Support in Schools

Student Support Services

Student support services officers provide support to students and schools. They include guidance officers, social workers, speech pathologists and curriculum consultants.

Role of Student Support Services

Student Support Services comprise a broad range of professionals including psychologists, guidance officers, speech pathologists, social workers and visiting teachers.

They 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.

Student Support Services are embedded in area-based multi-disciplinary teams to:​

  • support the delivery of quality universal services for all students, with extra effort directed to ensuring education and health and wellbeing services are accessible to, and inclusive of, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged
  • target the delivery of individual support services to those who require specialised expertise, assessment and intervention in order to overcome barriers to learning develop the capability of schools to design health, learning, development and wellbeing strategies that focus on improving education and health and wellbeing outcomes
  • collaborate with multidisciplinary professional practice teams and build partnerships with community services to meet the needs of schools and students and their health, wellbeing and learning goals
  • respond to critical incidents involving students, staff and school communities.

Consent forms and information
A new regional model

As part of the Government’s commitment to an Education State, the Government has implemented a new regional operating model, creating 17 Areas within the Department of Education and Training’s (DET) four regions. 

The model is underpinned by a multi-disciplinary approach which provides a holistic, focused and complementary set of skills and resources to those most in need. From January 2017, Student Support Services have transitioned into the Department’s Areas

More information

For more information about Student Support Services, see:

Primary Welfare Officer Initiative

The Primary Welfare Officer Initiative is designed to enhance the capacity of schools to develop positive school cultures and to support students who are at risk of disengagement and not achieving their educational potential. Eligible schools are provided with funding to employ a Primary Welfare Officer, which may be an existing staff member, or new staff member.

Primary Welfare Officers promote a whole school approach to health and wellbeing within the school community and work in collaboration with students and parents, school staff including principals, teachers, aides, specialist staff, nurses and student support services officers and with broader community agencies.

The initiative complements and extends existing programs that enhance student health and wellbeing, engagement, retention, academic achievement and the acquisition of life skills.

The Victorian Government’s current priorities for the Primary Welfare Officer Initiative are to:

  • tackle bullying
  • support students with behavioural, mental health and welfare issues.
More information

  • Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance - The Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidance helps schools to develop the required Student Engagement Policy to help promote student engagement, attendance and positive behaviours in Victorian government schools.
  • Bullystoppers- supports parents, teachers and principals in working together to make sure schools are safe and supportive places, where everyone is empowered to help reduce the incidence of bullying in all Victorian schools.
  • Student Attendance - Every Day Counts  - focuses on initiatives to promote student attendance at school. - focuses on initiatives to promote student attendance at school.
  • Mental Health – Promoting Healthy Minds for Living and Learning materials to support staff in promoting and creating environments conducive to mental health.
  • 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.

Student Welfare Coordinator

The role of the student welfare coordinator (SWC) is vital in responding to the needs of Victoria’s young people. They are responsible for helping students handle issues such as truancy, bullying, drug use and depression.

Student welfare coordinators work with other welfare professionals and agencies to address student needs.

Funds have been made available to all government secondary colleges to employ student welfare coordinators.