Study assistance is available to School Administrative and Support (SAS) staff to develop skills to support their current role. Study assistance is granted on a semester basis, with applications open twice a year.
SAS staff study assistance can only be granted for the purpose of undertaking a course that is either relevant to a SAS staff officer’s professional learning for their current role as outlined in the Professional Learning Policy, or of particular value to the department such as a key recruitment priority area.
Study assistance is granted at the discretion of the department. Enrolment in a course should not be undertaken in anticipation of study assistance being granted.
The granting of study assistance is not a guarantee for employment on completion of the course.
Calculation of study assistance grant
Study assistance may be approved for a maximum period of three hours per week for the semester of study for example 13 weeks for a university course or 16 weeks for a TAFE course. Refer to calculating study leave entitlement.
Find more information in the Calculating study leave entitlement page.
Study assistance may be granted at full pay to staff studying on a part-time basis.
All permanent and long-term temporary SAS staff who are employed 15 hours or more per week are eligible to apply. Staff who receive a traineeship are not eligible to receive additional study assistance.
If you are working as an administrative clerk, general assistant or farm assistant, details of the study assistance provisions relevant to your position are provided in the Awards and determination intranet page.
The approval of study assistance will be at departmental convenience, with consideration of such factors as:
- proposed absences
- combination of study assistance with other types of leave
- maintenance of service at the school
- number of hours worked by the applicant
- number and type of subjects studied.
Use of study assistance
Study assistance may be used for:
- attending compulsory lectures or tutorials held during work hours
- necessary travel during working hours to attend lectures or tutorials held during or outside working hours
- private study for an approved course.
Study assistance agreements
While Study Assistance may be granted for any of the purposes above, the staff member is required to negotiate all leave with the principal.
In determining the suitability of the courses for which study assistance may be granted the application will need to meet all the following criteria. The course undertaken must:
- lead to a nationally recognised qualification
- be taken on a part-time basis
- be relevant to the SAS staff member’s professional development and improve their ability to perform their current duties and
- be of relevance and of value to the department such as a key recruitment priority area.
More than one course studied at the one time
Study assistance may be granted for more than one course studied at the same time, provided that the two courses result in a part-time load and the resulting attendance pattern is convenient to the school. Study assistance granted remains up to three hours per week irrespective of the number of courses studied concurrently.
Subject to the convenience of the school or centre, SAS staff may choose to accumulate part or all of their hours of study assistance for a particular course to attend compulsory field days or residential schools which require compulsory attendance at lectures and tutorials. All leave needs to be negotiated with the principal.
Making up time
Where the grant of study assistance is insufficient to cover absences to attend compulsory field days or residential schools, additional time may be granted. Additional time may be made up within normal working hours to a maximum of ten days. The time must be made up within the framework of Clause 7.4 of the Crown Employees (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award.
The arrangement for making up time must be negotiated with the school. Where such an arrangement is being negotiated, the following factors should be considered:
- nature of duties
- needs of the workplace
- whether additional time granted can be made up before the next grant of study assistance
- use of other forms of leave to offset the additional time where making time up is impractical.
Non-mandatory class attendance
Where class attendance is not a mandatory component of course completion for example external distance and online modes of study, study assistance is approved only for the duration of the course term or semester time and excludes any holiday or study break periods.
Study assistance not taken at the nominated time
Study assistance is an expendable grant which if not used for the nominated course or during the semester, for which study assistance is granted, is lost. If an emergency situation occurs, a person may have to give up their normal study assistance. If circumstances allow, however, such time may be granted on another day during the same week. Such requests for variation should be discussed with the school principal.
Note: Study assistance does not accrue during any other form of leave.
Applying for study assistance
SAS staff will be invited to apply for study assistance twice yearly. Applications must be received prior to the advertised closing date. Late applications will not be considered.
The application process for study assistance involves three steps:
- online application
- provision of enrolment evidence sighted by the principal and retained at the school for audit purposes
- principal’s endorsement which is to be retained at the school for audit purposes.
SAS staff who wish to apply for study assistance should complete the SAS staff study assistance online application form.
Applicants must provide the principal with evidence of their enrolment and seek the principal endorsement prior to forwarding their application for consideration by the department.
Where Study Assistance has been granted, the SAS staff member should give the school reasonable notice of the program for each semester and their proposed pattern for use of the study assistance.
Should the applicant’s pattern of study, course or units of study change during the semester, an online study variation form must be submitted to PLNTS@det.nsw.edu.au.
Please note that changes to courses and or units of study must continue to meet the criteria in the application guidelines.
Enrolment evidence to support the online application
Documentation outlining the following information must be provided to the principal prior to submitting your online application.
- name of institution offering the course
- course name
- enrolment status for example part time
- level of award for example degree, diploma, certificate
- subject names and codes for all the subjects being studied.
Applications will be assessed against the criteria outlined in section 2.6, such as:
- eligibility of the applicant
- relevance and value of the course of study
- combination of study assistance with other types of leave
- maintenance of service at the school.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all sections of the application form are completed and accurate. Incomplete or inaccurate information may impact on the outcome of your application. Applicants will not be contacted to provide missing information.
Notification of the outcome of the application
Principals and applicants will be notified via their departmental email account.
The preferred mode of communication to Leadership and High Performance is to email PLNTS@det.nsw.edu.au.
Non-approval of study assistance application
Where the department does not approve an application for study assistance, the department will ensure that:
- the reason or reasons for refusal are clearly and promptly stated in writing to the SAS staff member
- timely advice is given to allow the SAS staff member to consider alternatives.
Relief claim reimbursement
Relief will be provided by the school in blocks of two or more hours where study assistance has been granted to:
- school learning support officers
- school administrative manager or a school administrative officer employed in a TP1 or TP2 school.
The cost of this relief will be reimbursed by the department upon receipt of:
- relief claim form SAS staff Study Assistance
- evidence of applicant’s leave claim, such as eLAPS
- evidence of relief payment, such as eCPC claim summary which shows that casual assistance was employed by the school to provide relief for the SAS staff member granted study assistance.
Note: Relief is not provided for school administrative managers and school administrative officers in schools that are not classified as Teaching Principal 1 (TP1) or Teaching Principal 2 (TP2).
All applicants are required to retain a transcript of results for the approved units of study for audit purposes.
Competitive awards, scholarships and traineeships
SAS staff who, in the department’s opinion, are awarded competitive scholarships or awards and where the areas of study or investigation are recognised as being relevant to the professional development of the SAS staff and of value to the department may be granted study assistance on normal salary for the period of the award or scholarship.
SAS staff who receive a traineeship are not eligible to receive additional study assistance.
Examination leave may be granted by the department as special leave, as outlined at 4.12.2. of the Non-teaching staff in schools handbook (staff only) and is available for either face to face or distance courses.
Applicants must provide evidence of their examination schedule with their leave application when applying for special leave to attend examinations.
The period of leave granted may include:
- time actually involved in the examination
- necessary travel time; but is limited to
- a maximum of five days in any one year.
Examination leave is not available where an examination is concluded within the normal class timetable during the term/semester and study assistance has been granted to the SAS staff member.