Student Support Services

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To ensure that schools are informed about student support services available to school networks.


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 individual, group, school and network levels.

Schools should use the Department's Student Support Services Guidelines to support local student support service delivery arrangements.

Addtionally schools enrolling international students are required to provide culturally appropriate and targetted orientation programs and support services to international students both prior to and upon student arrival. See ISP Quality Standards and School Resources under Department resources

Student Support Services Guidelines

The Student Support Services Guidelines support Principals and Student Support Services officers to implement the network based governance and service delivery model for Student Support Services.

The guidelines provide a starting point for networks of principals to determine the service delivery model for Student Support Services in their network. Network Executive Groups will be able to complement the guidelines by developing their own local operating protocols over time within the context of these guidelines and policy directions established by government.

For the latest version of these guidelines see: Student Support Services (staff access)

Background – Governance Arrangements

Student Support Services operate within schools networks 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 network 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.

Note: Governance changes are being implemented to provide principals with greater control and flexibility so that Student Support Services are optimally placed to provide students with the necessary support in a timely manner.


Student Support Services comprise a broad range of professionals including psychologists, guidance officers, speech pathologists, social workers and visiting teachers. Student Support Services officers work as part of an integrated health and wellbeing team within networks 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

Related policies

Department resources