RESP Q+A with Thomastown Meadows Primary School

The Refugee Education Support Program (RESP) is a key component of Foundation House’s work with schools and is delivered in partnership with the Department of Education and Training and the Centre for Multicultural Youth. Since 2012, more than 120 schools in Victoria have participated in RESP.

Thomastown Meadows Primary School started the RESP cycle back in 2020 and we caught up with Figen Mustafa, Assistant Principal to find out how they’re progressing with RESP and their next steps with the program in 2021.

Why did your school sign up with RESP?

Aside from having a large proportion of CALD families at Thomastown Meadows Primary School, we also have families who are of refugee background and asylum seekers. For this reason, we felt a need to build staffs’ capacity in supporting and working with students and families of refugee background.

What are your goals and plan to be achieved and implemented over the course of RESP?

Our goal is to gain a clear understanding refugee and asylum seeker families life experiences and be able to better support them in a school setting. We aim to achieve the goals set out in our whole school action plan, work closely with CMY to start up a family learning club and to set up a functional and inclusive Community Hub.

Where are you at?

We have currently completed a whole school audit and have a detailed action Plan that maps out a school wide approach to addressing identified gaps and goals. The whole school RESP survey will be providing and supporting a baseline data to also guide our next steps in teacher capacity, professional learning, working with engaging families in school life and working in collaboration with community organisations.

What is your next step?   

We understand our journey will be a long one as we work through each of our identified whole school goals and objectives. At the end of the program we will be completing the survey again to compare and analyse our growth from the baseline data. This will inform our next steps even further.