Teacher Aides (TAs) are known by a range of titles throughout Australia, including:

  • teaching assistant
  • education assistant
  • school learning support officer (SLSO)
  • education support officer
  • education aide 
  • integration aide
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander education officer
  • Homeland teaching assistant
  • paraprofessional educator

The TA’s primary role is to support teaching and learning in schools, under the guidance of teachers. TAs are employed at all levels of schooling from the early years to secondary school. The number of TAs per school is based on the funding model of each State, Territory or non-government education sector. Additional funding for TA employment is provided, usually by the commonwealth government, for specialist support areas such as disability support or additional school wide literacy or numeracy support.

Pay and conditions also depend on the different State awards and even differ within States depending on which sector employs the TA; for example, government or independent schools. Refer to your organisation’s Certified Agreement for Teacher Aides for more details.

The role of the teacher aide is incredibly varied and includes general classroom support, especially in the areas of literacy and numeracy; preparation of resources, including technology; and administrative duties such as photocopying and filing. Many teacher aides are also employed to provide specialist support in areas such as:

  • language and culture for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students
  • specific learning needs
  • students with a disability
  • behaviour
  • English as a second language
  • secondary school subjects such as home economics, science and technology