Student services and support programs


The Student Services Team (SST) is a group of professional and para-professional staff who support all students through general social skilling and wellbeing lessons offered to all students in the junior school as well as HRE education as part of the wellbeing program offered to all year levels.  In addition the team offers specialised support to students who could benefit from additional focussed support for social, emotional and behavioural development to assist with learning.

Members of the team also offer individualised support to assist students in a variety of ways with social, emotional, mental health, conflict resolution, resilience, grief and loss, behavioural and general wellbeing support. Support is also offered to all classroom teachers to assist in developing and maintaining a positive learning environment.

A number of the Support Services Staff work part time at the school. 

Student Services 

Head of Department

Andrew Ballin is the head of Student Services at Ayr State High School.  This role involves  leadership and co-ordination of services offered within the student support team and also cross over to focussed support for classroom teachers in dealing with behaviour or academic related issues in the classroom.

Additional aspects of the role include line management of the schools Year Level Co-ordinators to provide support, and also the provision of professional development to school staff particularly in dimensions of behaviour, learning and positive classroom environment as well as Restorative Practices.

The role also involves maintaining contact with external services and supports related to student welfare, alternate or external learning opportunities. A fundamental responsibility is the development and ensuring operation of the Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students including contacting families and carers over behavioural or support issues. 

Guidance Officer (GO)

Rebekah Hebe is currently the Guidance Officer at Ayr State High School.  A Guidance Officer is a diverse role who is available to assist students and staff with high level support for a range of concerns that arise during secondary schooling.  An important dimension of their role is in supporting vocational decision making related to all aspects of career pathways. This includes academic and a variety of other factors which impact on student ability to be successful. Guidance Officers can also assist with crisis counselling when necessary. Other dimensions of the role include key involvement in complex case management and formalised diagnostic assessments.  Appointments to meet with the Guidance Officer can be made directly by students or through the school office. 

Community Education Counsellor (CEC)

The Community Education Counsellor is employed to assist indigenous students to engage with school and to have improved academic and social outcomes.

Ollie Henaway is the CEC at Ayr State High School. Her role includes direct support and contact of indigenous students and their families.  Additional dimensions of this role include her promotion of the "Artie" program (an initiative focussing on closing the gap around indigenous attenance).  Also developing relationships between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the broader school community through parent/carer meetings, supporting students and families in school attendance and support and co-ordination for Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives (EATSIPS).  Appointments can be made through the school office or by contacting the CEC directly. 

School Chaplain

Our School Chaplain is Scott McLean and the key focus of the chaplaincy service is to assists in areas of general wellbeing, welfare and support.  This happens through involvement with the schools social skilling program for all students in Years 7 and 8, through focussed intervention offered through programs like “Tunnel and Light”.  Chappy is also supports students who self-report to Student Support Services in collaboration with the other team members. He is also involved in Chappy’s Brekky Club (with the organiser Mrs Claire Brock), and is involved with training one of the school football teams.  Students are also able to seek support and guidance for spiritual issues from the Chaplain.

School Chaplains are provided through SU (Scripture Union) with funding from the Federal Government, Community support including the local council and fundraising through the local chaplaincy committee as well as the P&C Association.

Behaviour Support Teacher

Behaviour Support Teachers have a complex role in supporting student behaviour. Student behaviour can refer to effective academic learning through to managing problem classroom behaviours.  Mrs Allyce Becke is our Behaviour Support teacher and her role includes support of individual students through formal (IBSP) and informal strategies, support of individual students returning from suspension, groups of students in conflict, classes needing support and assisting teachers through FBA (Functional Behaviour Analysis) to assist them to manage students with challenging behaviours.

School Based Youth Health Nurse (SBYHN)

The School Based Youth Health Nurse is available to talk to students, staff and parents/carers about mental health and wellbeing as well as general lifestyle and health related issues.  Cassandra is our SBYHN and is involved in our student support team at multiple levels.  Cassandra liaises and refers to external support agencies confidentially and independently through Queensland Health, but also supports students’ general mental health by running awareness raising programs. In addition to that, there are also specific intervention programs for girls to support emotional and social development (Shine).  Cassandra augments our school HRE program across all year levels by supporting classroom teachers and teaching specific lessons on HRE related content.

Youth Support Co-ordinator (YSC)

Bernice Zaro is our school Youth Support Co-ordinator. The role of the YSC is focussed intervention for senior (10, 11, 12) students who are at risk of not completing requirement of achieving a QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education) or disengaging from school. The YSC can also provide information, advocacy and referral to short term support services to help students and families in all dimensions related to school engagement. The YSC works with classroom teachers and the Senior Schooling Deputy to track the progress of all senior students and to ensure all appropriate levels of intervention and support are being implemented for each student.

Transitions Pathways Officer (TPO)

Kirsty Sullivan is the TPO attached to Ayr State High School and works with students who are at risk of disengaging from schooling or who are at risk of cancellation from schooling.  She assists students and their families and also liaises with external agencies to assist student to enter alternate pathways such as work or further training.

Special Education Unit (SEU) - Learning Support Services (LSS)

Ms Camilla Robson is the Special Education Program Co-ordinator.  Special Education and Learning Support is for students who have a formal diagnosis of a learning related impairment and also students who have been identified as requiring specialised support or specialised learning environments.  This involves co-ordinating specialised support with the assistance of aides in mainstream classrooms as well as modified curriculum offerings in specialised classrooms.  This service also supports classroom teachers in providing suitable differentiation for the students involved as well as design and development of support plans (ISP, ICP and EAP).

Last reviewed 05 May 2020
Last updated 05 May 2020