School counselling allocation methodology

The allocation of school counselling resources to schools has been guided by a state-wide methodology developed in consultation with stakeholders. Stakeholder consultation feedback and research have informed a consistent methodology for the allocation of school counselling services for all NSW public schools. Stakeholders included representatives from the Secondary Principals Council, Primary Principals Association and PPA SSP reference groups.

The allocation applies to all NSW public schools for a two-year period (2022-23). This maintains continuity of counselling service to schools whilst being responsive to demographic changes.

What principles underpin the methodology?

The methodology for the school counselling services:

  • is informed by current research, feedback from stakeholders and NSW school and student data
  • provides every NSW public school a school counselling allocation that reflects student need.

How is the school counselling resource calculated?

The counselling allocation is based on student enrolment data and on indicators of student need.

What enrolment data has been used?

2021 enrolment data has been used to calculate the school counselling allocation. A notional enrolment for each support class, including those in special schools has been applied. The enrolment data also includes every student enrolled in a departmental preschool.

What are the indicators of student need?

The indicators of student need are students impacted by disability and/or additional learning and support needs, disadvantage and location.

How is the indicator of need for students impacted by disability and additional learning and support needs calculated?

The Student Learning Needs Index (SLNI) has been applied as it is a broad measure of disability and additional learning and support needs. Students in Schools for Specific Purposes were allocated a notional SLNI.

How is the disadvantage factor of need calculated?

The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents, Report on the Second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing indicates there is a strong association between mental disorders and specific socio-demographic factors. Children and adolescents with parents and carers with lower levels of education and higher levels of unemployment had higher rates of mental disorders.

A specific index has been calculated by the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation and applied to reflect this research. This data is collected through the Enrolment Registration Number (ERN) system. This index correlates highly with other measures of disadvantage.

How is the location factor of need calculated?

The location factor measures remoteness using Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA+). ARIA+ is a measure of service accessibility and remoteness derived from road distances between populated localities and service centres. ARIA+ is widely used across Australia and has become recognised as a nationally consistent measure of geographic remoteness.

When will the 2022-2023 school counselling allocation commence?

The 2022-2023 allocations commenced in Term 1, 2022.


  • Student management and wellbeing


  • Mental health
  • Mental health
  • Mental health

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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