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Principles of Effective Professional Learning

The Principles for Effective Professional Learning for the team of educator and support officer working with children and students on the Autism Spectrum were developed on behalf of the Minister for Education by the Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children and Students with Disability (MAC: CSWD).

Keys to improving outcomes for students with disability are:

  • Improved support officer training
  • Scheduled time for collaboration between educator and support officer
  • Re-thinking how support officers are deployed in schools

The Principles have been endorsed by the Department for Education, Catholic Education South Australia and the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia.

  • View the complete document: 

Principles of Effective Professional Learning for the team of educator and support officer working with children and students on the Autism Spectrum (PDF 2.1MB )

  • View the one page version (convenient for distribution and display) 

Principles of Effective Professional Learning for the team of educator and support officer working with children and students on the Autism Spectrum – one page (PDF 223KB)

The Principles build on the Principles of Inclusion. The full document includes:

  • How to recognise effective professional learning of the team
  • Possible topics for:
    • Working as a team
    • Achieving outcomes for those on the Autism Spectrum
  • Considerations in developing a professional learning program for the team including delivery model, school context, employment considerations and workplace structure
  • Resources and references

The Principles 

Professional learning of the team will be effective for children and students on the Autism Spectrum when:

  • professional learning is embedded through a whole of school approach aiming to improve educational and wellbeing outcomes.
  • the leadership of the school or site takes an active role in the team and/or provides explicit support for the team and remains well informed of the team’s learning and actions.
  • the team develops a shared understanding of and respect for each other’s skills and expertise.
  • each team member recognises their role in delivering educational outcomes to children and students on the Autism Spectrum and the team develops a shared understanding of each other’s role.
  • the team members have developed the skills to collaborate, cooperate and communicate with themselves and other stakeholders and the team is given the opportunity to put these skills into practice and continuously improve.
  • the team members develop a strong understanding of children and students and adults on the Autism Spectrum and how they experience and respond to the world around them.
  • the learning develops autism specific competencies applicable and relevant to the child or student and the role of each member of the team — the educators and the support officers. 
  • education sectors, across all levels including sites leaders, school staff, policy makers and providers, take the responsibility to operate within the legal framework of the Disability Standards Act (2005), recognising Standard 7 that relates to student support services.

Contact

Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children and Students with Disability

Phone: (08) 8226 2416
Email: educationminadv [at] sa.gov.au