School executives

School executives play an important role in ensuring career learning and career education is embedded in the school plan, to develop career education as a whole school approach and embedding it as part of the culture of the school..

A whole school career education aligns with the department’s executive priority to improve pathways for lifelong learning.

Career education supports the department's Plan for NSW Public Education’: to achieve the goal:

Every student finishes school ready to succeed in their chosen pathway as informed, responsible citizens

A commitment to strengthening career education in your school includes:

  • a whole school management approach to implement the School to Work program
  • review and evaluate the School to Work program by the school leaders
  • the School to Work program is managed by a team which includes an executive member
  • utilise the School to Work report to inform the development and review of the school plan
  • drive implementation of career learning across K-12 and through all KLAs.

Career education is a planned program of learning experiences to assist students to make informed decisions about their study and/or work options and enable effective participation in working life. It is most effective when the program is student-centred and tailored to individual needs, interests, and supports students' wellbeing.

High quality career education builds resilience, knowledge, skills and attitudes. K-12 students who engage in career learning and career education throughout their schooling are better prepared for future challenges and the capacity to manage their career development.

For more ideas to embed career learning opportunities in your school’s plan, view the 2020 executive School to Work summary.

Careers advisers and transition advisers require specialist training.

Careers advisers negotiate their role and responsibilities with the principal. As specialist teachers, they work on behalf of the principal to develop, manage and evaluate career education.


Careers advisers are accredited high school teachers. They complete an approved course of study in career education through either undergraduate studies or a combination of undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Approved teachers, can get paid while they study to become a teacher of a specialist teaching area through the Teach and Learn Scholarship (specialist teaching areas) – Careers adviser.

Transition advisers are high school teachers who are trained to work with disengaged students.

This position suits a teacher who:

  • makes strong connections with students
  • inspires students to learn and engage with the school
  • collaborates with other staff members
  • can forge links with industry and the community.

The principal identifies and nominates suitable teachers for training.


Before nominating a teacher for transition adviser training, schools should consider:

  • capacity and commitment to allocate adequate time for the role – approximately 0.4 allocation
  • need to establish and maintain a careers and transition team
  • required ongoing evaluation of the role.

Pathways and Transitions facilitates an annual 3-day residential training program, funding the relief, travel, accommodation and training.

Before the training, nominated teachers complete a self-directed action research/environmental scan examining the school, its community and employment, education and training opportunities.

To learn how to become a careers adviser, visit Teach.NSW – careers advisers.

For more information on transition adviser training, contact:

Robert Lawson | Student Pathways Advisor
Pathways and Transitions | Education Skills Reform | NSW Department of Education

T: (02) 7814 3393 M: 0436 847 737


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Education and Skills Reform
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