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CHC30213 CERTIFICATE III IN EDUCATION SUPPORT: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support: Everything you need to know

Don’t skimp on investing in your education! An investment in your own education, pays far greater dividends that any other type of investment.

education support online course

The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support prepares you to work in mainstream classrooms.


Take-outs:

  • The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is the entry level course
  • Studying online doesn't mean that you’re in front of a computer all day
  • You will cover the topics required to work in mainstream classrooms
  • Consider the true cost – cheap course may actually be more expensive
  • TAFE courses are often structured in a similar way to a high school course
  • Most students enrol with private providers according to government stats
  • The most difficult part of the course is consistency, dedication and effort
  • The placement is about practicing what you have learn in the theory
  • For the average student 600 hours is how long it will take to complete
  • Clusters mean that the units are combined to reduce repetition

Trainers are looking to see that you support the student to develop their conceptual understanding, which is then transferrable to related tasks and challenges, and which can be the basis for more complex problems in the future.


1. What is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support?

training to become a teacher assistant

The placement is an important part of the course. FTTA student on placement pictured.

The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is the entry level teacher‘s aide course that the majority of students in Australia complete when thinking about or contemplating becoming a teacher’s aide. In fact, it is the teacher’s aide course that all schools require, whether you want to work in kindergarten, primary schools, high schools, senior colleges, special needs centres, or even alternative schools such as religious-based, Montessori or Steiner schools.


This course covers all the basics that teacher’s aides need to know in order to effectively work in the school environment. This includes the most common activities and tasks that teacher’s aides undertake such as assisting the teacher to manage student behaviour, supporting students to learn new skills in various subjects such as literacy and numeracy, and various administration and logistical tasks.


Most students (especially those with no previous experience with children or schools - including high school leavers), typically start with this qualification. Once you've completed the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support you will be able to apply for teacher’s aide jobs anywhere in Australia. Many graduates of this program find work in their local area and often in the same school where they completed their voluntary placement.


Once students have completed this course, they quite often enrol in the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. This is a higher-level qualification that covers many of the same topics, with the addition of more specialist skills and knowledge in preparation for work with students with complex needs including students with disabilities and disorders.


2. Is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support an online course?

The short answer to this question is yes - this course can be completed online. However, it's important to note that there is also a work placement component that obviously cannot be completed online. The work placement component is where students attend a workplace such as a primary school, high school, kindergarten, or other registered school, for 100 hours or more. The purpose of the work placement is to support students to develop their skills, experience and industry knowledge, by working in a real-world environment - assisting the teacher and observing more experienced educators.


The work placement is important and cannot be skipped or ignored because it is a legal requirement. Every student undertaking this course in Australia is required to complete the placement. The minimum requirement set by the government is 100 hours which must be logged in a registered school. This means that you will work under the direction of a teacher in a primary school, high school or other school, for 100 hours. Typically, this happens over a period of time such as one or two days per week. However, some students also choose to complete their work placement over a longer or shorter period, such as in a single block of time.


teacher assistant planning a learning activity

While not compulsory, even online students enjoy attending workshops. FTTA students pictured.

Many providers also offer a range of support services to help students who are studying online. Studying online can mean a lot of different things - it doesn't mean that you’re sitting in front of a computer in a dark basement for 30 or 40 hours per week. Online does not mean that you never speak to your trainer, or that you never actually meet your trainer. Quite often enrolling online means that your trainer will want to contact you on a regular basis depending on how much help and support you need. Studying online means that you have access to an online portal, where you can download resources, watch videos such as class lectures, and complete a range of activities. Students (at least with FTTA) attend regular live webinars.


If you're thinking about enrolling in an online course, it's important to bear in mind that no two RTO's set up their online courses in the same way. In this day and age providers take advantage of technological solutions as well as old-school traditional face-to-face support. Some provide more support than others.


Important note: consider what happens if there is a technological issue or if you need something clarified. If this happens, it's important that you can contact your trainer easily and that you feel comfortable interacting with them. For this reason, I highly recommend that before enrolling in an online course, you think about how comfortable you are with the chosen RTO. Some RTOs only allow email contact with trainers, some do not provider one-to-one face-to-face support, some do not visit you in the workplace (even if there are issues). These services are essential for ensuring that you pass your course in a reasonable amount of time (delays in completing your course will cost you lost income – much more than the saving of enrolling in a cheap course with little support).


Finally, you should bear in mind that ‘online’ is not the only term used to describe a program whereby the majority of study is completed external to the RTO’s campus. Some RTO's use the word external. Online is also commonly known as distance learning. More recently, I have seen providers using fancy terms such as ‘digital mode’. In the past, students could study by ‘correspondence’ however this term is now considered old-fashioned. All of these terms basically mean the same thing.


3. What job will I get once I complete the CHC3012 Certificate III in Education Support?

Once you have completed this qualification you will be qualified to work as a teacher’s aide anywhere in Australia. This means any state or territory of Australia. All schools know of and recognise this qualification as the main qualification for teacher’s aides.


Note that different states have different names for teacher’s aides. For example, in South Australia they're typically called SSO (School Support Officers). In Victoria they're quite often called Integration aides. In Western Australia they are called Education Assistants or EAs. You may have also heard the term Teacher’s Assistant. In New South Wales they're quite often called learning support officers.


The general public use the term teacher’s aides in almost all cases. Most of the academic research around the world, also use the term teacher's aide. If you're looking for a job as a teacher's aide online, you may need to use some of these different terms (for example on SEEK).


There are no requirements to hold a certificate in order to work as a teacher’s aide in Australia. By requirements, we mean legal requirements. Schools, teachers and school managers however, almost always require that applicants hold minimum qualifications such as the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. You will find it very difficult to obtain work without this particular qualification (or a higher qualification). Effectively, although not legally, it is mandatory to hold this certificate, an older version, or a higher version. Even students who have university qualifications (excluding a teaching degree from an Australian university), are still required to hold this qualification in order to even get an interview at a school.


It is important to note that there is some special needs/additional needs training delivered throughout the course. However, it does not specialise in special needs. Most teacher’s aides work with special needs students. This is especially the case if you work in a special needs school. Special needs teacher’s aides can hold the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support, however, more often than not, they will also hold the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support qualification. In the past, special needs teacher’s aides did not necessarily hold this qualification. However, over the years, schools have asked their support staff to obtain the qualification by enrolling in an online course or through an RPL (recognition of prior learning) program.


So, while the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support doesn't necessarily qualify you to work with special needs, it also at the same time, doesn’t disqualify you. Sometimes schools will be happy to hire you, if you have the right demeanour, dress professionally, or look like someone who can do the job. However, to maximise your chance of success, to ensure that you've covered all the necessary topics and are confident in your abilities, enrolling in the higher-level course is certainly recommended.


4. What is the difference between the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support and the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support?

CHC30213 Certificate IV in education support

Teacher’s aides work in a range of contexts depending on the needs of the school.


The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is basic education support course. In this course you will cover all the topics that are required to work as a teacher’s aides especially in the mainstream classroom environment. All teacher’s aides work at some point the students with disabilities, difficulties or disorders. The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support, however, is the specialist qualification for those wishing to work with students with more complex and challenging disabilities, difficulties, disorders, and additional needs.


Many students begin their career by enrolling in the higher-level qualification without completing the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. Whether you can do this, depends on your provider, the courses available in your area, and which mode you choose to study.


You could also consider enrolling in a combo course. At FTTA, we call this the teacher's aide combo. The teacher's aide combo is a dual qualification program, where you complete both courses at the same time in one streamlined program. It's a little bit more expensive and it takes a little longer, however, we think it's definitely worth it. This program is easier and cheaper than enrolling in and completing two courses separately.


So, what else is different between the two courses? Is one harder than the other? The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support does require a higher level of skills and knowledge - simply because it’s a higher-level course. But is there a big difference in terms of difficulty? Probably not. If you were to compare an assessment from one to an assessment from the other, students probably couldn’t tell the difference. In fact, the average trainer probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.


The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support might be a little bit more difficult for students who struggle with English, and in particular, English as a second language students (ESL). If this is you, we recommend speaking with your provider for the best advice. Many ESL students have no issues with this course. However, if you are new to learning English, you may be advised to consider an English course or a Certificate II level qualification first.


5. How much does the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support cost?

See our website for the latest details, including fees, and if government subsidies are available in your area.


We also recommend considering the true or overall cost of studying your course. For example, you may be tempted to enrol in a course that seems, on face value, to be very cheap. However, this can be misleading because if you don’t get a high level of support, are frustrated by poor curriculum and assessment resources, and ultimately take longer to finish, you won’t save much at all – in fact, it will cost you many times more than the course fee.


If it takes you an extra 6 months to complete your course for example, that's 6 months where you could have been working as a teacher’s aide (and earning about $25,000 less tax assuming you were working full-time).


6. Is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support free?

Unfortunately for the great majority of Australians looking to enrol in a teacher's aide course, the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is not free. There are some rare instances where there is a small amount of government funding available. In Queensland for example, student who graduated year 12 the previous year, may be eligible for fee free training. However, for the majority of students there is unfortunately no free teacher’s aide courses. It should be noted however that in Queensland, there are a range of very affordable subsidies available for students.


7. Is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support government funded?

Similar to the answer above, this course is government funded in some areas - check with your preferred provider. We also recommend students consider the overall cost of their course. Government funded courses are not always cheaper than fee for service (where the student pays the full fee). Students should consider for example, the potential loss of income as discussed earlier. Some government funded courses require you to be in class several days per week for a long period of time – giving up work, additional child care etc. means that this course is actually very expensive, even if the initial fee is small.


If you're an adult learner with experience caring for children, enrolling with a provider like FTTA could save you a huge amount of time, money, and stress. This is because you'll be able to continue with family commitments such as looking after children and earn an income at the same time. However, if you're a younger student, attending class may be the best option for you; you generally don't have many bills or a lot of commitments, so you can easily attend class three or four days per week - If this is you, a TAFE provider may be your best option.


8. Should I study the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support at TAFE?

Traditionally and historically, TAFE has been known as the provider for younger students (under 18). TAFE courses are often structured in a way that is not dissimilar to a high school.


However, if you’re an adult student, you’re probably better off enrolling with a private provider such as FTTA. The reason for this is that private RTO's are typically geared towards adult learners. Adult students required a different type of trainer - one who understands that students have other commitments such as family and work, and who can provide a flexible adult-orientated program.


So, to answer the question at hand, as to whether you should you enrol in the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support at TAFE? It really depends on what your goals are. If you think you need to be in class several days per week and have no previous experience with children, child care, aged care, or any of the caring or people industries, then you may consider a TAFE enrolment, as this would probably fit your needs. If on the other hand, you're a mature adult learner with some relevant experience, then we recommend a private provider such as FTTA.


9. Is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support the best way to become a teacher's aide?

The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is the main qualification you will need to hold in order to become a teacher's aide. You could also consider completing the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support.


Many students initially start with this qualification or they complete the dual pathway (teacher aide combo). It is best to speak to your preferred provider about your needs, what is available at the time, government funding and whether you would like to enrol in a distance or class-based mode.


Effectively, the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is the minimum qualification to become a teacher’s aides in Australian schools - in all states and territories. It is a nationally recognised qualification, meaning it is recognised by all schools in Australia. Schools will expect that you hold this qualification, if applying for work as a teacher’s aide. As mentioned previously, you will probably not be asked in for an interview, unless you have completed this minimum qualification.


There are other avenues to become a teacher's aide. This may include for example, having an relevant degree from an foreign institution. However, even students in this scenario quite often find it easier to complete either the Certificate III or IV before or while applying for work in a school. This makes it easier because many schools still require a nationally recognised teacher’s aide qualification. Having a qualification, satisfies hiring managers that the person they hire has sufficient skills in key areas such as in safety, duty of care, behaviour management, support strategies and so forth.


10. Is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support difficult?

school support officer course

Classes are always popular and for many students it is a fun, social and effective mode that maximises your learning.


Generally speaking, the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is not a difficult qualification. It's not as difficult, for example, compared to an IT course, a programming course, an electrical course, or other accounting or business-like course that requires a large amount of background knowledge and technical expertise. This is especially the case for those that have significant experience with children. In this case, a lot of the course is simply taking your existing skills and knowledge and applying it into a professional context.


There are of course, some things that you do have to learn such as policies, procedures, and definitions and interpretations of concepts such as duty of care. However broadly speaking, this course is a relatively easy course for most people.


I should add in a disclaimer here: I would like to emphasise ‘most people’ in the paragraph above. This is at least our experience at FTTA (and we've had 4,000 to 5,000 graduates). However, we typically don't enrol students who are school leavers - although we do enrol a few. Because of this, we find the majority of our students don't really struggle with the course content. That doesn't mean that students don't need to put in the work however. We estimate that the course still takes a certain period of time to complete, and there is a certain level of commitment and dedication that is required to complete any nationally recognised qualification.


If I asked our trainers, they would say that the most difficult part of the course for most students is the required consistency, dedication, and regular effort. This means consistently studying on a regular basis, putting in the hard-yards and ensuring that when you're submitting assessments, that they are completed to the highest quality that you can produce.


At FTTA for example, your theory assessments consist mainly of short answer questions, case studies, scenarios and mini-projects. You should ask your RTO about what to expect in terms of your assessments because this can have a huge impact on how long the course takes to complete.


The final part of your assessments is the work placement which is potentially one of the most important parts. There are several things you need to do on your work placement. Your trainer will come and visit you in your school. They will ask you to complete a range of activities such as supporting literacy learning (you will know what those activities are in advance). Typically speaking these activities will just be the normal activities that you do during the normal course of a day. Your trainer will also ask you a range of questions such as ‘what-if’ hypotheticals. These are contingency management skills - the ability to react appropriately to situations as they arise.


An important part of the placement is practicing what you have learnt in the theory part of your course. For example, research has shown that untrained teacher’s aides, will give students the answers to a question, approximately 68% of the time. However, a teacher will only give students the answer approximately 11% of the time.


So why is this important? It's important because if you're giving students the answer most of the time, then students aren't actually learning anything at all. Yes, they will complete the task and they might even get a tick or praise from the teacher, but they haven't learnt how to complete the task on their own. They have not developed any conceptual understanding that can be used in slightly different tasks. Without any conceptual understanding, the student can never progress to more complex activities and challenges.


This is a quick example that shows why schools prefer that their teacher’s aides are qualified and the importance of combining theory learning with real world practice. It’s also a good example of why you should enrol with a quality provider.


On your placement, your trainer will be looking to see that you're not just giving the answer to the student - so you can then tell the teacher that they finished. They're looking to see that you supported the student to develop their conceptual understanding which is then transferrable to related tasks and challenges and which forms the basis of approaching more complex problems in the future.


For example, if the student is having problems sounding out some words, 68% of the time untrained (or poorly trained) teacher’s aides would simply give the student the answer, i.e., they will tell them how to sound it out. However, trained teacher’s aides will not do this very often. In fact, they will very rarely give the answer to the student. They will assist the student to sound out the particular word instead. In fact, this may mean that the student doesn't even finish the worksheet, but it will mean that they'll have a better understanding of the letters, how they sound, etc. (what educators call phonics).


In a developmental curriculum, such as those found in all developed countries, task completion is NOT the goal. The goal is transferrable, conceptual and abstract thinking that links knowledge with challenges from various contexts. For example, memorising 2x5 is not that useful, but understanding how operators work (add, divide etc.) means the student can solve almost any times table problem and they can do it in any context including real life such as developing a basic food budget (year 4) or solving algebraic equations in high school.


Everything that we use to assess you in the workplace is provided to you at the beginning of your course, so you've got plenty of time to read over and practice it. If there are any aspects of your course that you don't quite understand or that you need assistance with even during the assessment, the trainer is always there to help. In fact, we want you to succeed, we want you to pass, and we want you to go on and recommend us to other students!


11. Is the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support a short course?

Typically, the duration of any course is displayed on the website of the provider. Currently on FTTA's website, the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is described as requiring approximately six months. However, many students finish in a shorter period of time, such as 18 weeks, 16 weeks, etc. Some students manage to finish even quicker than that, but generally they're on an accelerated program and have a significant amount of industry experience.


On the other hand, some students can take a year and even then, ask for extensions. This is generally not because the course is difficult but because there are gaps in their studies. For example, some of our students are from overseas and travel home for holidays, or for celebrations, for weddings, or funerals and don't return for three or four months. Other students can become ill, can be in hospital, and other life events can interrupt your studies.


So, for the average student 600 hours is a reasonable guess of how long it will take for you to complete this particular qualification. However, many students manage to complete the qualification in a shorter timeframe. Some students, such as those whose English is a second language, may take a little bit longer.


Of course, the other aspect is the quality of your training provider. Some providers, especially those who don't write their own materials, have very poor completion rates, and students take a lot longer to finish their course. Other providers have a much higher completion rate because they offer a high level of support and quality resources developed in-house.


12. Do I need to do the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support, become an integration aide, learning support officer, SSO, or teacher's assistant?

Effectively all these terms are the same thing. Each state of Australia uses a different (formal) title when referring to support staff who work in schools as teacher's aides.


SSO's or school support officers, are typically teacher's aide who work in South Australia. Learning Support Officers are teacher's aide from New South Wales. Integration aides are from Victoria. Education assistants are teacher's aides from Western Australia. Teacher’s assistant is another general term you may come across.


We use the word teacher’s aide throughout these articles simply because it is the term that is overwhelmingly used by the general public who are looking to enrol in either the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support or CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support.


13. I want to become a special needs teacher's aide. Is this course right for me?

As we've discussed earlier, most students who want to work as a special needs teacher's aide hold or are working towards completing the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. This is because the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is known in the industry (by industry we mean schools) as the qualification for special needs teacher’s aides. That is not to say that you won't get a job in special needs if you hold the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. However, most students who intend on working in special needs should consider enrolling in the higher-level qualification (or completing the combo).


What do we recommend? You should speak with your preferred provider about the options available to you. Generally speaking, we would most likely recommend the teacher aide combo or secondly, enrolling directly into CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support, depending on your situation. If however you have never studied before and have no experience with children, we would probably recommend the lower level course.


14. Can I complete the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support by RPL?

Yes - this qualification is available by recognition of prior learning. RPL simply means that you already have the skills, knowledge, and experiences to work at that particular level. It means that you have (formally or informally) acquired all of the skills and knowledge that is required to graduate with the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. Informal learning can include PDs, meetings, general experience, books, research, conversations etc.


To put RPL into perspective, if you enrol in this course normally, you are required to complete a 100-hour voluntary placement. If you have 10 years’ experience in a school, you already have about 12,000 hours experience! That is the same as a 120 placements. Surely during that 12,000+ hours you learnt a thing or two related to the CHC30212 Certificate III in Education Support.


RPL can sometimes be a little bit cheaper. Bear in mind however that RPL is not a training option; you do not learn anything when enrolled in recognition of prior learning. It is an assessment only process. For this reason, some students enrol in an accelerated program which is best explained as being somewhere between the full course and RPL.


Technically with RPL you already know everything. It's just the case of collecting the evidence or completing the assessments, in order to prove that you already have the necessary skills and knowledge.


15. What are the units like in the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support?

There are 17 units that make up this qualification. We have listed each of the units below. It is important to bear in mind that RTO's often deliver these qualifications in clusters. Clustering means that the units are combined to prevent unnecessary repetition. To use an analogy, think of clustering as like wrapping up a bunch of flowers together, instead of wrapping each one individually. One bunch is much easier to wrap, sell, carry, deliver etc. than a whole heap of individual flowers.


Each unit contains criteria that need to be met by the student in order for the assessor to deem the student competent in that particular unit. Within those requirements however, there is a significant amount of overlap. Providers often combine units saving the student a huge amount of time, money, stress, and from the annoying repetition. Some units are almost identical, except in the title and reworded content. For this reason, we only develop courses that are clustered.


Units of Competency - Click on any unit for additional information
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety CHCECE006 Support behaviour of children and young people CHCEDS002 Assist in implementation of planned educational programs CHCEDS003 Contribute to student education in all developmental domains CHCEDS004 Contribute to organisation and management of classroom or centre CHCEDS005 Support the development of literacy and oral language skills CHCEDS006 Support the development of numeracy skills CHCEDS007 Work effectively with students and colleagues CHCEDS017 Contribute to the health and safety of students CHCEDS018 Support students with additional needs in the classroom environment HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety CHCEDS008 Comply with school administrative requirements CHCEDS012 Set up and sustain individual and small group learning areas CHCEDS011 Search and assess online information CHCEDS015 Support development of student research skills CHCEDS001 Comply with legislative, policy and industrial requirements in the education environment

CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work respectfully with people from diverse social and cultural groups and situations, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.


This unit applies to all workers.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety

The unit describes the skills and knowledge required to identify Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety issues in the workplace, model cultural safety in own work practice, and develop strategies to enhance cultural safety.


This unit applies to people working in a broad range of roles including those involved in direct client service, program planning, development and evaluation contexts.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCECE006 Support behaviour of children and young people

This unit describes the skills and knowledge to apply strategies to guide responsible behaviour of children and young people in a safe and supportive environment.


The unit applies to workers in a range of community service contexts.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS002 Assist in implementation of planned educational programs

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to assist a worker to support the teacher/s in delivering planned education programs. Classroom-level support is provided to ensure the learning environment is inclusive and relevant, and appropriately resourced and maintained.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS003 Contribute to student education in all developmental domains

This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to support students with different developmental issues to participate in classroom and other school activities.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS004 Contribute to organisation and management of classroom or centre

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to support the effective functioning of a classroom or other learning environment. It deals with practical issues such as administration, equipment, teaching aids and other supplies.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS005 Support the development of literacy and oral language skills

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required in providing assistance to students who need additional support with their reading, writing and oral language skills.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS006 Support the development of numeracy skills

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to implement numeracy programs as identified by the teacher to assist students requiring additional numeracy support.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS007 Work effectively with students and colleagues

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to effectively communicate with students and colleagues.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS017 Contribute to the health and safety of students

This unit describes skills and knowledge required for teacher assistants to contribute effectively to the health and safety of students. The education support worker implements workplace health and safety instructions and procedures within his or her scope of responsibility and according to direction.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS018 Support students with additional needs in the classroom environment

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by an education support worker to support students with additional needs in classrooms where there are students with a mix of abilities and needs.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required for workers to participate in safe work practices to ensure their own health and safety, and that of others.


The unit applies to all workers who require knowledge of workplace health and safety (WHS) to carry out their own work, either under direct supervision or with some individual responsibility.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS008 Comply with school administrative requirements

This unit describes the skills and knowledge for education support workers to undertake administration and basic computer tasks in the education environment where administration is not the main focus of work.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS012 Set up and sustain individual and small group learning areas

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to establish and organise individual and/or small group learning environments, such as a home-based classroom, activity area in a classroom or library, or a virtual schooling area.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS011 Search and assess online information

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to determine, locate and retrieve information using digital technologies in consultation with a teacher.


This unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS015 Support development of student research skills

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required for an education support worker to assist students in obtaining information relevant to their learning needs.


The unit applies to education support work in a variety of contexts and the work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other education professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

CHCEDS001 Comply with legislative, policy and industrial requirements in the education environment

This unit covers the skills and knowledge required to maintain compliance with legislation, policy and industrial instruments that relate to the education support worker role.


The unit applies to education support job roles in a variety of education contexts including schools and other educational settings.


This work is to be undertaken with appropriate guidance, support and supervision by a nominated teacher or other educational professional.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

16. What are the clusters in the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support?

FTTA cluster all the units listed above into groups of units that are similar. As we have discussed previously, this reduces repetition and save students from having to complete the same assessments over and over. Some units are almost identical, even though they are technically different units, with different titles.


To give you an example, there are several units related to literacy. Each of these units have very similar requirements. One unit for example requires you to work with small groups. This can be combined with supporting reading development, which is a requirement of another unit. We can see how both of these can easily be assessed at the same time. Sometimes, in trying to assess one thing (such as small group work), something else is indirectly assessed – this is where clustering saves you time.


Below we have listed the current clusters in this qualification, and a sample question from the assessments.


Note: These case studies are expected to take one to three hours to complete and are preceded by engagement in learning materials such as webinars and learner guides. This is the average - some students will obviously do this quicker and some will take a little longer.


How do you think you would go if you had to answer these case studies, and what type of answer do you think you would give?

Cluster 1: Health & Safety

Case study 1. Hygiene


You are working in a classroom with Ms. Brown who is the teacher of a class of 22 Yr. 4 children. It is the middle of the flu season and some children are quite clearly ill with runny noses and coughing. Today, there are two lessons remaining:

  • Art - students will be using their hands to make play-dough shapes of different countries
  • English - students will be in groups of 3 and acting out a scene from a short story

Based on this situation, explain the different strategies that you will use to ensure that the activities are undertaken in a hygienic manner. Ensure that you discuss the use of relevant PPE.

Cluster 2: Literacy

Case study 1. Prepare resources and equipment


You are working in a classroom with Mr. Black who is the teacher of a class of 20 Year 6 children. The class has a mixture of students in terms of abilities and personalities. Each term the class has a different focus to make learning more fun and interesting. This term the topic is ‘farms and towns’. This topic is used by the teacher to plan all activities. For example, for English the students have learnt many new words relating to towns and farms. For history, students have learnt about life in ancient towns and farms. Students have even been on an excursion to a local farm.


Tomorrow the main topic is “Make your own town”.


The idea of this activity is for students to practice writing (specifically spelling), oral language skills and design skills (measuring, scale etc.). They will also learn some new words to add to their vocabulary. Students will draw a plan for their town on large paper, write in the names of everything (buildings, streets, businesses, public amenities etc. for the town). This is expected to take 1 hour. The plan is on A3 and will be to scale.


You have been asked by the teacher to prepare the resources and equipment. Explain the steps you will take in order to complete this task.


Cluster 3: Numeracy

Case study 1. Prepare resources and equipment


You are working in a classroom with Mrs. Black who is the teacher of a class of 20 Year 6 children. The class has a mixture of students in terms of abilities and personalities. Each term the class has a different focus to make learning more fun and interesting. This term the topic is ‘farms and towns’. This topic is used by the teacher to plan all activities. For example, for English the students have learnt many new words relating to towns and farms. For history, students have learnt about life in ancient towns and farms. Students have even been on an excursion to a local farm.


Tomorrow the main topic is “Make your own town” and students have already made a map of their town.


The idea of this activity is for students to practice their mathematical skills by:

  • Working out distances between places using their map
  • Estimating and confirming the size of an area (square meters) such as a park or building
  • Learn new mathematical/measurement terms such as acre, hectare, inch and feet (assume students are already familiar with the metric system)

This is expected to take 1 hour.

They will also learn some new words to add to their vocabulary. Students have already drawn a plan for their town on large paper and written in the names of everything (buildings, streets, businesses, public amenities etc. for the town).

You have been asked by the teacher to prepare the resources and equipment. Explain the steps you will undertake to complete this task.

Cluster 4: Behaviour

Case study 1. Strategies

Sarah, Elise and Kyra sit together in their Year 9 class. During their normal lessons with the classroom teacher the three girls are very well behaved. However, twice a week, the class has music lessons with Mr Frank. During music the three girls are always getting into trouble for ‘mucking-around’ and ‘talking too much’. You have a good rapport with all three girls and have worked with them for most of the year in their normal class. Because of this you have been asked to go to the music lessons for a few weeks to come up with some strategies to address the issues raised by Mr Frank and to prevent further escalation. What strategies do you think might work here?

Cluster 5: Diversity

The scenario

You are working in a school with a range of student from Year 1 to Year 12. The school is an old rural school with about 200 children in total, about 20 staff and a small group of enthusiastic parents and community volunteers. The community volunteers include war veterans, business leaders and managers from the local mine site. These people come into the school once a month to work with a group of 6-7 aboriginal students. They do a range of activities including excursions, life skills, career advice and tutoring. You are meeting with the volunteers to come up with a draft program for the year.

Case study 1. Identify cultural safety issues

One of the volunteers asks you about cultural safety as they have just heard this term for the first time. Using an example, explain the term cultural safety.

17. How long will each cluster or unit take to finish?

Each cluster will take approximately 2 to 6 weeks to finish depending on various factors. Some students will finish in a quicker timeframe. Some students will take longer. It really depends on your abilities, whether you've completed previous study, worked in a school before, or have significant experience with children. Think for example about the case studies shown above. Some students will answer these without any issues and won’t find them very challenging. Some students however, will need quite a bit of support and guidance.


In other words, how long is a piece of string? How long does it take to bake a cake? And how long does it take to fix a car? How long does it take to complete a course or a cluster? It's a similar question. Generally, most students aim to complete their course in a 6-month period. Students who really buckle down can get things done in a shorter period of time while others may spread their studies out over a longer period due to other commitments.


As we've explained throughout this article, it also really depends on the support that you get from your trainer. For example, at FTTA, we try to meet with students who need help, and return phone calls and emails usually within 1-6 hours.


Summary

If you've read this far, then you're probably pretty serious about enrolling in a CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. We hope that you've learned enough information to now make an informed choice about which provider is best for you.


This is the basic course that covers everything that you need to know to work as a teacher's aide. On the other hand, the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is for those who wish to work with special needs students. If you can go straight into the Cert IV or the teacher’s aide combo, you will boost your resume and will not need to study two separate courses in the long run.


Another aspect of your course that you should consider, is which mode is best for you. TAFE providers offer class-based courses, normally four or five days per week. This is fantastic for some students such as school leavers. Most mature learners (over 18) tend to enrol with provider providers such as FTTA.


With so many options available, we recommend thinking carefully about what you need and what you would like to get out of the course - what specifically are your goals? Finally – don’t skimp on investing in your own education! An investment in your education, pays far greater dividends that any other type of investment.


About the author

Adam Green is a former high school and primary school teacher. He is a member of the government’s Education Support Advisory Group and is completing a Doctor of Education program specialising in teaching strategies and behaviour management.


Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is general, may not be relevant to you, is not legal advice and no guarantee of accuracy is provided. Users should seek expert advice before relying on any information provided in this article.

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