School counselling

School counselling staff assist students of all ages by providing a psychological counselling, assessment and intervention service.

They work collaboratively with principals, teachers, learning and support teams, parents and carers, and other agencies to support learning and wellbeing outcomes for students.

School counselling staff provide counselling using evidence-based interventions with students individually and in groups. They also undertake cognitive, emotional and behavioural assessments to contribute to the development of appropriate school-based support for students.

Since 2016, an additional 291 school counselling positions have been established across NSW public schools, increasing the total to 1,081 positions. This new initiative will further expand the school counselling service by up to 100 positions.

Priority for the additional counselling positions for the first phase in 2020/2021 includes high schools with student enrolments above 800, residential schools, and locations receiving a scholarship graduate. These schools will be advised of their increased allocation by the end of Term 4, 2019.

A range of strategies to fill school counselling positions are in place including an ongoing centralised recruitment campaign, expanded sponsorships for teachers to retrain as a school counsellor and scholarships for psychology graduates.

Training pathways for the school counselling service

Scholarships are available for teachers to retrain as school counsellors and for psychology graduates to train as school psychologists.

Further information is available through the links below:

School counsellor sponsorship programs for teachers: school counsellor sponsorship page on the teach.nsw website.

Rural scholarship program, Charles Sturt University: Rural scholarship information pack on the Careers Page

Master of Professional Psychology, University of Wollongong: Graduate scholarship information pack on the Careers website.

Fly-in/fly-out and telepsychology services

The Department is developing a new service to support students in rural and remote NSW public schools.

This new service will consist of experienced school counselling staff who will be able to travel to parts of rural and remote NSW and provide face to face and telepsychology services.

The service will be phased in from the 2020/2021 financial year.

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