School psychologists play a key role in supporting students, parents, teachers and school administrators in a wide range of areas.
This extends from mental health issues to complex behaviour, learning difficulties and disability, and emergency and critical incident management.
Approximately 400 psychologists work in metropolitan, country and remote public schools, making us one of the largest employers of psychologists in Western Australia. It’s rewarding and diverse role with a great starting salary and opportunity for career development, including working in more specialised settings and leadership roles.
Most school psychologists provide services to more than one school, across all year groups. The work might include assessment, consultation and intervention with individuals, groups and at the whole school level with school leaders and staff, students, parents, the community and interagency partners. The diversity found in public schools means that the students and their needs vary considerably and a psychologist’s work makes a real difference to the lives of many young people.
School psychologist access to professional resources, collegiate networking and professional learning opportunities is envied by psychologists around the country. Our graduate school psychologists with provisional registration are supported to achieve general registration with the Psychology Board of Australia through one-on-one supervision, a comprehensive program of professional learning and assistance to attend the National Psychology Examination. New employees are also able to access the professional learning component of our program.
Career development opportunities for school psychologists include senior positions and leadership roles. There is flexibility for part-time work arrangements. In some country areas there is support with housing and, in certain locations, travel concessions are available.
Classification and qualifications of school psychologists:
- Senior School Psychologist
- Advanced Skills School Psychologist
- Lead School Psychologist
- Qualifications, eligibility and registration
Senior School Psychologist status recognises the professional skills and competencies of experienced practicing school psychologists, and their continuous engagement in professional learning.
As highly skilled and experienced practitioners, Advanced Skills School Psychologists demonstrate exemplary practice in the delivery of psychological and specialist support services to schools. They contribute to influencing the system and the school psychology profession.
Advanced Skills School Psychologist status recognises expert knowledge and exemplary standards of professional practice. Those who achieve this status are part of a select group of highly skilled school psychology professionals in the Department. School psychologists achieving this status have attained all the competency standards at Phase 3 of our Competency Framework for School Psychologists.
Advanced Skills School Psychologists are eligible to apply for Lead School Psychologist positions in regions across Western Australia. These positions attract increased remuneration and undertake key system roles influencing schools and the school psychology profession. There are 25 Lead School Psychologist positions in regions reporting to regional executive directors and the Department's School Psychology Service.
In Western Australian public schools, we have introduced new pathways to the school psychology profession. You will be eligible to work as a school psychologist if you:
hold an appropriate degree or equivalent qualification which entitles provisional or general registration with the Psychology Board of Australia and hold a recognised qualification in teaching (minimum one year) or
have undertaken a minimum placement of 40 days in the school education sector as part of higher degree studies in psychology
hold an appropriate degree or equivalent qualification which entitles general registration with the Psychology Board of Australia and have worked a minimum of three years full-time (or equivalent part-time) as a school psychologist in other jurisdictions(or equivalent position).
Students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of School Psychology, offered at the University of Western Australia in 2018 will be eligible to work as a school psychologist in public schools from 2019.
Please refer to the Psychology Board of Australia website for information about:
- approved programs of study in psychology
- overseas qualifications
- eligibility for registration as a psychologist.
You must also meet the Department of Education’s eligibility requirements as follows:
- be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or have a valid visa with relevant work rights from the Department of Home Affairs
- meet the Department of Education’s pre-employment probity checks.
As part of our eligibility requirements, school psychologists must be registered with the the Psychology Board of Australia. Registration with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia is not required to work as a school psychologist.