Frequently asked questions
What is SAS staff study assistance?
Study leave granted to approved applicants to attend lectures, necessary travel and private study.
How do I apply for study assistance?
Applications are completed online and must be submitted prior to the closing date.
How is study assistance advertised?
What is the closing date for study assistance applications?
The closing date for applications is as advertised each semester in SchoolBiz and on the website.
What documentation is required with my application for SAS staff study assistance?
Online applications do not require any documentation to be sent however applicants must be able to provide evidence of their enrolment and seek the approval of their principal prior to forwarding their application for consideration by the department. A copy of the principal's approval must be retained by the school for audit purposes.
Will late applications be accepted?
Applications received after the advertised closing date will not be accepted for consideration.
What are the assessment criteria for applications?
Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria outlined in study assistance guidelines:
- eligibility of the applicant
- relevance and value of the course of study to the current role of the staff member
- combination of study assistance with other types of leave
- maintenance of service at the school.
How long does the assessment process take?
The time required for the assessment processes to be completed varies each semester and is dependent on the number of applications received. Applicants are advised as soon as possible after the closing date.
Can I appeal a decision?
Unsuccessful applicants are advised of the appeals process when they are notified of the outcome of their application.
Do I have to reapply for study assistance each semester?
Yes. Study assistance is granted on a semester basis, with applications open twice a year. Approved study assistance for one semester is not a prerequisite or indication of approval for subsequent semesters of study.
Will my school be eligible for paid relief for my leave?
- School learning support officers are granted leave on full pay and the school can apply for reimbursement of relief costs up to the approved leave time granted. The maximum leave is 3 hours per week
- TP1 and TP2 schools can apply for reimbursement of relief costs (up to the approved leave time granted max 3 hours per week) for school administrative and support staff
- SAS staff in all other schools are granted leave on full pay with no relief available for the school to claim.
If I am away from the workplace on study leave will I be replaced?
That is a school decision.
Can I save all my study leave throughout the semester and use it to extend the school holiday period?
No. Study leave must be used during the university or TAFE semester for which it is granted and may not be used to extend a school holiday.
Who pays for my relief?
If your school is eligible for relief, the cost of relief will be reimbursed by the department upon receipt of a completed and principal approved claim form. Completed claim forms are to be sent at the end of each semester from the school to PLNTS@det.nsw.edu.au
If no relief is available, can I work the additional time required to cover the study time approved?
Applicants considering this option are advised to consult Clause 7.4 of the Crown Employee (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award.
Can I use study leave to attend practicum?
Yes. Study leave may be used for:
- attending compulsory lectures or tutorials, where these are held during work hours
- necessary travel during working hours to attend lectures or tutorials etc., held during or outside working hours
- private study for an approved course.
Can I take exam leave while I am receiving study assistance?
Exam leave is a form of special leave and must be applied for separately to a study assistance grant. See section 4.13.6 of the non-teaching staff handbook.
If I don’t use the study assistance grant during the semester in which it was approved, can I use it next semester?
No. Study assistance is an expendable grant which if not used for the nominated course/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.
If I am currently undertaking a traineeship, am I eligible for study assistance?
No. Staff who receive a traineeship are not eligible to receive additional study assistance.
Can I apply for study assistance if I am studying full-time?
No. Study assistance may be granted at full pay to staff who are studying on a part-time basis.
How can I ensure that I will be given study assistance for my course?
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. Please read the SAS staff study assistance guidelines before applying for study assistance to ensure that you are eligible.
What is an approved course/which courses are considered suitable?
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
- be of relevance and of value to the department such as a key recruitment priority area.
Can I change my course or subjects after applying?
Yes. Study assistance is granted after consideration of the course and/or subjects the applicant indicated in the application. Changing the course and/or subjects being studied may affect the number of hours you are eligible for.
If you change the course, study pattern and/or subjects being studied you must email PLNTS@det.nsw.edu.au to have your application reassessed.
What if I am studying more than three subjects?
You only need to nominate a maximum of three subjects on the application form.
Where can I receive advice on which course to study?
Please contact your relevant university, TAFE, or course provider for advice regarding course subjects, requirements and any further information. How will Leadership & High Performance Unit communicate with applicants, principals and school administrative managers? All communication will be via the relevant DoE principal and applicants email accounts.
The preferred mode of communicating with the Leadership and High Performance unit is by email PLNTS@det.nsw.edu.au