Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do organisations and principals get a username and password?

User names and passwords are generated for each user account when it is created within the system.

  1. Organisations

  2. When an organisation registers on the Links to Learning website, the system sends an email to the nominated person. This email provides their username and digital signature.

  3. Schools

  4. School principal and in school coordinator accounts are created when their school is added to a project by the organisations key contact. An email is forwarded from the system with their username, password and digital signature.

    DEC users please note: The Links to Learning website does not use your DEC portal credentials and is not synchronised with your DEC account as the Links to Learning website is an externally hosted system allowing access to DEC staff, NGOs and contractors.


2. I have forgotten my password to log into the Links to Learning website?

  1. Click on the Login button
  2. Type in your email address
  3. Click the button Forgot password
  4. You will receive an email from youthassist@det.nsw.edu.au within 5 minutes with your new password. You will then be able to log in to the website.

When an organisation registers on the Links to Learning website, the system sends an email to the nominated person. This email provides their username and digital signature.

Organisation project coordinators and project managers accounts are created when they are added to a project via the service delivery plan. An email is forwarded from the system with their username, password and digital signature.

If you have tried all these options with no success call 1800 009 129 or at email youthassist@det.nsw.edu.au


3. How and when is the username and password used?

The username and password is used for the principal to endorse the service delivery plan.

  1. Login to the website. This will take you to the dashboard.
  2. Under Projects, click on the relevant Service Delivery Plan and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  3. Click on the green Endorse button.

4. The organisation that my school is working with has told me that they have entered my name and email address on the website but I haven’t received an email yet. What should I do?

Check that the organisation has entered your name and email address correctly (spelling etc). If this isn't the problem, it could be related to the email address that sends your digital signature. The email will come from YouthAssist which is the email address for the Links to Learning Program.

Outlook may not recognise the YouthAssist email address, so check the Junk email box on Outlook and also check that you haven't deleted the email.


5. How can I access the student referral form and enter student information?

The project/s that your school is participating in are listed on your dashboard.

  1. Click on Add/View Students
  2. For a NEW student, click on the blue Add Student Referral and complete form online.
  3. For an existing student, clicking on the blue edit button next to a student’s name, brings up the individual student referral form which can then be edited/updated.
  4. More detailed instructions can be found in the Schools User Guide.

Please note: The student referral form (the student record) cannot be deleted once all mandatory fields in the student referral form have been successfully saved.

Student records can only be deleted before they are accepted or rejected by an organisation in order to maintain an activity record for each student.


6. How do I enter the date of birth and age for a student?

The student's birth date and age are both mandatory fields but the age is calculated automatically once the date field has been completed.

  1. Clicking on the date of birth field, automatically pops up a calendar.
  2. Either type the birth year in or use the arrows on the top of the calendar to navigate.
  3. Navigate to the year and month the student was born then select the student’s day of birth.
  4. Once the date of birth has been entered, the system will automatically calculate the student's age.

7. How do I know if the student referral has been accepted or rejected by the organisation?

  1. On your dashboard, click on Add/View Students
  2. The status of the student is recorded under the last column Status. Status is recorded as one of the following:

Accepted; rejected; additional information required; pending


8. I am the principal of a participating school; how do I endorse the 2018 service delivery plan?

  1. Log into your dashboard using your username (DoE email address) and your password.
  2. The projects that your school is participating in are listed on your dashboard
  3. Go to the heading – service delivery plan
  4. Read the plan, especially if the organisation has made any modifications. Modifications should only be minor.
  5. If you are unsure of the content of the 2018 service delivery plan, click on the link to the original service delivery plan which is located above the 2018 student information section
  6. To endorse the 2018 service delivery plan, click on the green endorse button located at the bottom of the page.

9. I am an organisation. Can I accept a student referral at the beginning of the school year even though the student won't be attending the project until later in the year? Should I simply reject the referral?

Yes, you can accept the referral. By accepting the referral this means that the student meets the criteria to access a links to learning project.

It is not appropriate to reject a student referral in this instance. Rejecting a student referral means that the student is not suitable to attend the project, and should only be used for this purpose.

If an organisation is delivering a project in discrete 10 week blocks (for example) and the student won't be attending until the second 10-week block, or an organisation is running a yearlong project where students can enter, leave and re-enter as needed; the organisation adds the student to the session when the student commences engagement with the project.


10. I have uploaded the wrong document onto the links to learning website – can I delete the file?

Yes, you can delete an uploaded file.

  1. On your dashboard click on the Documents folder.
  2. Next to each file that you have uploaded is a red bin icon. To delete a file, click on the red button. The file will be deleted immediately.

Print icon


11. Can a school delete a student from a project if they were referred to a project but later changed their mind and no longer want to attend the project?

Yes, as long as the student’s referral has not been accepted or rejected by the organisation.

  1. To delete a student in this circumstance, go to the Projects area of your dashboard.
  2. Click on Add/View Students.
  3. On the row at the end of each student, there is a small red bin button. To delete the student’s file, click on the red button.

12. As an organisation can I delete a student from a project if the student's referral has been accepted but the student has wither indicated that they no longer want to attend the program or they have been referred to the wrong project by the school – they did not attend any session?

Organisations cannot delete students.


13. I have uploaded a file to the links to learning dashboard but when the Links to Learning team try to open the file it won't open properly – what have I done?

Before you upload any file onto the Links to Learning website you need to make sure that the file has been saved with a valid file name. If you have saved a file on your computer with any illegal characters or symbols in the title, for example % or $ or # or @ or & the file cannot be opened. The file comes up as an error and is useless.

If this has happened to you, delete the file with the incorrect file name from the website and re–save the file on your desktop with an appropriate name and then upload the file to the website.


14. What is the target group for Links to Learning projects?

Students in Years 7 to 11 identified as at risk of disengaging from their education. Projects are run collaboratively with Department of Education and Communities secondary and central schools to actively strengthen retention and transition strategies in schools.

Students in Year 6 identified as at risk of disengaging from their education, with a focus on transition from Year 6 to Year 7.

OR

Students in Year 6 identified as at risk of disengaging from their education, with a focus on transition from Year 6 to Year 7.


15. Why can't projects target early leavers or a combination of students at risk who are still at school and early leavers?

The increase in the school leaving age in NSW from January 2010 has meant that young people, who would have previously left school at 15 (and were the early school leavers), are now still at school until they are 17.

The Department of Education and Communities funds are targeted to students in government schools of compulsory school age.


16. What is the Local Advisory Group?

The establishment of a Local Advisory Group is a requirement of the 2017-2019 funding application process. The Links to Learning Advisory Group membership will include:

  1. principal(s) and/or the principal’s nominee from each participating school(s)
  2. not for profit community based organisations and/or local government authorities
  3. other agencies, groups or individuals as agreed by participating schools and the Providers representative/s and project coordinator for the Links to Learning project.

The Local Advisory Group is not an alternative governance process for not for profit, community based organisations and local government authorities. It will operate alongside funded organisations existing governance processes and provide strategic direction and leadership for Links to Learning projects.


17. Can Principals delegate their involvement in the Local Advisory Group to another staff member?

The first point of contact from an organisation with a school will as a courtesy, typically be to the Principal. Following this contact, the Principal will determine how involvement in the Links to Learning project, including the Local Advisory Group is best managed locally by their school.

Ideally principals should attend the Local Advisory Group if at all possible. However, Principals may nominate another senior staff member who will represent their school and make decisions on their behalf at Local Advisory Group meetings, as appropriate.


18. If all the money goes to an organisation, how will the organisation pay the costs associated with school liaison?

Depending on the decision of the Local Advisory Group in relation to school management, the participating schools may request that these funds are deposited into a school, especially if the decision is to allocate teacher or admin relief days to a number of schools.


19. Can the allocation for school coordination and liaison be used to employ school learning support officers (SLSOs) or other staff to work with students accessing a Links to Learning project?

No, the Department has specifically identified a component of the total project costs for school management. This has been done to ensure that all schools involved in a links to learning project have in place appropriate support to coordinate the project across one or more schools. This coordination and liaison does not include support in the classroom for students. The funds may be used to release the SAM or other admin staff to assist with the data entry related to the student referral form.


20. The Guidelines state, that The duty of care owed to students cannot be delegated from the school to parents, caregivers, volunteers or individuals associated with external organisations including those organisations funded to provide Links to Learning Projects for students at risk.

Does this mean that a teacher must attend the links to learning project with the students, and if so who funds this?

Duty of care cannot be delegated; however this does not mean that a teacher (or other staff member) from a school must always attend a links to learning project.

The principal of each school needs to ensure that full risk assessments are undertaken and appropriate management strategies are in place to ensure that students are safe. A potential outcome of the risk assessment process may include the attendance of a teacher (or other staff member) at the links to learning project at certain times for certain activities. It would be unusual for a school to determine that a teacher needs to be in attendance at all times for all activities.

Examples of how schools and organisations can work together to meet the school's duty of care is provided in the Links to Learning Guidelines. In addition, the section on risk management of the guidelines also provides information about identification of hazards, assessments of risks, consultation with participating schools and the implementation of appropriate control measures to ensure the safety of staff and students involved in Links to Learning projects.

In some situations, especially with younger students, the school may prefer that a staff member attend the project with students especially if the project is located off the school site. This however is not an obligation unless the safety of students cannot be addressed by other means. How this is funded is for negotiation between the school and the organisation.


21. The service delivery plan has a section that says – Please list the credential/s that students will achieve as part of the Links to Learning Project. Does this mean I have to deliver formal qualifications?

  1. Organisations will be required to complete a statutory declaration indicating that they have met their working with children check requirements as an employer under the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 regarding my employees (paid and volunteer) who will have direct contact with students as part of one or more projects funded by the Links to Learning Community Grants Program
  2. Organisations will be required to complete a new Links to Learning working with children check template providing relevant details of all employees (paid and unpaid) who will have direct contact with students as part of one or more projects funded by the Links to Learning Community Grants Program.
  3. The statutory declaration and the template are to be uploaded onto the organisations dashboard and shared with the principals of the participating schools. The template is to be updated as required.

Note: A sample statutory declaration and the new Links to Learning working with children check template is available in the other documents section of the organisations dashboard.


22. Can schools deliver the links to learning project on behalf of a funded organisation?

Neither schools nor TAFE NSW are eligible to apply for funding. This means that a funded organisation cannot delegate their responsibilities as set out in the Links to Learning Funding Agreement and the Links to Learning Community Grants Program Guidelines to a school or TAFE NSW.

A funded organisation cannot just hold the Links to Learning Community Grants Program funds provided to them by the Department of Education and then outsource all the components of the project to another organisation including schools or TAFE NSW. This is a breach of the Funding Agreement.


23. I am a teacher who has been asked by a funded organisation to deliver some components of a links to learning project to students in a school where I am sometimes employed as a casual to teach classes of students. What is the most appropriate way for me to be paid?

It is important that you have appropriate arrangements in place if working as a casual for different organisations. If you are not an employee of the funded organisation and you will be undertaking work on their behalf (not as a volunteer) you are classified as a contractor. As a contractor it is recommended that you apply for an ABN to meet GST and taxation requirements when you invoice the organisation for the hours that you work. Further information about applying for an ABN can be accessed at the ABN registration website.