A 45 per cent boost in public school counselling and wellbeing services is being rolled out - as the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government delivers the first significant increase in two decades.
NSW Premier Mike Baird says the first of the 236 additional counselling and psychologist positions have now been filled in NSW schools as part of the $167 million Supported Students, Successful Students initiative.
“Delivering this election commitment means schools will get a significant increase in support to better address the challenges faced by students,” Mr Baird said.
“We know students who have more support at school perform better academically and are better prepared for life after school.”
This year, 50 primary schools will have a full-time student counsellor or psychologist for the first time. The number of high schools with a full-time position will more than quadruple to almost 200.
Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli says schools are also receiving additional funding for wellbeing services that best meet their students’ needs.
“Schools are supporting students with a broad range of wellbeing issues. That’s why in addition to extra counsellors and psychologists, we are giving schools the flexibility to use a range of services, including youth workers and mental health programs,” Mr Piccoli said.
Some of the new resources under the initiative include:
- 236 new school counselling/psychologist positions;
- More than $51 million for wellbeing services, equivalent to an additional 200 Student Support Officers; and
- More than 500 graduate scholarships to boost the recruitment of school counsellors, psychologists and wellbeing officers.
The new resources are in addition to existing expertise provided in NSW schools by more than 4,000 specialist staff.