Can I work as an SSO if I am a registered teacher in South Australia?

  • Who is an SSO?
  • What’s the difference between an SSO and a teacher?
  • Can teachers work as SSOs in public schools?
  • Can teachers work as SSOs in private schools?

Who is an SSO?

According to the South Australian Department for Education, anyone who works in a South Australian public school who is not a teacher is considered an SSO. This means that the term SSO covers all of the following:

  • Admin staff
  • Finance staff
  • Student support
  • Tech support
  • Youth workers
  • Social workers
  • Media and advertising staff

If you are employed by a South Australian public school and you are not a teacher, you will be considered an SSO.

What’s the difference between an SSO and a teacher?

SSOs and teachers do very different work. While teachers plan and implement learning programs for their students, an SSO’s job depends on what a school needs and what they are employed to do. If you apply for a teaching job at a school, you can safely assume most of what your job will require. If you are applying for a job as an SSO, you need to make sure that you read the position information document carefully to see what you would need to do. 

SSOs do not supervise an entire class, and most of the time they will not supervise any students without a teacher present. Sometimes, they will take small groups of students outside of class to run a particular program. In this case, an SSO would be the only person supervising this small group. 

How many students you can supervise as an SSO will depend on your classification and your qualifications. In most instances, the SSO will not be planning or organising any specific teaching and learning programs, but may use a pre-set program that has been designed by a teacher or another organisation.

SSOs will find that they are working one-on-one with students more often than teachers are. SSOs are often employed to work with small groups or even individual students while they are in class to clarify instructions and support them in accessing the program that the teacher is delivering.

Can teachers work as SSOs in South Australian public schools?

In South Australian Public schools, the Department for Education employs various different SSOs for a range of different jobs. Whether you can be an SSO as a teacher in a South Australian public school depends on the specific requirements of the position. 

If you are applying for an SSO position in student support, a teaching degree would be greatly beneficial. If you have a teaching degree, you would be seen as qualified for this job. If you were applying for a lab manager position however, a teaching degree may not be enough by itself. 

Many SSO positions are for administration and finance staff. If you are a teacher, you may or may not be qualified for these roles. A South Australian school may be looking for a new member of their finance team and specify in their position information document that they are looking for someone with a qualification in accounting. If you are a teacher who does not have a qualification in accounting, you are unlikely to win this position. 

In order to work as an SSO in South Australia, you will need to be on the Employable Ancillary Register. Once your application to be put on the register has been approved, you will receive an Authority to Work. This Authority to Work document is different to a teacher’s Authority to Teach. If you want to work as an SSO in South Australian public schools, you may also need an Authority to Work.

Can teachers work as SSOs in South Australian private schools?

Working as an SSO in a South Australian private school may be a little different to working in a public school. For starters, you will not need an Authority to Work to work as an SSO in any South Australian private school. 

Private schools in South Australia have a little more freedom about who they employ. This means that while public schools have certain rules and processes that they need to follow, most South Australian private schools can make their own rules and processes, as well as bend these when needed. 

If you want to apply for an SSO position in a South Australian private school, it is completely up to the school to decide whether you are qualified for the job or not. Some may require additional checks or training, or insist on a specific qualification. However, this will depend on the specific school. If you think that you are qualified for an SSO position in a South Australian private school, you might as well apply.

Are you a teacher who has worked as an SSO? How did you find the transition? Let us know in the comments below!

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