Online training for
Special Educational Needs
Main Telephone NumberMain: +44 (0)1273 900053|Training Telephone NumberTraining: +44 (0)1273 900224|Contact your regional support team
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Courses for New South Wales

NSW Department of Education

The online training courses are to support all Department classroom teachers in both primary and high school and other educational personnel in responding to the diverse additional needs of students.

Further information: [email protected] Opens in new window

Download transcript for video (Opens in new window)


Image of booksThe online courses are delivered through a supported training model. This model includes tutor-led sessions for discussions, presentations and sharing of resources as well as self-paced individual study.

Each course runs over a period of 8 - 10 weeks. Participants join a cohort of up to twelve people led by a trained tutor. Teachers in NSW are accredited for their learning through the courses by the Board of Studies,Teaching & Educational Standards (BOSTES), NSW.

What courses are available?

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders / ASD

View course outline

In many classrooms there are students who may:

  • have difficulty communicating and relating to others
  • have behaviours and interests that are restricted and repetitive
  • appear distressed over changes in routine
  • be overly sensitive to some sounds, movements, smells and tastes
  • appear to be unaware or insensitive to the feelings of others

These students may have an autism spectrum disorder and as the term suggests they may have a range of abilities that vary from those with severe intellectual disability through to individuals with exceptional abilities.

Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong developmental disability and students, whatever their level of functioning, may need support and adjustments in the school and classroom environments. This course aims to support teachers in making their classrooms more inclusive for all students by providing an understanding of the impact of this disability. It offers practical and achievable assessment ideas and intervention strategies to address a range of specific, identified needs.

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for courses in your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Understanding and Supporting Behaviour / USB

View course outline

Students who experience behaviour difficulties can struggle to access learning and to feel socially included in school life. The key message of this course is that behaviour is learnt and more appropriate behaviour can be supported in a positive way.

This course provides participants with an understanding of:

  • what is meant by difficult behaviour
  • how teacher practice can influence student behaviour
  • the need to consistently develop students’ understanding of themselves and others
  • the appropriate behaviours and skills that allow inclusion in learning
  • positive classroom management practices that support the learning, behaviour management and inclusion of all students

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Understanding Motor Coordination Difficulties / MCD

View course outline

Motor coordination difficulties can be a complex area:

  • The term ‘hidden disabilities’ is often used as many students may be capable of learning at their stage levels but their motor difficulties can impact on their academic performance
  • Different terminology may be used including developmental coordination disorder or dyspraxia
  • There may be other co-occurring difficulties in addition to fine and gross motor skills such as speech and language difficulties, poor organisational skills, challenging behaviour and social difficulties
  • There are degrees of motor coordination difficulty

A motor coordination difficulty is a lifelong developmental disability. This course aims to support teachers in making their classrooms more inclusive for all students by providing an understanding of the impact of this disability. It offers practical and achievable assessment ideas and intervention strategies to address a range of specific, identified needs.

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Inclusion of Students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs / SLCN

View course outline

In many classrooms there are students who may have difficulties:

  • understanding, following and giving directions
  • using a wide range of appropriate vocabulary
  • expressing needs, ideas and information
  • sequencing and prioritising tasks, negotiating with others and working in groups

Students who have significant difficulties with speech and language can present with a wide range of additional learning needs and problematic behaviours and they will often have difficulties accessing the curriculum due to limited reading, writing and spelling skills.

This course aims to support teachers in making their classrooms more inclusive for all students by providing an understanding of the impact of speech, language and communication needs. It offers practical and achievable assessment ideas and intervention strategies to address a range of specific, identified needs.

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for courses in your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Understanding Dyslexia and Significant Reading Difficulties/ DYS

View course outline

Students who experience dyslexia or other significant difficulties in learning to read may require adjustments and support across all the key learning areas. An understanding of how these difficulties can impact on student learning and what evidence-based strategies are available will assist teachers to make a difference to the learning outcomes of these students.

This course provides participants with an understanding of:

  • the causes, incidence and main characteristics of dyslexia
  • some of the issues surrounding dyslexia and significant reading difficulties
  • how to carry out an individual reading assessment and monitor student progress
  • the importance of a whole school approach to teaching reading and providing additional support
  • a range of practical strategies to teach the critical aspects of reading
  • how to individualise the class reading program
  • how to support learning across the curriculum and use assistive technology effectively

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for courses in your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Understanding Hearing Loss / UHL

View course outline

Students with hearing loss may have difficulties in acquiring language and literacy skills which may impact on their ability to access content across the key learning areas. An understanding of the effect hearing loss can have on student learning is important for all teachers. This course will assist teachers to provide adjusted learning and support to meet the needs of these students and to make a difference to their learning outcomes.

This course provides participants with an understanding of:

  • how the ear works and what we mean by hearing loss
  • the possible effects of a hearing loss on a student’s academic, social and communication skills
  • the range of assessment strategies to assess hearing, listening skills, language skills, the classroom environment and appropriate technology
  • the importance of a whole school approach to supporting all students with hearing loss
  • a range of teaching strategies to support learning across the curriculum and to maintain a positive learning environment

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for courses in your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Understanding Personalised Learning and Support / PL

View course outline

In any group of students there will be a range of diverse learning needs. Personalising learning for all students, including those with disability and additional learning needs, should take into account these individual differences. Personalised learning and support to meet these diverse needs should be reflected in the quality of the learning experience which is offered to each individual student.

This course focuses on:

  • personalising learning and support as it applies to all students, with a focus on those with disability and additional learning needs
  • developing a collaborative, whole-school approach that provides rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs for all students
  • providing assessment processes and teaching and learning activities that are adjusted to meet the specific needs of those students
  • building supportive learning environments that offer a range of effective teaching strategies and adjustments to improve outcomes for all students
  • understanding your responsibilities as a teacher under the Disability Standards for Education (2005)

Check on [email protected] Opens in new window for courses in your local area or contact the local coordinator.

Each course has four main elements:

  • Understanding
  • Assessment
  • Interventions
  • Case studies

The content is presented in a variety of ways to accommodate different learning preferences. All courses include interactions, printable resources, animations and videos.

There a number of quizzes throughout the course, and as a participant you must contribute to forums, goals and interventions as part of the course requirements.

View sample pages from each course by clicking on the sample link in the course information above.

What is the 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.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

High school teacher

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.

School executive

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

Support teacher

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

Understanding and Supporting Behaviour (USB)

High school teacher

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.

Primary 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.

SLSO

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.

High school teacher

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.

Inclusion of Students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

High school teacher

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.

Primary 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.

Understanding Motor Coordination Difficulties (MCD)

School excutive

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.

Primary teacher

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.

Understanding Dyslexia and Significant Difficulties in Reading (DYS)

School excutive

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.

New scheme teacher

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.

Support 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.

High school 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.

Understanding Hearing Loss (UHL)

Support teacher

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.

High school 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.

Primary 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.

Understanding Personalised Learning and Support (PL)

School executive

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.

Primary teacher

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

APLS

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.

Learning and support teacher

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.

Secondary teacher

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

NSW Department of Education: Online Learning team.

[email protected] email facility for whole team or:

Name Role Org Tel Email
Trish Rymer Non-school based DEC staff Online Learning Team DoE 9266 8331 Patricia.Rymer@det.nsw.edu.au
Warrick Smith Non-school based DEC staff Online Learning Team DoE 9266 8033 Warrick.Smith@det.nsw.edu.au
Julie Case Non-school based DEC staff Online Learning Team DoE 9266 8331 julie.case@det.nsw.edu.au
Sue Allen Non-school based DEC staff Online Learning Team DoE 9266 8194 susan.allen11@det.nsw.edu.au
Michelle Hampson Non-school based DEC staff Online Learning Team DoE 92445766 michelle.hampson@det.nsw.edu.au

Staff in NSW public schools can:

  • Browse [email protected] using the search words Online Training Australia
  • Browse recent editions of SchoolBiz
  • Contact the coordinator in your local educational services team
  • Or contact the State Office team listed above
  • If there are a number of staff in you 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