Roles and responsibilities

Many people contribute to supporting students with disability and additional learning and support needs and they have a wide range of roles and responsibilities to fill.

Classroom teacher

Each teacher holds primary responsibility for the learning of every student in the class

Learning and support team

The school learning and support team plays a key role in ensuring that the specific needs of students with disability and additional learning and support needs are met.

The team:

  • supports teachers in identifying and responding to the additional learning needs of students
  • facilitates and coordinates a whole school approach to improving the learning outcomes of every student
  • coordinates planning processes and resourcing for students with disability and additional learning and support needs
  • designs and implements the supports required to build teacher capacity so that all students access quality learning
  • develops collaborative partnerships with the school, parents and carers, other professionals and the wider school community.

Every school has a learning and support team. The composition of teams may vary as they are made up of members according to the needs of the particular school and community in which they work.

Learning and support teacher

The learning and support teacher (PDF 47.68 KB) provides direct and timely specialist assistance to students in regular classes with disability and additional learning and support needs and their teachers. Their works emphasises:

  • the needs of individual students
  • school priorities, and
  • evidence-based programs to assist students with additional learning and support needs.

Learning and support teachers use a collaborative and consultative approach so that students themselves and their parents or carers are actively involved in decision-making.

Assistant principal learning and support

Assistant principals learning and support (PDF 51.4 KB) work collaboratively with schools to support students with disability and additional learning and support needs and their teachers. Their work emphasises:

  • individual school priorities
  • regional/area priorities, and
  • evidence-based programs to assist  students with additional learning and support needs.

They also provide professional support for learning and support teachers through:

  • professional learning activities
  • network meetings, and
  • individual advice and support.

Itinerant support teacher (early intervention)

Itinerant support teachers (early intervention) work throughout the year prior to an eligible child starting school and continue to provide support into a child's first year of school. Itinerant support teachers (early intervention) help by:

supporting the staff of early childhood classes to provide personalised learning and support

developing individual, coordinated transition plans to support children moving from early education into school

establishing and maintaining links with a range of local services in the community.

Itinerant support teacher (hearing or vision)

Itinerant support teachers (hearing or vision) work with students who have a confirmed hearing and/or vision loss prior to school and in NSW public schools.

These specialist teachers are able to support students, their teachers and families from diagnosis through to Year 12.

Itinerant support teachers (conductive hearing loss)

Itinerant support teachers (conductive hearing loss) provide support and advice to schools for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who have a conductive hearing loss.

Assistant principals (hearing or vision)

Assistant principal (hearing or vision) support schools to meet the personalised learning and support of students with a hearing and/or vision loss.

This includes:

  • taking part in assessments by working collaboratively with parents and carers, the school learning and support team, and other professionals as required
  • liaising with government departments and other agencies
  • providing professional learning to school and itinerant support teachers (hearing or vision)
  • coordinating a team of  itinerant support teachers (hearing or vision).

Support teacher transition

Support teachers transition assist school personnel and high school students in regular and special schools and their families with the transition from school to adult life.

Support teachers transition undertake a range of activities that may include:

  • providing advice on curriculum options and subject selection
  • providing advice on vocational preparation, work experience and entry to HSC Vocational Education and Training courses
  • assisting with transition planning to post school destinations which may include employment and further education, transport and mobility issues, recreation and leisure pursuits
  • liaising with a range of government and non-government providers
  • assisting students and their families to access specialist programs and support provided by other government agencies.

School learning support officer

School learning support officers works under the direction and supervision of the classroom teacher. They provide assistance to students with disability and additional learning and support needs enrolled in special schools, specialist support classes in regular schools and regular classes. They can provide assistance with:

  • school routines
  • classroom activities, and
  • the care and management of students with disability and additional learning and support needs.

School counsellor

School counsellors are qualified teachers who have a degree in psychology and post graduate qualifications in school counselling.

They complement and enhance the work of teachers by:

  • strengthening schools' student welfare provisions, and
  • providing psychological assessments of students with specific needs.

Senior Psychologist, Education

Senior Psychologist, Education coordinate and professionally supervise a team of school counsellors and psychologists. They work closely with local Educational Service teams and school counselling teams to assist schools to improve student learning and welfare outcomes and implement departmental priorities.

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