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.

Dedicated face to face and telepsychology service for students in rural and remote NSW public schools


The Department is developing a new service to support students in rural and remote NSW public schools. This service will be phased in from 2021.

This new service has been co-designed by stakeholders, including parent representatives, and 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.

Telepsychology is an exciting feature of this service, and one that will allow greater opportunity for students to access additional support quickly.

The service will work alongside other school-based services, such as local school counselling services, broader educational services and local health and agency providers. It will also offer direct student support, assistance to schools impacted by emergencies and professional learning for staff and school communities. Schools will be able to access the service through a referral system.

There will be more information coming about the new service.

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