The Student Support Team
Originally published on Oct 4 2017, updated Nov 11 2020
Schools today have students with complex needs and are required to make sure that student is getting all the support they need. They focus on learning difficulties in classroom and work towards solving them. This includes quality education and support that ensures students are able to succeed academically. Schools must make sure that there are enough support resources to cater for the needs of students. This is where The Student Support team comes in.
What is a student support team?
A student support team is a multidisciplinary team of specialists who can provide support to students and the teacher. The idea is not new. In fact, the support team builds on existing student services to ensure the school responds effectively to student needs. As a trainer, you should acquire the Level 3 Award in Education and Training to become a qualified tutor and cater to the student needs professionally.
What are the goals of the student support team?
The student support team has the following goals:
- Make sure teachers are making learning more effective
- Help Students gain competencies in all aspects, achieve standards and become independent learners for life.
- Create a collaborative culture among staff and students.
What are the tasks assigned to the support team?
The primary function of the student support team is routine, structured problem-solving in conjunction with teachers requesting help, and solving the problems faced by the students. Teams work effectively with other teachers and staff members, analyse student problems, and design interventions powerful enough to affect the desired change. The functions and services the teams provide vary with the needs of the student.
How can the support team help students?
The primary job of the student support team is to enable and help teachers, parents, and students with the ability to address concerns that have the potential to impact the student’s ability to be successful. The student support team makes sure that learners are getting unique learning experiencing which suits their needs, rather than school following the model of “one size fits all.” This is done by collaboration between caregivers and teachers who act as crucial partners for assuring student’s success.
Along with making sure that collaboration between teachers and caretakers is successful, the student support team also helps teachers in assessing unique needs such as related learning, behavioural issues, communication and intellectual needs early to avoid escalation of difficulties or struggles for both the student and teachers in the school. This way student needs are addressed at the earliest. The job of the student support team can be broken down in six basic steps which focus on individual student needs and ensure that student is getting what they require.
These steps are as follows:
Before the first meeting happens and during it, team members from the student support team gather as much relevant information as possible relating to the student’s needs in the past and present relating to educational and/or behavioural performance. Information is gathered from multiple sources including parents, school records, and other reliable records.
Evaluation of the data
The student support team then meets and discusses to interpret the information gathered. At this point, the student support team can decide if more information is needed or not. if it is required, then further efforts are made by the team to gather sufficient enough information before proceeding towards the next step.
Development of Educational Plan
Once the evaluation is completed for the gathered information, the student support team then gets busy with developing an educational plan which is specific to the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Before any strategies and techniques are implemented they are thoroughly brainstormed and agreed upon by all those involved in the implementation process. A timeline for follow-up and evaluation of progress is established.
Implementation of Educational Plan
After all the team members have agreed upon the strategies that will be used, the student support team begins implementation. At this point the if the student support team feels any additional data is needed, then further information is gathered.
Evaluation of Progress
Implementation is not the end of a job for the student support team. It is important that an evaluation is conducted for their progress. If after the evaluation any changes are needed then the required changes must be made to the educational plan.
Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation
The job of the student team is a continuous process. The members of the team continuously need to make changes according to the demand of the situation by evaluating their processes and plans.