Education policies there is a firm and shared commitment to sufficient financial support of the service over a period of time. This financial support will come primarily from the local Christian community, but the school association, local businesses and other members of the school community may also choose to financially support the chaplaincy. The Employing Agency will provide the details of salary packages and employment conditions so that the working group can know approximate costs for each chaplaincy. 2. Get an ongoing committee together

6 5 You will need a Local Chaplaincy Committee (LCC) to manage the establishment of a chaplaincy service and to manage it for as long as it continues. Under the authority of the school principal, and with the approval of the school association, this committee will take responsibility for the selection, appointment and supervision of the chaplain delivering the services. The LCC will be representative of the total school community and able to carry out all of the management tasks assigned to it. The LCC will model the sensitivity and respect for diversity that the chaplaincy will demonstrate in the school. Individuals on the committee will need to understand the needs of the school community and be committed to the aims for the chaplaincy as agreed at the working group stage. Wherever possible, the committee should include: the Principal of the school or nominee representatives of local Christian churches nominees of the school association, including a teacher from the school and a parent community representatives concerned with this work a representative of the Employing Agency. Working with the school community, the LCC will develop a list of aims for the chaplaincy and how this contributes to the overall goals of the school, including the Essential Learnings Framework. These aims will vary from school to school, and will depend on the needs of the school and the other resources found in the school. This list of aims will form the basis for evaluation of all that the chaplaincy does within the school. The Chaplaincy Development Coordinator keeps the Chaplaincy Working Group appraised of the stages of development of a chaplaincy. When the Local Chaplaincy Committee is formed the Chaplaincy Working Group will ensure that the Secretary of the Department of Education knows of the intention to proceed and the composition of the Local Chaplaincy Committee and the intended Employing Agency. 3. Prepare to appoint a chaplain Working from the aims, you will need to develop a position description for the position of chaplain in your school. You will get help for this from the proposed Employing Agency, or the Chaplaincy Development Coordinator at Scripture Union. The position description will include: an outline the particular responsibilities and tasks of the chaplain the groups and officers with whom the chaplain collaborates the range of school activities in which the chaplain may participate the hours of duty in the school an outline of the personal qualifications, experience and qualities required of the chaplain. Advertisements for the position of chaplain must indicate that the Local Chaplaincy Committee is inviting the applications and is responsible for the selection and appointment of the successful candidate. An Employing Agency

7 6 may act as the Local Chaplaincy Committee s agent and organise the advertising and the collection of applications. Enquirers about the position will be told they will have to undergo a police check, and be supplied with: copies of aims of the service, the role statement for the chaplain and the selection criteria used in assessing applicants terms and conditions of appointment the dates, times and places for the interviews a copy of these guidelines. 4. Selecting and appointing a chaplain The LCC will form a selection panel, including the principal (or their nominee) and a representative of the Employing Agency. The interviewing panel should present its nomination to the Local Chaplaincy Committee who will make an offer of employment to the successful candidate pending successful completion of a police check. The Employing Agency will develop a contract of employment for the chaplain to sign before commencement of employment. The LCC will organise start dates and orientation of the chaplain with the school and the Employing Agency will organise payment of the chaplain. 5. Keeping in touch with supporters Regular reporting by the LCC members to their respective nominating body is essential. At the conclusion of each year a comprehensive written report should be sent to the school with a copy sent to all supporting churches, to the Employing Agency and to the Chaplaincy Working Group as a further means of ensuring the accountability of the chaplaincy program. Copies can be distributed among supporters of the chaplaincy. 6. Ongoing management of the chaplain and chaplaincy The LCC is responsible for the management of the chaplaincy service. This includes funding, ensuring appropriate professional development of the chaplain and assisting in gathering suitable curriculum/teaching material and in the selection of visiting speakers and musicians. One member of the LCC will be responsible for the pastoral care of the chaplain meeting regularly for fellowship, encouragement and prayer. Each year the LCC will ensure there is a review of the direction and effectiveness of the chaplaincy service. Towards the end of each period of contracted employment, a major review should be undertaken seeking input from the school, the chaplain, the LCC, and the Employing Agency. If necessary, any formal disciplinary procedures will comply with all appropriate legislation and be conducted in conjunction with the Principal and the Employing Agency and the Local Chaplaincy Committee.

8 7 The school will allocate working space and support facilities and allow access to appropriate professional development as it occurs. The school will develop procedures about how and when students, teachers and parents may access the chaplain. The school will also identify how and when the chaplain may have access to the students records. It is the responsibility of the school to also identify procedures for professional referrals to other people and agencies both within and outside the school. The school will also ensure that the chaplain understands the principles, ethics and practical implications of confidentiality in accordance with various regulations and the policies of the school The chaplain benefits from and is subject to the overall management structures and procedures of the school. This enables integration into the life of the school. A significant amount of professional and personal support and supervision will be available to the chaplain from within the school. The Employing Agency manages insurance matters in relation to chaplaincy and administers the financial arrangements on behalf of the LCC. It will: advise the LCC on the cost of establishing and maintaining full-time or parttime chaplains receive and receipt all monies raised for the maintenance of the chaplaincy service advise how to obtain tax deductibility for donations maintain a set of accounts in accordance with established accountancy and auditing procedures and codes of behaviour present to the LCC, at regular intervals or on request, audited balance sheets and other financial statements related to the chaplaincy service monitor the availability of funds from the LCC to ensure that salaries and other entitlements are paid regularly and on time monitor variations in awards, statutory requirements and other factors which influence the chaplain s salary and entitlements make recommendations to the LCC in relation to any variations in salary and employment conditions considered necessary. The areas of responsibility for these management roles is listed in the Memorandum of Understanding in appendix one.

9 8 Appendix 1 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING Chaplaincy Service of (the School) This Memorandum of Understanding is made on the day of 20 between the School Administration of (the School), the Local Chaplaincy Committee (the LCC) and (the nominated Employing Agency). Nominated Contact Persons Local Chaplaincy Committee School Name : Name : Phone : Phone : E mail : E mail : We, the parties to this Memorandum of Understanding, are familiar with the Guidelines for Chaplains in Primary State Schools in Tasmania and agree to work in association with the Department of Education Tasmania and local Christian Churches to provide a chaplaincy service in keeping with the stated principles and policies of these documents. This Memorandum of Understanding will commence on conclude on. and The Agreed Responsibilities Responsibilities of the Local Chaplaincy Committee include but are not limited to: i. Funding of the chaplain ii. Preparing of a general statement of aims for the chaplaincy service iii. Negotiating a role statement for the chaplaincy service in conjunction with the school and Employing Agency iv. Appointing of a chaplain to the School in conjunction with the school and Employing Agency v. Approving and providing advice regarding the chaplaincy program implemented in the School by the chaplain vi. Managing of the chaplaincy service vii. Providing primary pastoral care of the chaplain viii. Supporting the development of chaplaincy related skills by recommending professional development and ensuring that the chaplain takes advantage of appropriate offerings

10 ix. Monitoring of referrals of students to churches/youth groups x. Keeping local churches informed of the work and its needs xi. Approving support personnel such as visiting speakers, musical artists, etc. that the chaplain wishes to use in their program xii. Contacting the School Principal for monitoring the progress of the work xiii. Reviewing after Probation, and annually and end of contract by all parties involved xiv. Implementing of any formal disciplinary procedures required in compliance with all appropriate legislation (in conjunction with the School Administration and the Employing Agency). 9 Responsibilities of the School Administration include but are not limited to: i. Ensuring the school community is represented on the LCC ii. Allocating working space and support facilities for use by the chaplain iii. Ensuring the LCC is aware of relevant and current Education Department policies and how they relate to the operation of the Chaplaincy service in the School iv. Developing procedures for access to the chaplain by students, teachers, parents and other relevant persons v. Communicating procedures for the referral to other people and agencies both within and outside the School vi. Overseeing the general functioning of the chaplain in the School and especially in matters relating to school administration and procedures vii. Helping to facilitate the professional development of the chaplain. Responsibilities of the Employing Agency include but are not limited to: i. Negotiating the terms and conditions of employment ii. Providing overall policy documents and procedures relating to the operation of the chaplaincy service in cooperation with the Chaplaincy Working Group of CCMISS iii. Advising the LCC of matters relating to the cost and maintenance of the chaplaincy service iv. Providing adequate insurance cover for the chaplaincy service v. Managing financial accounts including receipting of tax deductible donations, account keeping and reporting vi. Presenting the LCC with audited balance sheets and other financial statements relating to the chaplaincy service on a regular basis and as requested vii. Monitoring of the availability of funds from the LCC to ensure that salaries and other entitlements are paid regularly and on time viii. Recommending any variations in salary and employment conditions considered necessary to the LCC ix. Recommending training programs to assist in the professional development of the chaplain Performance Appraisal A performance appraisal process will be carried out in October/November each year. Reports detailing the progress of the chaplaincy will be required from the School Administration, the LCC, the chaplain and the Employing Agency. Resolution of Disputes In the event of a dispute or grievance between the chaplain, the School, the LCC and/or the Employing Agency, the following process will be activated: a) The dispute/grievance will be brought to the Employing Agency s Chaplaincy Officer (unless the grievance is brought against Chaplaincy Officer in which case it should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Employing Agency) b) Details of the dispute/grievance will be documented by the representative of the Employing Agency c) A meeting will be convened between the chaplain, the representative of the Employing Agency, the LCC Chair and the party with whom the chaplain has his/her dispute/grievance

11 10 d) A process for dealing with the dispute/grievance, including a time line, will be adopted e) At the completion of the stated period the complainant will meet again with the representative of the Employing Agency to determine if the issue has been resolved satisfactorily f) If the issue has not been resolved the matter will be referred in writing to the Chief Executive Officer of the Employing Agency who will refer it on to a Review Committee for their consideration and action. The Review Committee will comprise of a representative of the Department of Education, a representative from a local church independent of the LCC and a third member endorsed by all parties to this Memorandum of Understanding. g) If at this point the complainant still is not satisfied he/she can request direct representation to the Review Committee The School Principal: Signature: Date: Name: Position: The Local Chaplaincy Committee: Signature: Date: Name: Position: The Employing Agency: Signature: Date: Name: Position:

12 11 Appendix 2 TASMANIAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES COMMISSION FOR CHRISTIAN MINISTRY IN STATE SCHOOLS PRINCIPLES FOR CHRISTIANS WORKING IN TASMANIAN STATE SCHOOLS We affirm the place of Christian ministry in state schools & colleges by our commitment to a code of practice based on the following principles: a) we recognise the nature of state schools and colleges and their place in educational provision in Tasmania b) we believe that God is already at work in each school community c) we seek opportunities to share with people in schools the Christian message, enabling them to make their own informed responses d) we affirm our Christian responsibility to serve the school community e) we recognise the importance of a considered long-term ministry in the school community f) we are united in purpose and affirm rich diversity in approach and style g) we believe in the importance of co-operation with others in the school community h) we recognise the need for cultural relevance in this ministry i) we recognise that the needs, interests and aspirations of students are central to school ministry j) we take into account the developing capacities of students in their individual differences

13 12 CODE OF PRACTICE FOR CHRISTIANS WORKING IN TASMANIAN STATE SCHOOLS 1. We seek in language and action always to affirm the dignity and worth of each individual. 2. We recognise, respect and affirm the authority of the school community and we will work in consultation with it. 3. We recognise the authority and responsibility of parents/care-givers. 4. We seek to co-operate with local churches, ministers associations and the Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools. 5. We recognise and seek to support Christian staff, students and parents in each local school. 6. We seek to identify and make contact with Christians already working in a school before initiating any activity. 7. We recognise that when working in a state school or college setting in comparison with church-related settings variations in style are essential. Therefore in the school: a) we seek to prevent our ministry from becoming a vehicle for the beliefs of any one denomination/group b) we avoid evangelistic appeals requiring a public response c) we avoid unhelpful theological terminology and language which assumes that students share our Christian beliefs Christian groups working in Tasmanian state schools and colleges are invited to work within these Principles and Code of Practice as an expression of their intention to work both educationally and co-operatively

14 13 Appendix 3 DEFINITIONS: Chaplain refers to a person who is approved and appointed by a Local Chaplaincy Committee to provide spiritual, ethical and pastoral support to complement other educational activities in schools. Local Chaplaincy Committee refers to the body established under the authority of the school principal with the approval of the school association and in conjunction with local Christian churches and societies concerned to support a chaplain in that school, and to supervise the chaplain. Employing Agency refers to an Employing Agency approved by CCMISS to administer the terms and conditions of employment of the chaplain. CCMISS is the Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools. It is a Commission of the Tasmanian Council of Churches. CCMISS can be contacted: Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools, Tasmanian Council of Churches, 163 Macquarie Street Hobart 7000, by phone at (03) and by at CWG is the Chaplaincy Working Group of the Commission for Christian Ministry in State Schools. The CWG can be contacted through the TCC as listed above, or through the Chaplaincy Development Coordinator at Scripture Union Tasmania 121 Bathurst St, Hobart 7000 and by and also by phone: and fax: Scripture Union is an international interdenominational organisation, specialising in ministry to children, adolescents and their families. S.U Tasmania can be contacted through the State Director at the above address, phone, fax and . Annual Report. This is a report on the activities of a chaplaincy over a calendar year (or whatever part of a year that the chaplaincy has been operating). It will describe the programs carried out during the year, any issues of concern, opportunities for the coming year which the committee intends to incorporate into its plan and a snapshot of the financial support and costs. When completed it is sent to the Chaplaincy Development Coordinator at Scripture Union Tasmania. The Chaplaincy Development Coordinator will summarise annual reports for the

15 14 Chaplaincy Working Group. A simple pro forma for an annual report can be found in appendix four. Performance review. Review of the actions and effectiveness of a chaplain in a chaplaincy. Undertaken before the end of the probationary period, and annually. Also undertaken before a chaplain leaves a chaplaincy. The performance review will be a collaborative effort of the person responsible for the pastoral care of the chaplain from the LCC and the principal of the school. The Chaplaincy Development Coordinator of Scripture Union is available to assist where Scripture Union is the Employing Agency.

16 Appendix four 15 Annual report pro forma This is the annual report for 20 of the Local Chaplaincy Committee for School. Current Chaplain : An annual review of performance has/has not been completed Current committee representation Representative of Roles and responsibilities Programs and activities for the current year : Opportunities and programs planned for next year : Achievements of this year : Issues of concern : Financial report : Total regular giving from organisations Total regular giving from individuals Money from fundraising activities Expenditure on salary etc for Chaplain $ ( = hours/week) Expenditure on programs Expenditure on professional development Anticipated income for next year Hours of chaplaincy anticipated

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