Sanctuary in Schools Outcomes and Evidence

Schools implementing the Sanctuary in Schools Model can expect observable and measurable outcomes including:

  • Students are able to demonstrate improved emotional management, age-appropriate conduct, lessened hyperactivity or violent outbursts, healthy peer relationships and improved regulation of inter-personal behaviours leading to improved learning
  • Teachers experience increased levels of occupational safety, work satisfaction and professional support; demonstrate increased theoretical foundation for their practice, understanding of effects of stress on learning, better emotional management and self-care
  • Families increase their participation in their child’s learning, report more positive experiences - both at home and in connecting with the school; experience an increased sense that the family and school are partners, working collaboratively in the best interests of the child
  • School Leaders are able to demonstrate better integrated State and National Safe Schools and Professional Teaching Standards, General Capabilities, wellbeing programs, compliance measures and experience lower staff turnover

Read more about the outcomes and impact of the Sanctuary Model.

Education-based evidence

The Andrus Centre for Learning and Innovation (US) Sanctuary in Schools pilot studies reported a 90% decrease in critical incidents within the first six years of Sanctuary implementation, along with a 54% increase in average numbers of students served. Critical incidents per child showed an even more dramatic reduction, dropping from an average of 61 per child in the first year of implementation, to an average of four incidents per child. In the same period, physical restraints dropped by 84% and 64% of students achieved ‘ambitious’ levels of reading improvement (Banks and Vargas, 2009).  

Australian Evidence

MacKillop Education Services fully implement the Sanctuary Model through a range of programs to enhance educational outcomes for children and young people who are disengaged or at risk of disengaging from education. Education services are offered across the western region of Melbourne and at two campuses, Primary to Year 12 including VCAL in Geelong, since 2014 and a Primary school program in Maidstone, since the beginning of 2017. These services accept referrals from schools, Department of Education, Catholic Education Office, Department of Health and Human Services, , mental health services and families.

Evidence from the MacKillop Geelong School of strong measurable growth in wellbeing and learning, alongside significant decreases in critical incidents, support the findings from US Sanctuary schools. See the results here.