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.
Our public schools are diverse, which means our students and their needs vary considerably, and our school psychologists have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of many young people. It is a rewarding role with a great starting salary and opportunities which are envied by psychologists around the country.
We have approximately 400 psychologists working in our metropolitan, country and remote public schools, making us the biggest employer of psychologists in Western Australia. Most of our school psychologists provide services to more than one school, and across all year groups. Their work might include assessment, consultation and intervention with individuals and groups. They also work at a whole school level with school leaders and staff, students, parents, the community and interagency partners.
Lead school psychologists support the professional practice of school psychologists in Western Australia's public schools, with the Department's Chief Psychologist, Chris Gostelow, as the leader of the School Psychology Service.
Opportunities for our school psychologists include:
- career development into senior positions and leadership roles
- flexibility for part-time work arrangements
- the possibility to work in specialised settings
- access to housing support in some country areas, and
- travel concessions in some locations.
Our school psychologists can access:
- professional resources
- collegiate networking
- professional learning opportunities.
Our graduates are provided with a comprehensive 'in house' program of support to meet the requirements of the Psychology Board of Australia:
- Board approved supervision for interns;
- Graduate Induction Program of professional learning over two years; and
- financial assistance to attend the National Psychology Examination.
For more information on how you can become a school psychologist, contact our School Psychology Service on 9402 6435 or School.Psychology.Service@education.wa.edu.au.
Classification and qualifications of school psychologists:
- Qualifications, eligibility and registration
- Senior School Psychologist
- Advanced Skills School Psychologist
- Lead School Psychologist
In Western Australian public schools, 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; or
- have undertaken a minimum placement of 40 days in the school education sector as part of higher degree studies in psychology (i.e. 5th or 6th year Masters program); or
- have completed the Graduate Diploma in School Psychology at UWA (please note this program is offered for the last time in 2020).
- The additional requirements above may not apply if you already hold 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 another jurisdiction.
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 Psychology Board of Australia. Registration with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia is not required to work as a school psychologist.
Senior School Psychologist status recognises the professional skills and competencies of experienced practicing school psychologists at Phase 2 of our Competency Framework for School Psychologists.
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.
Lead School Psychologists undertake a key region and system role in supporting the professional practice of school psychologists. They also work with Regional Executive Directors and provide advice to the system on the most complex of cases.