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EDUCATION ASSISTANT COURSES: A DETAILED GUIDE

Education Assistant Courses: A Detailed Guide

teacher assistant planning a learning activity

Education Assistants work in schools supporting students’ education and development.


Education Assistants, like teacher’s aides or teacher’s assistants as they're more commonly known around Australia, support students in a range of activities normally in the classroom. They're most commonly known for helping teachers and supporting students in either mainstream or special needs schools.


So how exactly do you become an education assistant? What qualifications do you need to become an education assistant? How much are education assistants paid? What do education assistants do on a day-to-day basis? Are there different types of education assistants? This article will answer all of these questions and more.


What is an Education Assistant?

An education assistant is a person who works in a school. Education assistants support students and also teachers in a range of activities mostly in the classroom environment. Education assistants are expected to perform a range of tasks depending on the needs of the school, the students, and the topics, subjects, or programs being delivered.


We all have an idea of what an education assistant does. Many people imagine a person helping a teacher with tasks such as planning excursions, photocopying, helping students to learn to read and write, and so forth. While this is generally true, there is a whole lot more to working as an education assistant given the demands and challenges of today's modern education system.


Education assistants are also known as EAs, teacher's aides, integration aides, school support officers, learning support officers and teacher’s assistants. All of these terms mean the same thing. Education assistants are found throughout Australia and are in almost every type of school including:

  • Primary schools
  • High schools
  • Special needs schools
  • Kindergartens
  • Alternative schools
  • Religious schools
  • Regional and rural schools
  • Independent schools
  • Specialty programs

Defining exactly what teacher's aides are expected to do in the classroom has been the topic of a number of studies and academic research especially in the past decade or two. Some key findings of these studies are shown below:


One study from 2018, investigated the effectiveness of teacher's aides in 105 schools and found that trained teacher's aide are much more effective especially when working closely and in cooperation with the teacher.


Other studies such as this one in 2016, found that 'students with disabilities in full-day kindergarten have higher reading and mathematics outcomes at the end of kindergarten when the classroom has a teacher's aide.'


A Victorian study published that ‘one of the major roles of the teachers' aide' and the four main areas where teacher's aides are focused on are 'a) inclusion in the school community, (b) curriculum, (c) classroom management, and (d) student support.’

How do I become an education assistant?

teacher assistant planning a learning activity

An FTTA student successfully finishes her placement. Many students are offered work at the school where they undertake their placement.

There are several ways that you can become an education assistant. The most popular pathway for 99% of students is to complete the CHC3012 Certificate III in Education Support or the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. Both of these courses are nationally recognised.


Schools generally require staff to hold one or both of these qualifications. Some people find work as an education assistant without initially completing a qualification, however that is rare these days with the exception of casual or relief work. Most schools won’t even interview a person for an education assistant position, unless they have a nationally recognised qualification.


There are some very good reasons for this. For starters, the school needs to ensure that you know and can use the best strategies and techniques to adequately support a range of complex needs. It's also important that the school knows that you understand and can implements all of the key policies, procedures and concepts such as duty of care and professional judgement. This reduces the risk of something happening that could endanger students or staff. It also ensures that schools hire the best person for the job and maximises student outcomes.


For this reason, we highly recommend that enrol in a nationally recognised qualification if you're thinking about working as an education assistant in an Australian school.

Are there different types of education assistants?

There are several different types of education assistants. The education assistant that you might be imagining (if you've never worked in a school before or completed a qualification), is probably cutting up fruit and helping children in a kindergarten to learn to read and write. While some of these education assistants do exist, they are becoming less common and are typically speaking, the lowest paid education assistants. Many people start their qualification with the intention to work in this type of role but end up looking for a position in a different area such as special needs, high school, or a literacy or numeracy program.


Another type of education assistant is the special needs education assistant; the most common type of education assistants in Australia. This is because most of the funding for education assistants comes from the government in order to support students with disabilities.


You don’t need to work in a special needs school to be a special needs education assistant. An education assistant that works in a mainstream classroom with a student that has a diagnosed disability, is quite often called a special needs education assistant. A student that has been 'mainstreamed’ is a student that has special needs such as autism and attends a mainstream class with support from a full-time special needs education assistant.


Other education assistants works in a special needs schools. A special needs centre or school is a school designed specifically to cater for the needs of students with complex special needs. Students in these schools, require one on one support from a special needs education assistant. Teachers, principals and other staff are special needs trained.


Some special needs centres operate on their own campus - they only enrol students with high special needs. Other special needs centres enrol a range of students with special needs but not necessarily high special needs. Some special needs schools are located on the same site as other schools and can even have a similar name, even though they are technically a completely different school, with their own principals and teachers.


Hint: Don't overlook special needs schools if you're looking for employment. They employ the lion’s share of education assistants.

What is the best education assistant course for me?

teacher assistant planning a learning activity

Class based mode from 1 day per week is very popular with busy adult learners. FTTA class pictured


The best education assistant course for you is the one that best meets your goals. If you are considering working as a special needs education assistant, then it would be logical to consider the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support as this is the course for special needs. Depending on your provider you may be able to go straight into the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support.


If you plan on working as an education assistant in lower grades and have absolutely no intention of working with students with special needs, then you may consider completing the lower level qualification such as the CHC3012 Certificate III in Education Support. This may be slightly cheaper and a little bit easier.


However, at FTTA at least, we generally recommend that students complete the teacher aide combo or go straight into the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. Some students also prefer to complete the CHC3012 Certificate III in Education Support and then graduate into the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support immediately thereafter.


Generally, we don’t recommend completing the CHC3012 Certificate III in Education Support on its own as it limits your job prospects.


Ultimately, the decision about which course to enrol in is up to you. However, it is an important decision to make and one that should not be taken lightly.


Hint: Cost is only one factor you should consider when comparing providers. Enrol with an RTO that you feel comfortable with, who has a good reputation and who offers you the support services and mode of study that suits your needs.


How much do education assistant courses cost?

Broadly speaking education assistant courses are not that expensive considering the number of benefits such as the ability to begin a new career, to work anywhere in Australia, and the family friendly work hours (plus school holidays!).


Please refer to our website for the latest information regarding the current fees for this qualification.


Are education assistant jobs hard to find?

This question also depends on your goals. If you're considering enrolling in an education assistant course in order to obtain full-time permanent work, it might be slightly more difficult than if you're aiming for casual or relief work.


Casual or relief work is generally easy to find, especially if you hold a nationally recognised qualification from a reputable provider. Casual or relief work simply means that you are working in a school to replace another education assistant who has been ill, is on a short course or for some other reason they are unable to attend work on that particular day.


Generally, if you're called in for relief work, you will work a full day and it can sometimes be for a week, several weeks, or even several months. We commonly hear of education assistants who work full-time simply by doing casual or relief work at one or more schools. Casual work gives you a degree of flexibility. This is great early in your career as you can try out several different schools to see what suits you and what you enjoy. It can also be beneficial for those with other commitments such as a business, children, or are caring for sick family members. People who work casual or relief are paid a loading of 25%.


One way to find this type of work is to complete a qualification with a reputable provider (such as FTTA of course!) and then put your name down at 15 to 20 schools in your local area - or as far as you're willing to travel. The more schools the more likely you are to find work sooner.


Hint: Don't get too fussy with where you're going to work early in your career. Some schools have a bad reputation, however generally that reputation is unfounded. Once you're in a school, you will find that it really depends on the class, the teacher and the subject. Sometimes you can be in the best schools in the world but have a particularly difficult class.


Relief is the best way to begin your career if you are looking to eventually work as a full-time permanent employee. Schools typically prefer to test people out as casual or relief staff first and to then employ them on a more permanent basis – they like to get to know you first.


Also, if you have connections and know a few people in the industry, they can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Make sure that you let everyone know that you're interested in working as an education assistant and have enrolled in or are completing a course. A lot of education assistants find work simply because they just happen to be talking to a neighbour, a friend, barista etc. – you never know!


Hint: If you are dropping your kids off at school each day - get to know the teacher(s) and other staff including front admin staff. They might let you know if positions are becoming available in the near future.


How much do education assistants get paid?

Education assistants are generally paid around the $30 per hour mark. This equates to just under a thousand dollars per week. The reason this equates to just under a thousand dollars per week is because the majority of education assistants only work approximately 32 hours per week. 32 hours works out to be approximately 0.8 FTE. FTE stands for full time equivalent.


The benefit of this is that you don't have to work 38 hours per week, meaning you start a little bit later and finish not long after the children finish school. This is great for parents in particular who can then pick their kids up after or before school.


Some websites such as Seek state that education assistants in Western Australia earn an average of $23 to $27 per hour. This is in fact the middle point between the highest and lowest paid education assistant and is hence misleading. The majority of education assistants are on the higher end of the pay scales and not in the middle. This is because of how the pay scales work - many education assistants are employed to work with students with disabilities. If you're employed to work with a student with a disability or in a special needs school, you are paid a higher amount starting at just under $30 per hour. Therefore, as the majority of education assistants work in special needs, and special needs EAs are paid more, the average is closer to the top of the pay scale – about $30 ph.


What is the difference between an education assistant and a teacher’s aide or teacher’s assistant?

We get this question quite a bit and the answer is generally very simple. There is no difference between an education assistant, teacher’s aide or a teacher’s assistant. They are all the exact same thing. However, in Western Australia people who work as a teacher’s aide or teacher’s assistant are quite often called education assistants, or EA's for short.


It should be noted however that the term teacher’s aide is considered by some in Western Australia to be somewhat derogatory. This means some people are slightly offended by being referred to as a teacher’s aide. EA or education assistant is the preferred term.


We use the term teacher's aide because it is the common term used by the general public. It is also the term used by academics and researchers around the world.

What is the hardest part about being an education assistant?

teacher assistant planning a learning activity

Managing behaviour is commonly cited at the most common stressor.


If you talk to any education assistant (or teacher) in Australia (or most of the developed world), they will most likely tell you that behaviour management is the hardest part of their job. Obviously, this depends on the school where you work – some are better than others. For example, private schools have fewer behavioural issues than public schools (trust me on this one – I have worked in both, and the difference is day and night, especially in year 7, 8 and 9).


Behaviour management is ensuring that children are behaving, on task, and doing what they are supposed to be doing. This is why we spend a large amount of time ensuring that students learn a whole range of strategies and techniques that can be used to support the teacher with behaviour management.


Below is an excerpt from our learner guide to give you an example of some of the types of things that you will expect to see in your course.

Types of behaviour

Almost all of the behaviours that you will come across in a school environment will be either:

  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Behaviours of concern

It is important to make a distinction between these two general types of behaviour because the way in which you approach each behaviour type is vastly different.

Disruptive behaviour

You will deal with disruptive behaviour constantly. This includes behaviour that disrupts one or more students. It also includes students who disrupt their own learning such as through off-task behaviour. Examples of disruptive behaviour may include the following:

  • Calling out in class
  • Swearing or name calling
  • Eating in class
  • Use of technology such as mobile phones
  • Talking to others
  • Getting out of their seat and walking around
  • Not listening to instructions or day dreaming
  • Wearing a hat inside
  • Slow to begin work

Behaviours of concern

This type of behaviour is much more serious and will usually require additional support such as from the classroom teacher. This type of behaviour is not as common as disruptive behaviour however it can be stressful and potentially dangerous. Examples of behaviours of concern include:

  • Running away
  • Violence (fighting, kicking, head banging, biting etc.)
  • Tantrums (including throwing things)
  • Inappropriate touching or comments
  • Disruptive behaviours that are highly repetitive (off task behaviour for longer than 20 minutes)
  • Disruptive behaviours that are excessive or dangerous (running in class)
  • Stealing, threats, intimidation
  • Illegal behaviour such as taking or selling drugs
  • Disclosure (see abuse and neglect chapter)
  • Emerging patterns of behaviour that seem to be increasing in prevalence or seriousness

Hint: You have learnt so far that behaviour is a form of communication. This means that the student may be trying to tell you something but they lack the ability to articulate (put into words) their feelings. For example, a student who is frustrated or who feels they have no chance of success may act out. How do you feel when you can’t put a new piece of furniture together? Children feel these same emotions when learning something new however they may have fewer strategies to manage their frustration.

Causes of behaviour

It is important to consider the root cause of behavioural issues because that knowledge gives you the best opportunity to address the undesirable behaviour with your choice of strategies tailored to the needs of the individual. Some of the root causes of behaviour are listed in the table below.

teacher assistant planning a learning activity

In the example above, treating the off-task behaviour without recognising the reason for the behaviour would probably not lead to any positive learning outcomes (the student would most likely pretend to work and let everyone know that they are purposefully doing a bad job in order to save face).


A strategy that addresses the root cause will help improve learning outcomes and behavioural issues in the long term with slow incremental improvements. For example, by identifying the root cause as being fear of failure, you could ask the student to do at least 1 part of the activity properly (with your support). A few well-directed and specific compliments may lead the student to question whether their fear of failure is an accurate presupposition of their abilities. In this case you are also teaching students the skill of 'how to learn’ which is an extremely valuable tool later in life.


The same process applies if a student has a disability or disorder. For example, a student with Autism may have difficulties communicating with others. If the task involves something to do with interacting in a group, the student may act out (avoidance, tantrum, run away). Assuming the student ran away (something children with Autism are known to do), a potential strategy is asking the student to sit at the back of the room to just observe. If the student returns, they have incrementally improved by being in the room and may even participate incrementally in the future. However, if you tried to get the student to return in order to fully participate, the student may run away even further (leave school grounds). If you scolded the student for not following directions or breaking rules, the situation could escalate further in the short, medium and long term.


Important: What is your definition of fair? Fairness is not treating everyone the same. In fact, that would be very unfair because everyone has different needs and personalities. For example, Mary talks all the time and disrupts the people around her. Mary however has a very difficult homelife and is neglected. School is her only safe place and the only place where she gets any positive attention. Do you give Mary the same consequences for talking now that you are aware of the potential root cause of her behaviour? What about a student with a disability or a student that never misbehaves but is just having a bad day?


ROOT CAUSES OF BEHAVIOUR

Attention seeking

  • A student may be lacking in adult attention in their life outside of school
  • They may see you as a role model or find safety in your presence
  • They may simply like you and want to make conversation with you
  • They may be avoiding tasks due to fear of failure
  • They are simply not motivated to complete the task
  • They may be socially interested in other student(s) which has a higher reward potential (from the student’s point of view) such as developing friendships, bonds and social acceptance from others

Power and revenge

This is extremely rare and generally only occurs with students who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder such as severe Oppositional Defiance Disorder or the more serious Conduct Disorder. If you suspect a student’s behaviour is caused by a desire to seek revenge or power from staff, seek advice from your teacher.


Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood behavioural problem characterised by constant disobedience and hostility. Source: BetterHealth 2014


Conduct disorder (CD) refers to a set of problem behaviours exhibited by children and adolescents, which may involve the violation of a person, their rights or their property. It is characterised by aggression and, sometimes, law-breaking activities. Source: BetterHealth 2014

Fear of failure

When a student is regularly off task, distracts others and talks a lot during class, in many cases it is due to fear of failure. This is caused by lack of self-esteem or self-belief. This means the student believes that they have no chance of successfully completing the task and therefore conclude that there is no reason to try. Coupled with a social fear of being ousted as a failure in front of their peers, this student will do almost anything to avoid public failure.


Hint: Self-esteem should not be confused with self-confidence and an extroverted personality. Many of the most confident people that you will meet in public, courses, clubs, friends and family may actually be lacking in self-esteem. This means that they don’t think of themselves as being capable of completing a specific task (or tasks in general) to a sufficient standard compared to other people. Being loud and talking a lot does not mean the person is confident in themselves.


"All people in our society (with a few pathological exceptions) have a need or desire for a stable, firmly based, (usually) high evaluation of themselves, for self-respect, or self-esteem, and for the esteem of others. By firmly based self-esteem, we mean that which is soundly based upon real capacity, achievement and respect from others." Source: York University, 2000

Mental health

A range of mental health issues can affect a person’s ability to learn. It is well recognised that humans learn better when having fun and learn less when stressed. When under stress, future planning is almost non-existent as the person is only concerned with surviving the immediate danger. This can have various effects such as the student not caring about future consequences.

Some of the mental health issues you may come across in your work as an education assistant may include:

  • Chronic (long term) stress
  • Acute (sudden onset) stress (but often temporary)
  • Depression (remember that people experience depression in different ways)
  • Anxiety (panic attacks, excessive worry, hyper awareness)
  • Trauma (such as from PTSD)

Hint: Ever get confused between hyper and hypo? Just remember “hypo-o-o it’s cold”. Hypo means less and hyper means more. For example, hypothermia is suffering from a lower than normal body temperature. Hyper-active means being more active than what is considered normal.

Hint: Some people believe that working in high school is much more stressful and challenging. This is in part due to an intimidatory factor – the physical size of some high school students and the belief that their behaviour can be more challenging. However, this is more of a myth and a misunderstanding. Quite often people who work in high schools are working with very similar children to those in primary schools and take on the same types of tasks and responsibilities. It is no more or less difficult a job, and regardless there is always a teacher who as ultimate responsibility for managing any serious behaviour problems.


Many people working in high schools never set out to obtain work as an education assistant in a high school - at least when they first started their nationally recognised qualification. It can be a lot easier to find work because fewer people are willing to consider working in a high school. I recommend that you give high schools a shot – you may be surprised (and as a high school teacher myself – I can say with confidence that the poor reputation of almost all high schools are largely unfounded).


As mentioned earlier don't forget to apply for work in special needs schools which also operate at the high school level.

Can I study an education assistant course online?

All of our education assistant courses can be studied online. In fact, the majority of students enrol in an online mode of study due to the flexibility provided by this mode. These days, the availability of modern technology makes studying online very easy even for students who are not tech savvy.


Some providers including FTTA, also offer classes one day per week. Our students can also attend workshops and tutorials, and meet with their trainer either by phone, Skype, email or face-to-face.


It's also important to bear in mind that online can mean many different things. You may have the impression that online study means sitting at home all day with no contact with the outside world. The reality is that, in this day and age, anyone that enrols in a nationally recognised qualification is fully supported and in regular contact with their trainers (at least with good providers).


Be wary of RTO's who do not allow you to call or meet with your trainer. Even the best students need support from time to time and having the availability of support can mean the difference between completing your course in six months or completing your course in 12 months - or not completing it at all. If it takes you an extra three to six months to complete your course, you may have lost $12,500 to $25,000 of income by not working during that time.

Can I study the education assistant course at TAFE?

Yes, this course is available at most TAFEs around Australia. You may be wondering what the difference is between a TAFE and a provider such as FTTA.


We recommend TAFE for certain people. For example, if you have a disability or a disorder that requires a significant amount of additional support (in this case being in class daily for 6-12 months) TAFE can be beneficial. Another reason we would recommend going through TAFE is if you live in a regional or rural area and there's a local TAFE offering your course. In this case you may be better off enrolling with a provider (such as the TAFE) who can come and visit you in the workplace. This particularly applies for very remote areas.


Finally, if you are under the age of 18, we may recommend TAFE, especially if you need to be class every day to keep on track.


Private providers like FTTA typically enrol adult learners. In fact, the average age of our students is 37. Adult learners are a bit more self-directed, mature, and accountable for their own progress. Adult learners have other commitments and generally can’t be in class several days per week for 6-12 months. This is why we offer structured, flexible, case managed and self-paced programs.

Are the assessments difficult?

This a hard question for us to answer because obviously it depends on the individual student. Some students may say that some questions are difficult, and other students will say that the assessments are not difficult at all.


Generally speaking, if you have experience with children or work in another caring industry such as age care, then we would typically advise that you should not struggle with this course.


Are the assessments difficult? Below are some examples from the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support.

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.

How is the education assistant course structured?

Education assistant courses, with FTTA at least, are structured in a slightly different way to most providers. Firstly, we cluster our assessments meaning that units are combined where they are similar. For example, there are 17 units in the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support – yet there are 5 clusters. This method prevents unnecessary repetition because clustered units are very similar and quite often have identical components. Some units in fact, overlap by more than 80%.


We cluster our courses as it prevents a range of issues, reduces stress, take less time to complete, and means you don’t have to answer the same questions multiple times.


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.

Is there a work placement component?

Yes, there is a work placement component in every nationally recognised qualification in the CHC training package. This includes CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support and CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. More information about the work placement can be found on our website, in the student handbook, or by speaking to one of our friendly student advisers. Generally, the work placement is completed in a local school in your area. The minimum requirement for the work placement is currently 100 hours.

Summary

In this article we have covered many of the main questions that we get asked as far as work and study as an education assistant particularly in WA. We have covered:

  • What education assistants do on a daily basis
  • How to find work as an education assistant
  • The different types of EAs
  • The different types of schools
  • The pay scales and how much you can expect to earn
  • Some of the difficulties and challenges of working as an education assistant
  • The different modes available such as online and class based
  • Whether it's available through TAFE and if that's the right option for you
  • How our courses are structured at Fast Track Training Australia

If you would like further or additional information about these qualifications, please see our main course pages or contact one of our friendly student advisers. If we don’t know the answer – no one does!


About the author

Adam Green is a former teacher, member of the government’s Education Support Industry Advisory Group, MD at FTTA, and a post-graduate researcher at Murdoch university.


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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