Student Support Services

The new Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) is now available. This page will be redirected to PAL from the start of Term 3. Make sure to update your bookmarks to the new PAL site.

Student support services assist children and young people facing a range of barriers to learning to achieve their educational and developmental potential by providing a range of strategies and specialised support at the individual, group, school and area levels.

Purpose of this policy

To ensure that schools are informed about student support services (SSS) available to schools.


Area teams will use the Department's Student Support Services Handbook (pdf - 1.14mb) to support local delivery arrangements. The Handbook supports principals and the Department's areas and SSS team members to implement the delivery model for SSS.

The handbook offers guidance to SSS team members regarding working in area teams, working in portfolios and responding to Area and SSS priorities. For schools the Handbook defines the case referral approach and how schools can engage with the work of the SSS.

Background – governance arrangements

Student support services operate as part of the Department's area multi-disciplinary teams with the objectives to:

  • work in collaboration with services within the community to identify and intervene early with children and young people who have additional needs or are at risk of disengagement
  • develop the capacity of the workforce within schools to meet the needs of children and young people who have additional needs, or are disadvantaged or vulnerable, to enable them to achieve successful education and wellbeing outcomes
  • target the delivery of individual support services to those who require specialised expertise, assessment and intervention in order to overcome barriers to learning
  • respond to emerging student wellbeing needs and contribute to identified school and Area priorities
  • respond to critical incidents involving students, staff and school communities
  • facilitate and strengthen partnerships between and the SSS service in schools, early childhood services, community organisations, and health, family, child, mental health and youth services in order to provide greater options and coordinated service provision for children, young people and their families.

Each region has established a SSS principal advisory group to allow principal members the opportunity to provide feedback on service deliver and policy to regional leaders. Contact the SSS Manager in your Area for the specific advisory arrangements in your region.


Student support services comprise a broad range of professionals including psychologists, speech pathologists and social workers. Student support services staff work as part of an integrated health and wellbeing team within Areas of schools, focusing on providing group based and individual support, workforce capacity building and the provision of specialised services.

Related legislation

  • Education and Training Reform Act 2006

Department resources