Our guide to some of the people in and out of school who can support you with your learning and make sure your rights are protected and respected.

If you’re having a hard time returning to school, someone on this list may be able to help support you. It can also help you work out exactly what staff do, especially if you’re unsure about what their job title means.

Remember that there are other people who aren’t on this list but might be able to help. The Get Help section of Reach has more ideas of people you could contact.

People in school who can help:

  1. Pupil Support Assistant. Gives you extra help in class or with other things, like getting around the school.
  2. Guidance teacher. Can support you with things like planning your learning. They are also there to talk to about any problems or worries. They can also help you get ready to leave school.
  3. Support for learning teacher. Helps you with your learning so that you do the best you can in school. Also helps to plan any extra support you need.

People who might visit your school to give you some support:

  1. Access officer. Helps make sure you can take part in all school activities. This could be by making some changes to the school building or how you learn in the classroom, or by giving you information in a way that works best you – like braille, audio or large print.
  2. Careers adviser. Helps you think about what you could do when you leave school. Can give you advice and information about all your choices. If you don’t have a careers adviser at your school, ask your guidance teacher for help.
  3. Educational psychologist. Works with your teachers to decide what you need to help you learn. May be involved in making decisions about your support and whether you need a co-ordinated support plan (CSP).
  4. Education welfare officer (also called a home-school link worker). Can help if you are away from school for a long time or not at school often. For example, because you are worried about school, or you care for someone at home, or are from a Travelling community.

People out of school who can support you:

  1. Advocacy worker. Helps you to share your views. They can support you at meetings about your learning, helping you work out what you want to say and speaking for you if you want them to.
  2. Children’s rights officer. Gives you advice about your rights and helps you have your say at meetings.
  3. Counsellor. Someone to talk to if you feel upset, worried or unhappy, or are finding it hard to cope with life. They help you to understand your feelings and find ways to cope.
  4. Mediator. Someone who helps with difficult conversations or disagreements by getting both sides together and helping people agree on a way forward. A mediator does not take sides.
  5. Social worker. Can help you with difficulties at home and support you if you are care-experienced. They might be involved in deciding what extra help you need at school.
  6. Support worker. Can help you with day-to-day things like managing money, going shopping or getting ready for school in the mornings. Can help you at home or at respite breaks.