The NSW Government is accelerating the growth of school counselling services by providing a strong pipeline of qualified mental health professionals through a scholarship program.
The scholarships cover the cost of tuition fees up to $30,000, helping graduates and current staff bridge the cost barrier of studying.
Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said the program successfully awarded 78 scholarships this year alone - with another 80 now on offer.
“School counsellors and psychologists are so important for our communities, especially during challenging periods like the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Mitchell said.
“We have committed to growing our school counselling service and thanks to scholarships like these we are on track to hire 160 graduates over the next two years. This is in addition to appointments made through our ongoing recruitment.”
“School psychologists and counsellors work collaboratively with families, teachers, school leaders and other professionals to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments. This can have a massive positive impact for students and strengthen the connection between school, home and the community.”
Three different types of scholarships are on offer: a training program for teachers to become a school counsellor; a program for psychology graduates to gain experience in schools; and a rural program for participants with an existing psychology qualification to work in rural and remote schools while completing their masters.
Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the counselling and wellbeing service in schools is an important pillar of support for young people.
Currently NSW public schools hold space for 1,129 full time positions, with 97.7% of those positions filled. The NSW Government plan to train up to 300 people to join the school counselling workforce through the scholarship program between 2020 and 2023.
Applications for the school counsellor and school psychologist scholarships close on 10 October 2021. Information and application details can be found on the NSW Department of Education website at: