Protocol Samples

This guide provides a template and examples for a range of network protocols that networks may find useful. This includes SEIL role guidance.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The examples should be treated as a guide, rather than a prescription – they do not cover every action or process that requires a mutually-agreed approach.

We acknowledge the generous cooperation of the Dandenong Ranges Network and the Kingston Network in the preparation of this material.

  1. Introduction
  2. Guiding principles
  3. Our network's focus
  4. Governance our network
  5. Sample Work Plan
  6. Protocols - How we collaborate
  7. How we handle transfers of students
  8. Transition
    8.1 Pre-school to prep example
    8.2 Primary school to secondary school example
  9. Marketing and promotion protocols
  10. Our calendar of network events for the year
  11. Our network directory
  12. Important regional and network contacts


1. Introduction

The introduction to the protocols should include:

  • a list of the schools who have agreed to follow them
  • the date and occasion they were agreed to
  • document control information, including a record of updates to the protocols and when they occurred. 

Example of an introduction to network protocols

The following Protocols were agreed to unanimously at the Network Meeting on XXXX 2016, by:

  • <insert school name>
  • <insert school name>
  • <insert school name>

Document control information:

​Date​                                                                              ​Content
1 March 2016​​Revisions to transitions protocol
​30 June 2016 ​Network executive role descriptions


2. Guiding principles ​​​

Our guiding principles​                                                                  

Example of guiding principles

  • We each feel responsible for all government schools achieving excellence
  • We work collaboratively within and beyond our own school to improve outcomes for all students
  • We continue to sustain and value evidence-based professional learning for all education professionals
  • We provide fair and equitable opportunities for all children and young people regardless of background, circumstances or postcode
  • We empower students, build pride and community engagement within our government schools
  • We use data and evidence to make decisions and guide our practice

3. Our network's focus

Great schools and great networks harness the power of great school practices to achieve great outcomes for all students.


Examples only. Networks are required to choose at least one of the initiatives from the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO).  

​​FISO Focus ​​Actions Evidence of success

​​Excellence in teaching and learning

  • Curriculum planning and assessment
  • Building practice excellence

Provides a collective focus on improved writing outcomes for all students across the network.

Builds teachers’ capacity to use data and evidence-based strategies.

Develops a deeper understanding of the Victorian F-10 curriculum.

​​Common approach to the teaching of writing.

Shared knowledge and expertise across network schools.

Common professional learning scheduled events. School-to-school classroom visits.

Units of work are documented and shared.

​​​Professional Leadership

  • Building leadership teams

Implement a network local leaders program.

Network Chair participates in the Bastow Expert Leaders of Education Program.

Build a database of aspirant leaders.

Induct new network members using our protocols.

​​​Network facilitators are trained to deliver local leaders program.

Movement into leadership positions by staff and those involved in leadership development, are tracked across the network.

Network self-assessment is baselined in 2016.

New members feel welcome.

​​Community engagement in learning

  • Building communities

Develop protocols on how we operate as a network.

Contribute human and financial resources across the network.

Use Student Support Services officers (SSSOs) to maximise inclusion and equity across all schools.

Investigate partnership possibilities with local businesses/industries

All principals are attending regular network meetings.

All schools provide accurate and current data on students requiring additional support.

SSSOs report to the network and provide data to inform equity needs analyses.

Trial partnerships with local businesses have commenced.

​​Positive climate for learning

  • Empowering students and building school pride
  • Setting expectations and promoting inclusion

Research approaches to enhance student voices within and across schools.

Share engagement practices across school clusters.

Develop transition protocols.

​​Evidence based strategies are documented.

Cluster student leadership program held.

Transition process is evaluated and reflected in school behaviours.


4. Governance our network


Our network executive group is:

​Role​                                          ​Name​Contact details


5. Sample Work Plan

 Our network's vision

​What activities do we want to achieve?​By when?​Who will have lead accountability?​What resources will be required?​Potential risks​How will we evaluate progress?


​​​​​​​​ ​​

6. Protocols – how we collaborate

Data sharing

We have common, collective data structures enabling us to share data with all schools across our network, and have tools to analyse and communicate the data.

  • Include an outline of how i-data is used by the network and include confidentiality considerations.
  • Include in your data-sharing protocols how information is standardised, recorded and reported to enable sharing among network members. 

Peer collaboration

Networks that value and develop a culture of inclusive support are more effective and sustainable as they use all of the resources and expertise that exist within the network.

We have strong leadership that facilitates supportive relationships as an essential part of creating a sustainable network.

We hold one another accountable for maintaining our focus and persist in pursuing our improvement goals despite setbacks and difficulties.

Network Meetings

Include an outline of meeting procedures detailing chairing arrangements, quorum requirements, decision-making processes, agendas and minute-taking protocols.


Network Meetings:

  • Network activities require full commitment from all participants. This involves attendance by all principals.
  • Network meeting schedule will be agreed through consultation and communicated to all members.
  • Relevant protocols will be used to enhance professional sharing and learning.

Member financial contributions

Identify the amount and frequency of financial contributions required by network members. 

Consider how the financial contribution could be calculated, such as:

  • a per-student cost driver to determine membership fees.  For example, a charge of $3 per student for the school year. For a school with 300 students = a fee of $900.
  • a cost determined by the school’s size, i.e. $100 for schools with 0 – 150 students; $300 for schools with 150 – 400 students       


7. How we handle transfers of students


When a school is contacted by a parent considering transferring their child to our school we agree to:

  • Be mindful of the Privacy Act requirements
  • Find out the name of the school that they wish to leave
  • Ask if they have spoken to the relevant personnel in the school about their concerns.
  • As soon as possible before enrolment, the principal informs the parent that a valued enrolment protocol exists between neighbouring schools and that, as principal, you will contact the child’s current school about the transfer.
  • During the interview, take care not to comment on the school the children are considering leaving.
  • Inform the parent that, in many cases, certain behavioural traits may not disappear with a change of school.
  • If parents wish to proceed with the transfer, advise them to immediately notify their current school administration so that a smooth transfer can take place.
  • Inform parents of the process whereby, following a transfer, student records are to be sent to the new school.
  • Children moving into the school’s neighbourhood area are entitled to be enrolled at any time.
  • Abide by DET guidelines regarding student transfers and expulsion of students.


8. Transition

8.1 Pre-school to prep example

Transition aims to improve children’s experiences of starting school by developing and delivering transition programs. The process also aims to improve information sharing between children, families and early childhood educators.

Our network schools work collaboratively to support children with a positive and enjoyable start to their school life, by following these steps:

  • For network area primary schools, pre-schools and early years’ services:  we plan together as professionals to ensure the smooth transition of our children from pre-school to school. We demonstrate tolerance and value diversity.
  • Schools will establish key transition activities with an agreed timeline.
  • Our network will submit a collective advertisement in local media prior to Education Week. This advertisement will only include the school logo, motto, principal’s name and contact details, and Open Day/Night dates.
  • Protocols for advertising in local pre-schools: schools can advertise freely and/or run transition with the ‘main feeder’ pre-schools within their neighbourhood. Schools may also leave literature and/or support transition with pre-schools in adjoining school neighbourhoods (‘local’ pre-schools). Note: in some cases, a pre-school may be deemed a ‘main feeder’ for two primary schools.
  • An agreed enrolment period and associated procedures will be established prior to each year.
  • Our network schools will only promote enrolment in neighbourhood government schools.

Pre-school transition activities

  • Individual schools are only to exercise activities, visits to and from, with their feeder pre-schools from Term 2.
  • Transition sessions are not to be held before the beginning of Term 3.
  • Parent concerns regarding the child’s school readiness are to be referred to the school.
  • Suggested contact between the prep teachers and the feeder pre-school to occur by the end of Term 1 in prep, either by telephone, email or in person.

Timeline for prep enrolments

  • A network pre-school transition letter will be sent to all pre-schools by the end of Term 1.
  • The letter will advise that students cannot be dual enrolled.
  • Our network’s schools will advertise that all enrolments are required by the end of August.


8.2 Primary school to secondary school example

The transition 6-7 process will follow current DET practices and guidelines.

Our network schools will be working collaboratively to support children to have a positive and enjoyable start to their secondary school life, by following these steps:

  • Primary and secondary schools in our network area will plan together as professionals to ensure the smooth transition of our children from primary to secondary school. We will demonstrate tolerance and value diversity.
  • Schools will establish key transition activities with an agreed timeline.
  • Our network Schools will only promote neighbourhood government schools.

Orientation days

As part of the transition from Year 6 to Year 7, students in government schools participate in an orientation day. All government schools hold this on the same day each year (in early December). Orientation may include a school tour, meeting fellow students and teachers, and taking part in lessons and activities. Secondary schools also hold an information session for new parents at this time.

Years 6 – 7 transition support structures

Network coordinators at Year 6 and Year 7:

  • meet in Term 1 to establish the transition timeline – DET guidelines
  • establish a schedule of local transition implementation program of visits, open days, visits back to schools
  • establish a process and timeline for liaison and sharing of information with primary teachers.


9. Marketing and promotion protocols

Example of an agreed position on how we will approach marketing and promotion

Parents have the right to accurate and reliable information. Promotion and marketing helps build and maintain information in the community and, where appropriate, uses cooperative strategies.

Schools provide comprehensive information to promote their strengths, features, programs and facilities and will not use another school’s data and information for direct comparison.

Our network will submit a collective advertisement in local media prior to Education Week. This advertisement will only include the school logo, motto, principal’s name and contact details, and Open Day/Night dates. Schools may also choose to advertise individually.

Example of marketing and promotion guidelines

Promotion and marketing helps build a positive profile for our government education system. Schools are encouraged to explore broader marketing options, develop informative websites and consider use of social media tools.

  • Promotion and marketing opportunities link to the promotion of school specific programs and events, together with school partnership groupings.
  • Promotion involving multiple schools should include consultation with all relevant schools to determine content.
  • Schools are encouraged to promote their own school. When promoting our school(s) we focus on highlighting strengths whilst refraining from the use of comparative language either in advertising or conducting tours.
  • We believe that Government schools should not provide information that promotes non-government schools. Celebrations of current and/or former student achievement can be made without reference to non-government schools in general.
  • Network schools will only advertise/promote secondary schools from the network, or from the school’s Local Government Area.


10. Our calendar of network events for the year

​Event/tasks                                        ​Date​Notes
​Term 1
​Term 2
​Term 3
​Term 4


11. Our network directory

​School​​Principal's name​Expertise and interests                         


12. Important regional and network contacts

​Role​Name​Contact details
​Regional director
​Area Director
​Regional offices
​SSSO network coordinators
​Emergency management
​Employee Assistance Program       
​Media Unit (on c​all 24/7)