Australia’s most popular, government funded, research-based teacher aide courses are now available in Queensland from $50 (co-contribution course fee). Study the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support and learn practical skills and strategies that will make you an essential, high performing teacher aide in any of Queensland’s 1248 schools.
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support and the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support are the two nationally recognised education support courses for those in Queensland seeking to begin a career as:
Both courses are offered by ITAC either by distance learning or class-based from 1 day per week – new classes start every school term and they fill up fast. To learn more about these courses, follow the links below to our course pages or read any one of our guides, blogs or videos:
The CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is the first qualification for most students seeking work as an education support worker in a Queensland school. With 1249 schools according the Queensland Department of Education, there are plenty of job opportunities for people in QLD who have studied a nationally recognised qualification with a reputable provider such as the Institute of Teacher Aide Courses.
Our graduates find work in a range of QLD schools (including any one of the 920 primary schools, 191 secondary schools, 91 combined primary and secondary, or 46 special needs schools). Many of our graduates find work at their local school where they complete their required course placement (subject to performance and the availability of positions, of course).
You can search for schools in your local area by using the Queensland government’s school directory service. Our graduates tend to begin their career in QLD by first working as casual (what is known as ‘relief work’) and then progressing to permanent and long-term contracts once the school sees that they have completed a high quality course and have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively contribute to students’ learning and development (such as implementing a range of techniques and strategies to industry best practice standard).
Graduates of the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support can also explore the various positions advertised on websites such as SEEK or Brisbane’s Catholic Education Office who “is the second largest non-Government employer in Queensland, supporting some 75,000 students and 11,500 employees in 142 school communities and six office locations, all located in South East Queensland.”
It's important to point out that a lot of people who begin the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support or the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support intend on working in a primary school. For many students this intention changes as they progress through their course and begin to understand the options available to them. What this does mean however, is that high schools (including combined k-12 schools, senior schools/colleges, and special needs schools within high schools) receive fewer applications from qualified teacher aide graduates. Therefore, we highly recommend that our students consider working in a high schools even if you never intended on working with older children – you may be surprised at how much you enjoy working in high schools.
In addition, special needs centres (primary and high school versions) are often ignored by job seekers because they don’t realise that these schools operate as separate entities to the main school (even though they are on the same site). They have very similar names but are separate schools with their own principal, admin, teachers, classrooms etc. In other words, when you go to a school seeking work, don’t forget or ignore the special needs schools which is often ‘hidden’ even though it is in the same location. We get regular reports that they (special needs schools) are desperately looking for casual and relief staff.
The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is the more advanced qualification than CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support. However, many students in Queensland now begin their career by enrolling in the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support first to maximise their employment prospects. It covers everything that you will learn in the lower level course with the additional benefit of learning how to support the learning and behavioural needs of special needs students – whether in a special needs school or in an inclusive classroom environment.
The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support is becoming more and more popular in Queensland as schools increasingly require staff to hold qualifications relevant to their work activities (and most teacher aides work with students with special needs). It is also a government subsidised course in QLD meaning the fee is only $50 (concessional co-contribution) or $100 (standard co-contribution) – the government pays the rest!
Both the introductory course (CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support) and the more advanced course (CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support) cover the basics of working as a teacher aide or education support worker in QLD, including teaching strategies (such as one-on-one instruction, worked examples, pair and group work, and formative assessment), as well as behaviour management skills (like scanning, natural consequences and motivational strategies). All students study a range of professional skills such as learning about policies, correct procedures, and work health and safety.
At this point, you may want to read any one of these articles to learn more:
According to the QLD government’s Department of Education (DOE), teacher aides undertake a range of tasks to support teachers. The DOE’s teacher aide job description form lists the following activities (among other tasks):
These activities all require best-practice training at the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support level as a minimum. To learn more about what teacher aides do, we recommend this detailed article: What do teacher aides do in Australia?
Students can study the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support qualification, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, or the Teacher Aide Combo. by class or distance-learning (online) mode. The class-based mode is structured for busy adult learners and provides the benefits of some face-to-face contact combined with support and self-study from home. Classes are held one day per week for 10 weeks to introduce students to the main aspects of the course – we think of each class session as more like a workshop. Students who enrol in class-based mode have a higher completion rate and have the additional weekly support of an experienced, friendly and supportive trainer.
Distance learning is the most popular mode with our students (mainly due to many of our adult learners needing to balance commitments such as raising children and part-time work with their studies). We recommend reading this article to learn if studying online is for you: Teacher’s aide course online: is it for you? Unlike the past, distance learning is now much more interactive, highly supported and structured. Learning can be completed in bursts whenever you are free and motivated to study.
Our online learning platform contains learning resources including lectures and webinars that make our students feel like they are in class with other students and their trainer. You can view some of the resources and samples that you may find in your course on our sample course page.
All our distance-learning students can contact their trainer at any stage for questions, issues and advice – this access is part of the service that we provide and a reason why we have thousands of graduates working in almost every school in Australia.
The Queensland government has provided QLD residents with funded training subsidies under several programs, such as the Certificate 3 Guarantee and the Higher Level Skills Program. Eligible students may pay as little as $50 for a concessional co-contribution fee or $100 for a standard co-contribution fee. The rest of your course fee is fully paid for by the Queensland government. The other good news is that we organise everything from our end so all you need to do is enrol, pay you co-contribution fee, and get started on your nationally recognised teacher aide course – it’s that easy!
QLD schools generally require all new teacher aides to hold a CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support to work in mainstream schools and the special needs qualification to work with students with disabilities – CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Many students now hold the higher qualification (or both) as it provides additional job opportunities, job security, the ability to prove a higher level of service to students and the teacher, and increased self-confidence.
Almost all applicants are expected to now hold one of these certificates even if they are qualified teachers undertaking work as an education support worker in QLD. Other qualifications may be accepted by individual schools on a case-by-case basis depending on the school and the position. Child care students commonly re-train to become a teacher aide by undertaking an accelerated teacher aide program such as those offered by ITAC (see our RPL fact sheet for further details).
If you have no experience with children or in related industries, or you have no other qualifications or any relevant skills, the expected course duration is 600 hours to complete the Cert 3 in School Based Education Support in Qld.
However, if you have experience with children (for example, from being a parent or school volunteer), or if you hold related or higher qualifications, the time it will take to complete your course is likely to be reduced. You will likely have the skills and knowledge to work though the learning and assessment tasks much faster. This is possible at ITAC as all of our education support courses are self-paced.
It’s important to note that a minimum 100-hour work placement requirement applies to all students.
Prospective students commonly ask questions such as ‘what is the difference between the Cert 3 and the Cert 4 in School Based Education Support?’. Both are similar in that they cover all of the basics of working as a teacher aide in QLD schools (and Australia-wide), such as:
However, the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support goes one step further and applies these strategies to support working with students with disabilities and disorders (including comorbidities and complex needs). This includes working and supporting the learning, development and behaviour of students with:
As you may have read so far, the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support is the introductory course that qualifies you to work in any of Queensland’s 1200+ schools. Typically, holders of this qualification work in mainstream classrooms supporting teachers and students with a range of general tasks. This may or may not include working with students with special needs such as Autism and Down Syndrome.
The CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support qualifies you to work anywhere that CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support graduates can work, as well as positions that require specialist staff with training in disability support. This often means a pay rise, as well as more independence in terms of developing resources and implementing strategies. Many graduates of the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support work in special needs schools (also called ‘special schools’ and ‘education support centres’).
In many instances however, schools use their staff for a variety of purposes depending on their needs and the capabilities of the individual staff member. Many teacher aides in special need’s schools do not hold the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support. Many who hold the higher qualification however, work in mainstream classrooms undertaking basic tasks such as assisting the teacher with managing large groups of very young children.
Our recommendation is to obtain the highest qualification possible as you are then more employable, able to apply for more positions, better skilled and trained, will have more confidence, and are more likely to be successful when applying for positions (such as in new schools or new programs that open in the future).
To learn more about your study options in QLD (including the popular Teacher Aide Combo or an individual course such as the CHC30221 Certificate III in School Based Education Support), please feel free to read one of our many free blogs , watch our videos, or contact our office for a friendly chat with one of our student advisers.
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 Institute of Teacher Aide Courses is the go-to provider for nationally recognised teacher aide courses. Around 1 in 2 students choose to study Australia's most popular TA course with ITAC.
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