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Lifting Learning is...

More in-class support & professional support staff

Teacher Assistants and Education Support Specialists

No two students in a class are the same. Each has a different start in life and different abilities and challenges. 

Sadly, many Tasmanian children are from disadvantaged families. One in five (21.5%) students are assessed as being “developmentally vulnerable”, meaning they need intensive support early on at school if they are to catch-up with their peers.6 

Students of the same age, in the same classroom, can be years apart in their learning abilities. Teachers tailor learning programs to account for students’ strengths and weaknesses to help them maximise their achievements. 

In large or complex classes where teachers may be juggling a combination of students with behavioural issues, trauma or disability, the one-on-one learning support that teachers can provide is reduced unless more in-class support is provided. 

More in-class support personnel, such as Teacher Assistants and Education Support Specialists, are urgently required. Teacher Assistants, for example, support teachers with preparing class materials as well as providing critical in-class support to help manage behaviour and support students with disabilities or other learning needs. 

I am in my last semester at UTAS - working towards an Associate Degree in Education Support. I have already attained my diploma in this field.

My role is predominately working alongside the Prep teacher in the classroom providing support or targeted teaching. This support may be facilitating small groups and one-to-one differentiated instruction in the key areas of numeracy, literacy, special education, and behaviour support. Or I may be providing support for students from diverse cultural backgrounds, students with disabilities, or Aboriginal students.

With the increasing workload expected of teachers, the Education Support Specialist (ESS) is able to support with the planning and assessment of student learning. I believe that ESS support is vital in Early Childhood Education, as it is giving children additional support to help them have the best start in life.

I love that I am able to see children flourish with their learning and that in some way I am assisting them to reach their potential. It is important that the Government continues to employ Education Support Specialists within our schools so we can help see that student learning potential is reached.

Lifting Learning

More Support Teachers who can work with classroom teachers to improve outcomes for students with disability or additional support needs.