In late 2016 an independent review commissioned by the Australian Government into the effectiveness of the National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP) has found the programme to be delivering on its key objectives to provide social, emotional and spiritual support to Australian primary and secondary students and their broader school communities.
Conducted by independent research consultancy Kantar Public, the review surveyed more than 2,000 principals, chaplains, parents and students in October / November 2016. It reported in depth on outcomes, deliverables and perceptions surrounding the NSCP.
of parents support chaplaincy service and activities in schools
of students were considered to frequently seek or initiate contact with the chaplain if help was needed.
- 91% of parents support chaplaincy service and activities in schools
- The NSCP is considered most effective in supporting the emotional and social well-being of students. Almost 9 in 10 principals and 8 in 10 parents rated NSCP services and activities extremely well in contributing to the emotional and social well-being of students.
- 8 in 10 principals considered the NSCP to be extremely effective in dealing with – sense of purpose and self-esteem, peer relationships, social inclusion, and self-image. These are the most common issues a chappy helps with.
- 61% of principals had no negative issues with chaplains. Of the remaining 35% who reported a negative issue, the majority of these were…
- A preference for increased hours for their chaplain
- Lack of availability of NSCP workers
- Issues with providing sufficient funding for what their chaplain was needed for
- Almost half (49%) of students were considered to frequently seek or initiate contact with the chaplain if help was needed.
- Only 4% of parents suggested chaplains should be removed from schools.
- Only 2% of parents disliked the religious aspect of chaplaincy activities/services, deeming these as unsuitable for a government school environment
- The strong majority (72%) of students either said there were no ‘bad things’ about having a chaplain in their school, or could not think of anything bad to comment on.
- Students surveyed said the main advantages of the chaplaincy program were:
- They are an accessible figure to talk and confide in (24%)
- They are someone who provides help and support (22%)
- Someone to encourage them in their faith (13%)
- Principals top request for the NSCP was more time allocation – full time chaplains or at least more days
The report concluded by stating:
“Overall, there is a positive sentiment towards the NSCP and the programme was described with positive regard. Students were considered to have a high opinion of the programme and to benefit from having someone to provide additional support, someone to talk to, and someone that is a ‘neutral’ person (not a teacher or parent) they can confide in.”
The National School Chaplaincy Association welcomes the report’s findings, and would like to thank all the chaplains across the country for dedicating so much of themselves into supporting the next generation of Australians.