Learning Support Officers History

Rebecca Wheeler and her son Brendan

My son Brendan is 7 1/2yrs old and has Moebius Syndrome, which means he has a lack of facial expressions, poor muscle tone and hardly any speech.

When school time came, if it wasn’t for my son’s Learning Support Officer, life for him would have been very hard. Even though we treat him as a normal child at home, school life would have been a lot harder if he didn’t have a wonderful Learning Support Officer to assist him in the classroom to keep him up with all the other kids.

If he didn’t have a Learning Support Officer, I would have had to go to his school twice a day to help him, and that would mean giving up work.  Having the Learning Support Officer at school has given Brendan the chance to go to a mainstream school and have lots of fun and meet lots of people.


Claire has been a long-term temporary Learning Support Officer employed by the Department of Education for 10 years. She feels like this year is her "final" year of school because the student she has supported since he was in Year Three is now in Year Twelve and will soon leave the school. Claire says she feels very uncertain about the future and does not know whether she will have work next year.

“I can only be employed where or if there is funding available, regardless of my hard work for past 10 years. I have no guarantee of work next year or what is to come.”

Claire asks that people support the Students Need Us campaign and says students are missing out on vital assistance with their schooling because of cuts to staffing hours.

“Our team of Learning Support Officers are often stretched to cover all the areas for a numerous amount of students in our school who need this vital support. No student should slip through the system because of the lack of consistency and assured support for their daily school needs. By supporting us you are supporting students who are entitled to equal opportunities.”

Elizabeth Gawthorne 

Elizabeth Gawthorne has been a School Learning Support Officer at a local High School for the past ten years, working as a long-term temp.

She provides support and assistance to students who need extra help in the classroom, but although Elizabeth loves her job, she has no job security at all because she is a long-term temp.

Elizabeth has been asked back to the school every year but it’s tough because of the lack of job security, and not knowing at the end of the year if the school will have enough funding or enough students who need her help the following year.

Learning Support Officers are a fundamental part of schools and provide vital support to teachers, as well as helping students to reach their full potential and scholarship.

But there are many more Learning Support Officers in NSW, like Elizabeth, who do not have permanency, and their lack of job security means many students miss out on the extra support and help they need at school.

Julia Collier and her son James

Julia Collier’s son James is six years old and has a global development delay, which means he has an intellectual disability and he also needs a wheelchair.

James attends a mainstream public school, which has a special unit for students with a moderate intellectual disability. He loves school and Julia says his Learning Support Officer and teachers do a wonderful job.

“He loves going to school and is so happy there. He gets along well with the other students and is learning important socialising skills with his Learning Support Officer as well as handwriting, numeracy and reading skills.”

James is able to communicate with his Learning Support Officer through sign language, and Julia says he is getting excellent support.

There are ten students in James’ class, and because of the support provided by Learning Support Officers, students like James enjoy school and are able to grow and reach their full potential.

Without Learning Support Officers, students like James wouldn’t get the support they need.


5 Great Ways To Promote Your Website

Website promotion can be a tricky obstacle for anyone who is new to this important process of marketing products, items, brands, etc. There is an infinite number of methods that can be used to efficiently promote any type of site on the internet. The following are just 5 ways of attracting attention to a brand, as well as obtaining targeted visitors:

1 – Social Media Marketing
One of the most effective methods used to promote anything online today, is through social media. Popular network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the newcomer Pinterest are excellent ways to direct traffic to any worthy website. The way this works is simple, and it uses the same idea of viral marketing: if something is funny, controversial, beauty and generally share-worthy then that is what people will do: share it. This could range from images or quotes, to stories and video clips. The source of entertainment can either be fully uploaded on these networking sites or a link to a website that displays the content. When a website link is shared by one person to people on their contact list, anyone else who shares it sends it to someone else who will potentially share it. This continues until the URL, image, video, news story, etc. have gone viral.

2 – Text and Graphic Adverts
Creating adverts through text and graphics is a great way to advertise anything. Some people react better with text and others through visual aids such as illustrations and posters. Placing banner ads on relevant websites is a method that has been used for many years because it works. Such adverts can also be published offline, on classifieds columns, newspaper advertisement spots and even broadcasted on the television during peak hours.

3 – Word of Mouth
One method that deserves more credit than it is given, is website promotion through word of mouth. If someone recommends a website to someone else, that person will most likely pay it a visit. The visitor can then decide any method they want to further market the site.

4 – Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking a site is the method whereby a link with a story snippet is shared amongst individuals in the member’s contact list. Reddit, Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious and Mister Wong are just a few examples of such services. Members can comment and further distribute bookmarks to other members for rating. The idea is to generally recommend URLs that provide news stories worth reading.

5 – Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the method of promoting an URL by contributing content through publishers, specifically blogs, news sites and article directories. Blog posts should be of high quality that readers will find enlightening. That way, the author achieves some level of exposure and this encourages the link to be clicked on. The URL being promoted can be placed either on the body of the article or at the byline.

Twitter as a Social Media Tool- You Need to Check it Out

If you are a small business owner then you need to seriously consider adding Twitter to your social media strategy. With over 500 million active users and 1.6 million daily searches, Twitter is an important platform when you are trying to build your brand and attract customers. In fact, it is so easy to use that anyone can quickly create a username and bio and begin tweeting.