Role of The School Counsellor
School counsellors work across both primary and high schools. School are allocated a certain number of service days per year.
The majority of school counsellors are registered or provisionally registered psychologists who provide a variety of services in schools. This includes psychological assessment, advice to parents and teachers, specific intervention programs and attendance at meetings and case conferences.
Students experiencing academic or behavioural problems are, in the first instance, referred to the school's Learning Support Team. Some of these referrals then become part of the school counsellor caseload. The school counsellor then determines the most appropriate forms of assessment or intervention. Assessments completed by the school counsellor are comprehensive and completed with reference to all available information. In most cases, a written report is then provided to parents and carers.
Parents may make a decision to send their child to a non-Department of Education (DoE) professional, who may request that the school counsellor do additional assessment with the child at school. Due to Learning Support Team waiting lists and other ethical and professional considerations, the school counsellor is generally not in a position to respond to these requests. However the school counsellor may be able to provide information that is already on file, if there is written parent permission by way of an Exchange of Information.
Parents are encouraged to discuss issues of concern regarding their child with the class teacher. If concerns cannot be resolved at the classroom level, then parents may request a referral to the school's Learning Support Team. Should the student then be referred to the school counsellor, the school counsellor will make a professional decision as to the most appropriate course of action and in consideration of the school's caseload.
The school counsellor can provide contact details for non-Department of Education professionals who may be able to carry out a range of assessments.