Dialog Box

Our Principles


  • STUDENT CENTRED: Placing kids at the forefront of a PARTNERING approach
  • LIVED EXPERIENCE: Recognising lived experience as a PARTICIPATORY evidence
  • SOUND EVIDENCE: Employing research and evaluation for RESPONSIVE practice
  • SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS: Leveraging the capability if systems for STRATEGIC outcomes
  • ETHICS BASED: Ensuring that objectives, processes and activities SAFEGUARD people

OUR THEORY OF CHANGE - problem map

The problem is that students with serious illness in Australia experience educational and social exclusion when they are absent from their regular schools.

The consequence of coding "authorised absence" for everything from a common cold upwards, results in automatically suspending school support for students with serious illness during absence. While still enrolled, these students slip into a policy wilderness, unable to attain the equity and inclusion in their education on the same basis as others, as enshrined by Australian law, Disability Standards and ministerial declarations. [Megan Gilmour, Policy Impact Paper, 2020]

The root cause of the problem of educational and social exclusion is not the illness itself, but the student's absence from school (without ongoing support). The root solution is therefore to enable sick students to maintain a presence in their classrooms. Once the student is present, the theory says that school support systems will be reactivated, teaching and learning may continue, and peer relationships can be maintained. This can ease anxiety for the student.

The theory also says that, once the school reactivates support to the student, weak governance systems (relating to support for these students) can be addressed as the school takes responsibility and engages with its education authority.

See how MissingSchool is putting its theory of change into action withTelepresence Robots.