Student Support Services
Student Support Service are a team of health professionals who work together to help students. They focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable students or students who need special care.
The team can include:
- speech pathologists
- social workers.
A Student Support Service team may travel between different schools within an area.
Read more about Student Support school policy.
Nurses in Victorian schools
Nurses in primary schools
Nurses regularly visit primary schools to:
- give health checks and advice
- put families in touch with community health services
- look out for students who may have health related learning difficulties.
This service is free and called the Primary School Nursing program.
If your child is in prep, they'll be offered a health assessment. Your school will send you a consent form and health questionnaire. The questionnaire helps the nurse look for any health issues. If the nurse has concerns, they will contact you to talk about options to help your child.
The school will also give you information on how your child's health information will be used and protected under privacy law.
If you have concerns about your child's health at any time, you can ask your school to have a nurse see your child.
Nurses in secondary schools
About two thirds of Victorian government schools have a nurse on staff. Nurses usually work between two schools.
Secondary school nurses focus on:
- reducing risk taking behaviour. This includes drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, eating disorders, depression and suicide.
- connecting the school community with local health services
- primary care, such as health checks, consultations, and referrals to other services.
Read more about the Victorian School Nursing school policy.
Doctors in secondary schools
This is a program where general practitioner doctors visit some secondary schools up to one day each week.
All students can book an appointment. The doctor will decide if the student is mature enough to consent to medical treatment and go to the appointment alone.
You can come to the appointment if your child consents, and we encourage you to do this.
The same privacy laws apply as if your child went to a doctor's practice. The doctor cannot provide you with information about the session unless your child consents, or it's required by law.
If your school is in the program, they will give you more information at the beginning of the school year.
Find out which schools are participating in this program, refer to Doctors in secondary program.
Student welfare coordinators
Student Welfare Coordinators are in secondary schools. They help students with issues like:
- drug use
- family conflict
They also work with other welfare professionals and agencies to help students.
If you have concerns about your child's behaviour or learning, contact your school.
Primary welfare officers
The officers work in primary schools to:
- build a positive school culture
- help students who are at risk of disengaging from school.
These officers work on improvements that apply to the whole school community. This can include working with students, parents, staff and community organisations.
Read more about the primary welfare initiative.
Chaplains help students with emotional wellbeing through pastoral care. This is usually based on religious faith.
Schools choose if they have a chaplain as part of their staff. Contact your school for more information.
Read more about the school policy.
Mental health practitioners
Every Victorian government secondary school campus will be funded to employ a suitably qualified mental health practitioner by the end of 2021.
Mental health practitioners are school-based roles who work flexibly, based on the needs and priorities of their school and students.
The mental health practitioner role provides an additional resource to the school's existing wellbeing team and includes:
- contributing to whole-school approaches to mental health prevention and promotion
- provision of direct counselling support to students and other early intervention services
- coordination of supports for students with more complex needs.
Mental health practitioners provide short term intervention for students with mild to moderate mental health needs and liaise with the relevant internal and external services where students need more intensive support. Informed consent is sought before commencing intervention services.
Read more about Mental health practitioners in secondary .
Reviewed 27 January 2022