'In need of additional support' procedures

A preservice teacher "in need of additional support" is a student who is identified as experiencing difficulty in his or her progress toward achieving competence in teaching practice or written work. In all programs, a preservice teacher's competence is measured against the criteria described in the appropriate Professional Experience Report Form and Evidence Guide. For preservice teachers in primary and secondary programs, including BEd (Sec:AbStud), these criteria are aligned with Australian Professional Teaching Standards for the Graduate Teacher.


Identification of preservice teachers in need of additional support

Identification will generally be made in the first instance by the supervising teacher in consultation with the tertiary mentor but may arise directly from the work of the tertiary mentor.

Early discussion with the Director of Professional Experience is expected if a preservice teacher appears likely to encounter difficulties meeting the required outcomes for the placement.

Identification should preferably be made within the first two weeks of the Professional Experience – or the first half of a placement period, whichever is shorter – never in the concluding stages when the preservice teacher is about to be graded F in the final report. The purpose of early identification is to determine areas of concern, communicate these clearly to all parties and commence a process of guidance and support that is appropriate to the preservice teacher’s development.

Once a preservice teacher has been identified as being in need of additional support, the person who made the decision (either the tertiary mentor or supervising teacher) must file the relevant "Need for additional support notification" – early-childhood programs (editable pdf, 458kB) or all other programs (editable pdf, 84kB) – with the Office of Professional Experience.


Requirements of the tertiary mentor and/or supervising teacher/s

A tertiary mentor or supervising teacher who notifies the Office of Professional Experiences that a preservice teacher under their supervision needs additional support must:

  • inform the preservice teacher that s/he has been judged to be in need of additional support and discuss the process of notification and its implications. Involving the preservice teacher at this stage aims to deepen their understanding of the concerns raised; what response is required from them; and what additional support may be requested and provided.

  • discuss the areas of concern with the preservice teacher and the supervising teacher or tertiary mentor and, with them, develop and document a set of expectations for each area, with clear indications of processes to be followed for the remaining period of the placement. This should be outlined on page 2 of the notification (the section entitled "Plan for support").

  • submit the notification to the OPE after it has been signed by all parties.

  • keep the Director of Professional Experience and/or the OPE informed of the process, including discussion of final grade to be awarded for each area of concern, as well as the overall grade.


After formal notification

If appropriate, a second tertiary mentor and/or the Director of Professional Experience may be called upon to attend the Professional Experience setting. The supervising teacher/s and preservice teacher should be informed if an additional visit is to be made to the school/early-childhood centre.

Preservice teachers receive the original copy of the final reports of the Professional Experience and a photocopy is sent to the OPE (along with other relevant documents). Professional Experience Reports should be written by the supervising teacher/s before the last day of the placement, so that the preservice teacher has adequate time to read, comment and sign the documentation.

Determination of final grade for the Professional Experience as F or R must take account of any development in areas of practice that occurs with support. If areas remain U/ND to the level expected of the preservice teacher's professional stage, a grade of F needs to be awarded.