Becoming a student support officer

Support the wellbeing of young people and make a lasting impact.

Here are some frequently asked questions for prospective SSOs.

SSOs work in a school as a non-teaching staff member as part of the school’s wellbeing team.

SSOs have a range of qualifications, backgrounds and professional experience.

Most of our current SSOs have prior experience working with young people in or outside of a school setting. 

Working as an important part of the school’s wellbeing team, the SSO supports students along the care continuum as needed.

The continuum of care includes interventions for:

  •  all students – prevention and early intervention programs such as anti-bullying, social skill development and health programs.
  • some students - providing early intervention and targeted support for students at risk. This is usually done through group work, for example, more targeted social-emotional skill development or mentoring programs.
  •  a few students – providing some individual support for students. This could be checking in with a student through a caring conversation or referring them to appropriate supports within the school setting or to an external agency. 

Essential requirements:

  •  a completed diploma or higher qualification in social work, youth work, welfare or related discipline
  •  knowledge of and commitment to the Department's Aboriginal education policies
  •  valid and current Working With Children Check (WWCC).

No, you require a completed qualification.

No. You must have been awarded your diploma or degree at the time of submitting your application.  You will be required to attach copies of your transcripts to your application.

No, but some understanding of a school setting would be useful. Each school has a website with their school plan (Strategic Improvement Plan) and Annual School report. This would be a good starting point to learn about a school that you’re interested in.

Yes, this is a permanent/ongoing job with the NSW Department of Education. 

You are applying for a full-time position. Temporary part-time arrangements are at the principal’s discretion. Any part-time arrangements require the person to take leave.

This is non-teaching school based position.

Student Support Officers are employed under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013. They are remunerated for 52 weeks per annum, required to work for 48 weeks pa with 4 weeks recreation leave. Student Support Officers will be required to attend work during school vacations unless they are accessing approved leave.

Some current SSOs have teaching backgrounds with extensive wellbeing experience, for example, they were Year Advisors or Head Teacher Wellbeing.

Some current SSOs have teaching qualifications but have never worked in a school. They have experience as youth workers for eg: with FACS/DCJ, NSW Health and local councils.

Yes, you do. 

These roles are only for schools with a significant proportion of high school students. Some primary schools are may use schools funds to engage a temporary SSO.

Applications must contain the following:

  1. A cover letter demonstrating how your skills, knowledge and professional experience meet the focus capabilities as outlined in the role description (max. 2 pages),
  2. Current resume (max. 2 pages),
  3. Full contact details (phone number/ email) for 2 professional referees,
  4. Responses to the two pre-screening questions,
  5. and certified copies of your qualifications and/or academic transcripts.

Applications that do not have all appropriate documentation will not be considered. Only applications submitted through IworkforNSW will be considered.

Yes, this is the role description – it’s also on the job advertisement.

If you are an employee of the school applying for the position, you will need to discuss it with your principal or supervisor.

Salaries range $63,857 to $93,629 p.a. The starting salary will depend on qualification level, years of relevant experience, and/or current salary.

Jenny shares her experience working with students as part of the school's Wellbeing team.
Charlie shares his experiences working as an SSO with students Prairiewood High School and encourages others to join the profession.
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