Only at ITAC will you develop a professional level of pedagogical awareness, skills and knowledge - making you a high performing teaching aide in any of NSW’s 3000+ schools. Study the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support with ITAC and learn industry best practice, research-based skills, techniques and strategies.
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The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is the most popular course in NSW for anyone intending to work as a support worker in a school (such as a primary school or high school). It is the introductory course that covers all of the basics of working in a school as a support worker, teacher aide, teacher assistant, LSO or Learning Support Officer as they are often called in NSW.
The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is becoming more popular as it is required for anyone intending to work in NSW schools with students with disabilities, disorders and difficulties. We recommend the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo. as they provide graduates with the best skills, confidence and employability.
Graduates of either the introductory CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the higher and more advanced CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support may seek employment in one or more of NSW’s 3103 schools (Source: ABS). According to government statistics, more than 560,000 students enrolled in NSW government schools in 2019 and more than 273,000 enrolled in NSW non-government schools.
With approximately 30% of school staff being employed as support workers of some kind (such as teacher aides, teacher assistants, learning support officers and integration aides), there are thousands of opportunities each and every year in all areas of NSW. You can read more about these learning support officer positions and potential opportunities in NSW on websites such as SEEK, the Education Department’s Careers website or the Catholic School’s NSW website.
By searching for “learning support” on the I Work For NSW government site, you will find a range of learning support vacancies. Almost all successful applicants for these NSW positions will hold a qualification from a provider such as ITAC and most likely it will be the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. This course is designed and developed specifically for learning support workers who undertake learning, behavioural and other support tasks with children with disabilities (including multiple disabilities) in a classroom or other school environment (such as a special needs centre).
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is also accepted by schools as it is the introductory teacher aide course that most support workers complete initially. However, nowadays, students can go straight into the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support without first completing the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support (at least at ITAC). Applicants for teacher aide or LSO positions in NSW must show that they can fulfil the role of a learning support officer, which includes:
Learn these vital skills by enrolling in ITAC’s best practice, research-based teacher aide courses.
With economic volatility and job market fluctuations, the sheer size of the education industry, the growing number of students who need support and the volume of schools in almost every corner of NSW, more and more people are considering the benefits of stable employment as a:
According to the Australian government’s Job Outlook website, the education support industry is a ‘very large occupation’ and it lists the future growth expectation of its workforce as ‘very strong’ – the highest rating possible.
To work in a school as a teacher aide in New South Wales, you will first need to complete a qualification such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. These are the two mainstay qualifications that all schools require before employing someone as a teacher aide, LSO or education support worker.
A popular option is for students to enrol in ITAC’s Teacher Aide Combo course. This combined course provides maximum employment prospects because graduates have more skills and knowledge than someone who has only completed a single qualification. The combo saves time and money. To learn more about how to become a teacher aide in NSW read this article or this one: Teacher aide certificates and qualifications.
ITAC offers both the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support in NSW by online (distance) learning. Our students access learning materials and complete activities (such as watching lectures and webinars) by logging into our in-house, bespoke student learning portal. All our students follow a simple, structured, self-paced and fully supported learning program. They receive unlimited support and guidance from their experienced and friendly allocated trainer – which is why our course completion rate is 3x the national average according to the National Centre for Vocational Education and Training.
For those enrolled in either qualifications in NSW (CHC30221 or CHC40221), key topics include behaviour management strategies such as ‘with-it-ness’ and proximity. Students also study a range of teaching strategies such as:
In the higher level CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, a greater emphasis is placed on working with students with disabilities, disorders, difficulties, and complex needs (including multiple disabilities or comorbidities). Students learn strategies and skills such as using:
Both education support certificates require a 100-hour minimum placement due to government requirements. Students usually find a placement in a local public or private school. Many students choose to work in the area of special needs as there are ample job opportunities for those who prefer to work with students with disabilities (especially those studying the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support in NSW, given reports such as this one). This higher-level qualification is recommended as it provides graduates with maximum employment prospects (even for those who do not intend on working in special needs schools).
With thousands of schools in NSW and a positive growth pattern for the overall education industry, there are many different jobs available to education support workers or LSOs who have completed the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support, including:
To complete the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support, students need to devote approximately 600 hours to learning and completing assessments (including a 100-hour work placement in a local school). The course is largely self-paced meaning the time it takes to complete any section depending on how much time the student devotes to their learning each week and their abilities and experience.
This estimated 600-hour duration may be extended for those who need additional support such as students who struggle with English. On the other hand, it may be reduced for those with experience with children (including parents). Those who have studies in a related field or who have completed higher level qualifications are also likely to require less time to complete the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support.
While some students may finish sooner than others, many are busy juggling life’s demands and commitments. Many students prefer to study part-time or ‘casually’ with the occasional block of concentrated study time. This will mean that the duration of the course (in months) is longer depending on how much time is devoted to learning each day, week and month. This is the best part of studying a self-paced online course such as the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support available anywhere in NSW – you can study 1 hour this week, 30 hours the week after, 5 hours the week after that – the study schedule is very flexible.
There is no difference between the CHC30221 and the CHC40221 in most cases in terms of the time required to complete each course. However, being a higher qualification, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support does require a higher level of knowledge and skills. For parents and those with experience with children or related industries, both courses will feel relatively easy and we rarely have issues with students in this category.
Most students go straight into the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support course, although some applicants are advised to begin with the lower qualification due to language or learning concerns.
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is the basic introductory course for education support workers in NSW, while the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is the more advanced course that covers working with students with disabilities and disorders.
Both qualifications cover:
The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support however devotes more time to applying these strategies to situations that involve working with people with disabilities and disorders. For this reason, and given that most work in schools for teacher aides or support workers is to support students with special needs, we strongly recommend the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support of the Teacher Aide Combo.
To be a teacher’s aide in NSW you will need to complete an education support qualification such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. The most popular course in Australia currently is the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support however the most sought-after graduates hold the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support – the special need’s qualification.
ITAC’s unique teacher aide combo course has become very popular in recent years as it provides two qualifications for not much more cost than the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support – Saving around $1500 compared to enrolling in two separate courses. This gives you maximum bang for your buck as well as supercharges your resume with two qualifications.
There are literally thousands of schools in NSW so there are certainly plenty of options. Many schools employ dozens of teacher aides (LSOs) so chances are there are positions available in your area today! However, that doesn’t mean finding a teacher aide job is easy – after all, everyone wants to work in Kindy or year 1 and 2. If you are willing to move beyond this initial goal and consider upper primary, high school and particularly special needs schools – your chances of finding work improve dramatically. Holding out for the perfect position to open up in the school 2 minutes down the road may not be reasonable, at least as you are trying to get your career off the ground.
There are however several things that you can do to boost your chances of finding work as a teacher aide or Learning Support Officer at one of NSW’s may public or private (non-government) schools:
Remember this is only for the first year or so to get your foot in the door and to establish your professional credentials and networks. Once you are getting regular work from a school in NSW, a contract will pop up eventually and you will be offered first pick – your hard work, persistence and sacrifice will pay off sooner than you thought!
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is our ‘bread and butter’ at the Institute of Teacher Aide Courses – with thousands of graduates, decades of experience, extensive relationships with schools in NSW, and our industry-leading expertise and resources – ITAC continues to be the ‘go-to’ provider for education support training across Australia.
Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and a #1 best selling author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of ITAC, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.
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The introductory teacher aide course for anyone seeking to work as a support worker.LEARN MORE
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