Outward facing schools refers to the notion that schools are well placed to open their doors to the community in which they operate to enhance learning for young people, and to strengthen connectedness and belonging.
The term recognises the particularly important role of parents in the education of their children, and supports the notion that the broader community further contributes to this.
In June 2011, Catholic Education Melbourne hosted Australia’s inaugural ‘Outward Facing Schools’ conference 'Look Out 2011'. Experts from England, and the United States outlined current thinking and challenges about this concept. Delegates participated in keynote sessions, workshops, conversations about how schools can re-form the way they work with families and community within the context of twenty-first century learning environments.
Catholic Education Melbourne worked in partnership with VicHealth, the University of Melbourne, Australian Catholic University and CatholicCare to develop a Charter for promoting outward facing school communities. This Charter was presented at the conference for delegates to discuss and contribute to. The Charter provides the context, concepts and principles of outward facing school communities and is a call to action.
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