1 year full time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning
Start date:
5 February 2024
Study off-campus:
Available for Industry.
Contact VU Polytechnic for more information
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Gain the skills and confidence to provide school-based support to students with diverse needs with a Certificate IV in School Based Education Support CHC40221 at Victoria University (VU).

Become a vital supporter of students with additional needs, including those with disabilities and neurodiversity. You’ll also be able to support students of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

Develop the essential skills and confidence to work collaboratively with teachers in primary and secondary schools to improve outcomes for students in need. With this school support course, you’ll be ready to begin the rewarding work of:

  • developing trusting and supportive relationships with individual students and their families
  • providing students with the tools and support to help them thrive at school
  • communicating effectively about students’ progress.

You’ll practise your skills during your 120 hours of practical work placements, in addition to studying essential topics such as:

  • child development
  • supporting students’ literacy and numeracy learning
  • assisting students with disabilities
  • supporting students with autism spectrum disorder
  • encouraging understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander safety
  • first aid training
  • supporting students who are at risk.

By studying at VU, you’ll get the unique opportunity to get job-ready in line with industry recommendations, with 120 hours of work placements – 20 hours more than the 100 hours offered elsewhere.

Rather than completing your placements as short intensives, you’ll work in a school one day per week. This means you can take the skills you learn in class and start using them straight away, building your confidence and expertise. 

As a VU student, you’ll take advantage of our extensive network of schools and community and government organisations, particularly in Melbourne’s north and west. Our students are known for being capable in the workplace – and placements can lead to employment.

Benefit from VU’s close links to the real world, learning the latest industry-standard skills and knowledge from teachers who have valuable industry contacts.

You’ll also develop links with industry and professional experience through guest speaker presentations and scenario-based learning and assessments.

Fit study into your life while enjoying the support of your teachers and classmates through our supported workplace learning model.  

In a blended approach, your classes will be a mix of online self-paced, face-to-face classes and one online real-time class per week. 

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced Victoria University Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

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TAFE resources

Careers in education

With this course, you’ll open the door to career opportunities including:

  • education support officer
  • education access worker
  • learning support officer
  • support worker (working with children with disabilities)
  • teacher aide
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander education worker
  • Indigenous language and culture teaching assistant
  • integration aid.

Course structure

The course structure comprises the following core and elective units. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback.

To be awarded CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support, a student must successfully complete a total of seventeen (17) units of competency, comprising of:

  • Thirteen (13) core units, and;
  • Four (4) elective units, of which:
  • at least Two (2) units must be selected from the electives listed in the CHC40221 Certificate IV in School Based Education Support qualification, and;
  • up to Two (2) units may be selected from any endorsed training package or accredited course relevant to the work outcome.

VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).

Core units

Elective units

Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Credit Transfers:

Previous completion of units at the VU Polytechnic or any other Registered Training Organisation and/or previous attainment of skills and knowledge may be credited towards this course. Units must satisfy the completion rules of the qualification and be assessed as appropriate by the Polytechnic.

This qualification supports employment as an Education Support Officer whose role is to assist teachers and support student learning in a range of classroom settings in primary or secondary schools, as defined by State/Territory legislation. Learners who successfully complete this qualification are guaranteed a place in the Diploma of Education Studies as a further study pathway.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type for this course: VET

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full fee-paying place.

Students who enrol in a:

  • government subsidised place pay subsidised tuition fees (the government contributes the rest), and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee along with any material fees
  • full fee-paying place pay the full fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

Calculate your VET course fees.

Find out more about:

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

As part of the application process, applicants must:
- complete a Pre-training Review (PTR)
- undertake a literacy and numeracy assessment to determine suitability for admission
- be aged 18 years of age at the time of course commencement.
Practical Placement
For employment and practical placement purposes, this vocational sector typically requires:
- a current and satisfactory Police Record Check; and
- a current Working with Children Check.
If required by the placement host/school, students may need to provide evidence of immunisations.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed any of the following course(s), you will be guaranteed a place in this course. In some cases you may receive credit for your previous study, reducing the time it takes to complete your course.

Diploma of Education Studies

Melbourne City Institute of Education, Australia

You will be guaranteed entry only.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degree and in some cases receive credit for your study:

You will be guaranteed entry only.

Find out more about our study pathways to VU

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

Available start dates:

  • 5 February 2024

Before you apply

Before starting your application, please read through the step-by-step VU Polytechnic application process to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information ready to successfully complete your application.

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

Apply direct to VU

Apply direct to VU using our admission centre, submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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Contact VU Polytechnic

Please note that if changes to this course occur, VU will notify students as soon as possible.

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.