Improving learner outcomes

Courses for NSW Department of Education - Disability, learning and support

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Video reproduced with the kind permission of the NSW Department of Education.

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The online learning courses support all departmental classroom teachers and other educational personnel in both primary and high schools to respond to the diverse additional learning needs of students. The courses are conducted in cohorts, both school-based and open, using a blended model of online learning combined with mandatory face to face sessions. These sessions are supported by a department trained tutor.

The NSW Education Standards Authority is currently implementing new requirements for the accreditation of professional development (PD) courses. Seven of the eight courses have been given Interim Accredited PD status (previously termed registered) but the Supporting student wellbeing and mental health course will be Elective PD until the interim period expires in July, 2021 when this will be reviewed.

NSW Department of Education course information and videos

Further information: NSW Department of Education

NSW Department of Education - Participant feedback

Those who have completed the courses rate them very highly in terms of the impact of the courses on extending knowledge, skills and confidence in supporting students with special needs.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

My confidence is greatly improved. Although I had a general understanding of the experiences and needs of students with ASD, a greater depth of knowledge is obviously a valuable key to greater confidence. I also feel more legitimately able to address the needs of these students (and communicate with their parents) with some certified training behind me.

High school teacher

I have done a few online courses, but this has been the most comprehensive.

School executive

My knowledge and understanding has improved during this course and positively impacted my role as a classroom teacher. Reflecting upon my teaching practice helped me identify which elements of my pedagogy and the classroom environment pose difficulties for ASD students on a daily basis … Knowing now that focusing on what you are trying to assess, rather than the method of assessment is vital and personalised to the learner.

Support teacher

Dyslexia and Significant Difficulties in Reading

My understanding of how to assess student needs has improved through an increased understanding of the difficulties some students’ experience. This course in conjunction with L3 training has provided me with the knowledge surrounding a variety of forms of ongoing assessment.

School executive

As a beginning teacher who works as a casual I have not had a lot of experience with assessment of students. However this course has provided many different assessment tools and the videos in particular of these assessments being used with students have been valuable for me.

New scheme teacher

I have been exposed to a larger variety of each of the types of interventions. Again, having the relevance and reasons why we would choose certain interventions has been highlighted as being so important when supporting students with reading difficulties.

Support teacher

I am now mentoring my faculty's members in the understanding of the needs of students with dyslexia, what can they do about it. I offered to observe some of their lessons and help them to identify some students with similar needs.

High school teacher

Dyspraxia and Motor Coordination Difficulties

I feel that the knowledge gained on the subject of MCD has given me a level of confidence in meeting the needs of these students. Previously I sometimes assumed the student was lazy, distracted or not interested. I feel that my interventions would improve the performance and coordination of these students therefore preventing undesirable behaviours developing and increasing their self-esteem.

School executive

I have realised: 1. how systematic an intervention must be 2. the importance of ideation, motor learning, execution and feedback 3. the crucial use of prompting through questioning to shape and refine these MC skills.

Primary teacher

My knowledge has improved throughout the course, and I have gained lots of practical knowledge such as websites, resources such as assessment sheets and notes which have been helpful... We learnt how language develops and were introduced to new terminology and elements of the language system.

Primary teacher

Personalised Learning

This course has helped me to develop a deeper understanding of personalised learning and support and a more authentic ability to assess and plan for interventions.

School executive

The resources are brilliant and the teaching strategies are articulated so well!

Primary teacher

I'm going to take away from this course specific information and resources to target areas of need within our school. I will definitely feel more confident in my role to support students, staff and parents and I feel that I have a toolbox brimming with new ideas and refreshed knowledge.


I am more prepared to be able to work collaboratively. The course has given me both the information required and the confidence to do so.

Learning and support teacher

This course has put everything that’s needed in the one comprehensive package to support all staff in understanding personalised learning and support.

Secondary teacher

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

I now am able to make simple short term goals that are achievable in order to cater for the needs of students with speech, language and communication difficulties. I now know the different types of difficulties and strategies to use to help them.

High school teacher

The course highlighted for me that many of my current classroom procedures and supports will help any students with identified or unidentified speech and language problems. I have, through this course, developed my ideas and skills in supporting these students, by increasing my 'toolbox' of ideas.

Primary school teacher

Understanding and Supporting Behaviour

I have always been a fairly confident teacher but this course has really made me re visit the things that I do as a teaching professional and how I view behaviour and consequences. This has given me a renewed confidence in dealing with behaviour challenged students.

High school teacher

I have a better understanding of the motivations of children's behaviour. And I am able to look at the situations now more clearly.

Primary teacher

I think having done the course I feel more positive in knowing that the way I already work with my students is the desired way to manage their behaviours anyway. I probably just feel more educated now and positive within myself.


I have undertaken data collection of three students that I have worked with and now have a greater understanding of this process and how you can use it to develop a management plan.

High school teacher

Understanding Hearing Loss

Have found the checklists provided in the course materials extremely beneficial. These have also directed and improved my observations of students when assessing language for learning.

Support teacher

My understanding of hearing loss has significantly improved, providing me with knowledge and skills to support inclusive practise in the classroom. I now understand that no two children with hearing loss are the same therefore hearing loss can impact on not only hearing but on learning, communication and social skills. Being equipped with knowledge, intervention strategies and ongoing assessment is critical to me as a teacher.

High school teacher

This is my first time having done an online professional development and it has set the standard quite high for me. I loved the interactive exercises and videos throughout the course.

Primary teacher

To find available courses:

Staff in NSW public schools can:

  • Browse MyPL using the search words Online Training Australia
  • Browse recent editions of SchoolBiz
  • Contact the coordinator in your local school services team
  • Or contact the State Office team listed below
  • If there are a number of staff in your school or your local network of schools who would like to do a specific course, your local coordinator can match you with a trained tutor

Contact NSW Department of Education - Disability, learning and support

Online learning team email:

Name Email Tel Org
Sue Allen 7814 3813 State Office
Jenny Harrison 7814 3813 State Office
Warrick Smith 0447296398 State Office
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