The learning specialist position is a career pathway for highly skilled teachers who want to stay in the classroom and work with other teachers to improve their practice.
About learning specialists
- are highly skilled classroom practitioners who continue to spend most of their time in the classroom
- build excellence in teaching and learning within the teaching service
- support the learning and development of colleagues and are comfortable in demonstrating a wide range of teaching strategies, building excellence and leading change
- use inquiry, evidence-based teaching strategies and evaluate their impact on student learning
- have deep knowledge and expertise in high quality teaching and learning
- have a range of responsibilities as per Schedule 2 of the
Victorian government schools agreement (VGSA) 2017.
Policy information about learning specialists is also available.
Learning specialist roles
Dr Lyn Sharratt describes the impact learning specialists can have, and learning specialists talk about how her ideas provide clarity for their work.
Video case studies supporting principals to implement the learning specialist initiative of the VGSA 2017 – incorporating learning specialists into the workforce profile, aligned to strategic goals.
Ballarat High School
Both leading teachers and learning specialists work towards school priorities at Ballarat High School. Learning specialists provide targeted supports, and leading teachers have a broader, whole-school focus in their work.
Berwick Fields Primary School
The introduction of learning specialists at Berwick Fields was a catalyst for a review of the organisational structure and how teachers worked together at this PLC school. A learning specialist is paired with a leading teacher, working with an assistant principal to focus on a FISO priority area: Excellence in teaching and learning or Positive climate for learning.
Cobram and District Specialist School
This specialist school’s approach to introducing learning specialists has strengthened the focus on teaching and learning. At Cobram the learning specialist is a coach and mentor for teaching and learning, complementing the work of the curriculum coordinator, a leading teacher.
Springvale Rise Primary School
Introducing learning specialists required an agile approach at Springvale Rise – a dual campus school. The school wanted to determine the best organisational fit, maintain its strategic direction and provide teachers with access to demonstration classrooms.
See also HRWeb:
Leading teachers and learning specialists and
Professional learning opportunities
The Needs Analysis and Reflection Tool (the Tool) is a learning resource designed to support learning specialists in their professional development.
The Tool enables learning specialists to identify and reflect on their strengths and professional learning needs, providing recommendations for future professional development. The tool is not intended for performance monitoring and management.
To explore and access the Tool, please visit the Learning Specialist campfire learning module and navigate to the Professional development and learning page.
Tools for learning specialists
A range of pedagogical resources are available to support learning specialists. These resources can be useful reference points for future planning and improvement of teaching practice:
Improve your professional practice
Professional practice guide for teachers outlines the professional practice elements and how they build on school improvement foundations.
Professional practice notes: a series of professional practice notes to supplement the practice guide.
Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning: a starting point for a close analysis of professional practice.
AITSL: provides access to the Australian professional standards for teachers.
Implement learning programs
In this video, education expert Mary Jean Gallagher talks about building trust and respect in your relationships with other teachers:
The following case studies are examples of how the learning specialist works in a primary, secondary and small school setting.
Gladstone Park Secondary College
Gladstone Park Secondary College is a large school in Melbourne’s North West. This video demonstrates how Gladstone Park has introduced the Learning Specialist role, and how the school’s five learning specialists work together and alongside teachers.
Bayside Special Developmental School
Bayside SDS is a small school located in Moorabbin, in Melbourne’s outer South East. This video demonstrates how the school’s learning specialists work with teachers at the school and colleagues from nearby schools in a Community of Practice.
Wodonga Primary School
Wodonga Primary School is a regionally based Professional Learning Community (PLC) school with five learning specialists. This video demonstrates how the learning specialist role can work in a PLC context.
Canterbury Girls' Secondary college
Canterbury Girls' Secondary College shares its vision for the learning specialist role, the focus of the role and how it forms part of the school leadership.
The learning specialist focuses solely on the classroom, engages with teachers in peer observation and invites others to visit the classroom. This video provides the perspectives of the principal, learning specialist and a classroom teacher.
Peter Barbadonis, Learning Specialist at Canterbury Girls' Secondary College, explains why he was drawn to the role and describes his plans to support Canterbury Girls' Secondary College to improve outcomes for teachers and students.
Connect with each other
Webex Teams is an online space design exclusively for learning specialist across Victoria who want to connect, join conversation, seek advice, ask question and share experiences and resources. You can use the space to benefit from the experiences of the peers and share ideas and insights.
For further information about the learning specialist role, email