There are many people in schools who can help students navigate their way through study and training options and provide advice to parents.
In every public secondary school, school counsellors, teachers, year advisers, careers advisers, the principal and senior teachers are available to assist students and their families. In some schools there are also Aboriginal education officers or community liaison officers.
Students need to really start thinking about their subject choices and identify a number of career options for themselves, or start plotting their future into TAFE, college or university, by Year 10 or earlier.
A range of teachers can help students visualise how the study of a particular subject leads to some exciting and surprising career futures. Most schools have a career and transition team, where a group of teachers with skills, training and commitment provide career and transition advice, guidance and support to students making decisions about continuing on to Year 12 or working out their post-school destination.
Some key people to contact in schools:
Learning support team
This a group of school staff that can provide support to individual students in areas such as student welfare, learning programs, career transition and helping those students who may be at risk of leaving school early. The team can include the school counsellor, school executive members, year adviser, careers adviser, welfare teachers, student learning support officers and teachers involved in curriculum planning. Together with parents and the student, they assist in developing individual learning plans to help students succeed at school.
These are teachers trained as career development specialists, who can guide students on future career, job and study paths.
Career education in schools is about the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes through a planned program, which helps students make informed decisions about their study for work options; and enables effective participation in working life.
Career education programs are part of the school curriculum and are supported by the careers adviser, who usually organises and oversees students' work experience placements.
Students in Years 9 to 12 have access to careers advisers. This can be as a set part of the students' timetable. They can meet with students and their parents or carers to discuss options and can help students choose appropriate subjects for their career pathway, an apprenticeship, traineeship, the HSC and admission into a university degree.
These are teachers who work as members of a school career and transition team. Their role is to facilitate, deliver and coordinate post-school options for students, whether that's into work or further education.
Building trusting relationships with students' families is an important part of the role, so that the school, student and parents form a partnership.
Transition advisers provide extra support to help targeted students re-engage with learning, start thinking about their future, take advantage of other programs in the school and move smoothly through school to training or work. They can also connect students with employers, industry, outside agencies, specialised community support and other opportunities to help students in their transition.
Each high school year has a year adviser, a teacher who looks after the welfare and curriculum needs of students and builds a group ethos. The year adviser is typically the first point of contact by parents wanting information or advice.
The adviser monitors students' progress in their different classes and, where needed, liaises with other teachers in the school on behalf of individual students or for the group.
Moving from primary school to high school is a big step in a child's education and the year adviser is a key person working to smooth that transition.
School counsellors are experienced teachers who have a degree in psychology and postgraduate qualifications in school counselling. They work with students of all ages, and their families, from preschool to Year 12.
Their work includes: counselling students, helping parents and carers make informed decisions about their child's education, assessing students' learning and behaviour, assisting schools to identify and address disabilities that affect students' learning and liaising with other government and non-government agencies concerned with the well-being of students.