What are Learning Support Coordinators (LSCs)?
LSCs work across schools and are dedicated to ensuring that the learning needs of all students are being met ranging from students with disabilities, neurodiversity, and behavioural issues to gifted students.
What is the Learning Support Delivery Model (LSDM)?
This is the Ministry’s initiative which established the Learning Support Coordinator (LSCs) role. It was focused to address the dire need many school communities were facing in terms of providing tailored support to all students with varying degrees of learning levels.
It’s also focused on involving family and whānau in the process, so that they are more informed and engaged about their child’s learning progress.
LSCs are key to the implementation of the LSDM and interlink with the six elements which are at the heart of the LSDM:
- Family and whānau connection points
- One plan
- Working together
- More flexibility
- Better facilitation
- Sharing data
Do LSCs have to be registered teachers?
Yes. LSCs must be registered teachers with a current practicing certificate, since their roles entail working alongside other teachers and kaiako to support the learning needs of all students.
Although, LSCs are not included in the Collective Agreements these roles are specifically for registered teachers.
Are LSCs an add-on to existing classroom teaching roles or management responsibilities?
No. LSCs are full time permanent teachers in dedicated roles that can work across several different schools or within one big school depending on what the cluster/Kāhui Ako decide for the allocations.
Who will make decisions about how the LSCs will be allocated to best meet the needs of the local community?
The intent of the LSDM and LSCs is to get Boards and Principals to engage and collaborate proactively to identify the learning needs of students across their cluster and community. This is because the cluster have a better understanding of their environment and are better equipped to make the allocations.
How are LSC roles funded and what are the additional resources provided for these roles?
The funding for LSC roles is in addition to schools' current funding and staffing allocations. LSCs do not come with any attached funding to support programmes or interventions, or an increase in the Special Education Grant.
LSCs should also receive normal allowances that might be applicable to base scale teachers at the employing school, such as the high priority teacher supply allowance and the isolation allowance.
A travel and networking grant will be paid to employing Boards once LSCs take up their roles.
The base grant is $500 for each LSC FTTE and the travel grant is either $1,500 or $4,000 per LSC FTTE. Employing boards will be notified of the level of their travel grant in the next month or so, and the rate is dependent on the characteristics of the cluster.
How do employing boards manage complaints from dissatisfied parents?
Boards will follow the Concerns and Complaints Policy that are already in place within their schools and are expected to deal with complaints regarding LSCs using that process.
Why is the resourcing for LSCs generated separate from the staffing entitlement?
LSCs are intended to be a permanent and separate fully funded roles to ensure they are focused on their role and not pulled into teaching or other responsibilities.
LSCs aren't expected to be specialist teachers, and their remuneration will be determined on the salary scale as per the relevant Collective Agreement they are employed under.
Can a school keep their LSC allocation If they withdraw from a cluster/Kāhui Ako
A school can withdraw from a Kāhui Ako and still want to work in the cluster that's operating the LSDM to retain their LSC allocation. It's only If they do not want to operate as part of the LSDM that the school should return their allocation.
Who employ LSCs and does the Ministry provide employment advice?
LSCs are appointed by school Boards of Trustees. NZSTA provides employment advice to Boards of Trustees, therefore any advice regarding employment matters should be referred to us in the first instance.
Please contact the Advisory Support Centre on 0800 782 435 option 2 for employment advice.
Can an LSC role be divided up?
No. The intention of these roles is to be permanent full-time positions. If they became part-time it would take away from their role and hinder their ability to collaborate effectively with other LSCs in their cluster.
Will the LSC roles attract any salary units?
The LSC role is a dedicated role which has no teacher or other responsibilities. However, a school may grant an LSC with a salary unit if they wish to.
Can a person on a LAT apply for the LSC role?
No. These roles are permanent full-time positions and applicants who hold a LAT are not eligible to fill these positions according to the Teaching Council.
Can an LSC be part of the leadership team?
Feedback on the LSC job description stated that the LSC should hold a role where they only inform or influence the work of the leadership team. However, LSCs can be part of the leadership team if the school wants them to be.
How will the LSC be accommodated?
Each full-time LSC is allocated 15m2 as their non-teaching LSC space. This will hold the LSC’s office as well as allow them to meet with students, staff and whānau privately. Funding for furniture and equipment will also be available for each FTTE LSC.
Clusters will work with the Ministry to establish where the LSC/s will be placed if they are to work across more than one school within their cluster.
What qualifications will LSCs have?
LSCs will be registered teachers and hold a current practising certificate, but do not need to hold any other specific qualifications.
However, beginning teachers would not be eligible for this role as it is one which requires an experienced teacher with relevant experience.
How will an LSC's practising certificate be maintained?
The Ministry has confirmed with the Teaching Council that they will work alongside them to ensure that LSCs can maintain their practising certificate. The process for how this will work is yet to be confirmed.
What if a school can't recruit an LSC in 2020?
Some of the larger schools can defer the recruitment of some of their LSC allocation, meaning they could share their allocation with other schools in their cluster or Kāhui Ako.
What’s the difference between LSCs and SENCOs?
SENCOs are generally funded from most schools existing funding and often hold a variety of other roles and responsibilities within their school. The LSC roles are a fully funded, non-teaching role working in a school and possibly many smaller schools within a cluster.
How will LSCs and SENCOs work together?
LSCs will not be replacing SENCOs since they are established by the school Boards of Trustees. Schools can still retain these SENCO roles in addition to having the LSC roles.
Why doesn't the Ministry direct funding to support current SENCO roles?
The LSC roles were created with new funding made available from Budget 2019, and were specifically allocated to these roles. The SENCO roles were established by schools and within their own resourcing, which is why it is separate.
How will LSCs and RTLBs work together?
RTLBS provide specialist support, whereas LSCs do not. However, there is an expectation that these two roles will work complementary to each other. RTLBs can support LSCs in developing and Identifying plans for the learning support needs in their school and cluster.
LSCs and RTLBs will need to work in partnership with early learning services, schools, providers and communities to strengthen the capability of adults around a learner and provide support to learners and their family or whānau.