Hon Elizabeth Constable MA(Syd) DipEd(UNE) MEd(Harvard) PhD(UWA) MLA

Hon Elizabeth Constable MA(Syd) DipEd(UNE) MEd(Harvard) PhD(UWA) MLA

Former Minister for Education

    New school psychologists target reached early

    3/05/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • 60 additional school psychologists working to help students across WA
    • Incentives on offer to encourage school psychologists to work in the country

    The State Government has achieved its target of providing 60 additional school psychologists by the end of this year.

     

    Education Minister Liz Constable said the three-year roll-out of the additional positions had been very successful, with the target of attracting 60 high calibre school psychologists with skills to provide vital support to students and schools reached early. Ten of these new professionals specialised in behaviour management.

     

    “By fulfilling this commitment, and indeed surpassing the promised 60 additional school psychologists, the Government is ensuring that students in every public school in Western Australia have access to vital social, emotional, behavioural and learning support,” Dr Constable said.

     

    “School psychologists play a significant role in providing practical support for students and teachers on a range of issues from learning difficulties, behaviour management, bullying and traumatic events.

     

    “They can make an important difference to the lives of individual students, groups and whole school communities.” 

     

    The Minister said the Government had overseen the move of school psychologists out of regional offices and into schools, where they were more accessible to students and teachers.

     

    “There are now 266 school psychologists working in WA schools,” she said.

     

    Dr Constable said the Government had also offered recruitment incentives to encourage school psychologists to take up a handful of vacancies in regional areas.

     

    ”It has always been recognised that it is more difficult in some regional areas to attract and retain psychologists,” she said.

     

    “I am confident that incentives announced earlier this month will help to attract much needed support services for students in the Goldfields, Pilbara and Kimberley regions.

     

    Incentives included an extra salary allowance, additional leave and travel concessions similar to those received by teachers in regional areas. 

     

    The Minister said the Education Department had a new system in place to distribute psychologists equitably across schools and regions to ensure students with the greatest need were catered for.

     

          Fact File

    • School psychologist numbers have been boosted by an increase post graduate positions offered at UWA, a recruitment drive interstate and overseas and school psychologist management positions to provide greater career opportunities
    • Total cost of the incentive package across three years is $593,000

    Minister’s office - 6552 5700