Roles and responsibilities

Many people contribute to supporting students with disability 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 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 school and community in which they work.

Learning and support teacher

The learning and support teacher provides direct and timely specialist assistance to students in mainstream classes with disability and their teachers. Their work 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 and carers are actively involved in decision-making.

Assistant principal learning and support

Assistant principals learning and support work collaboratively with schools to support students with disability 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.

Transition Support Teacher, Early Intervention

Transition 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. Transition 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 disability prior to school and in NSW public schools.

These specialist teachers 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 principals (hearing or vision) support schools to meet the personalised learning and support of students who are Deaf or hard of hearing and/or Blind or have low vision.

This includes:

  • participating 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 teachers and high school students and their parents and carers, 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 work under the direction and supervision of the classroom teacher. They provide assistance to students with disability. 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 supervises a team of school counsellors and psychologists. They work closely with local School Services teams and school counselling teams to assist schools to improve student learning and welfare outcomes and implement departmental priorities.


  • Additional needs

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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