Psychologists who work in schools support children and young people to achieve academic success, psychological health and social and emotional wellbeing. Their expertise includes;
- knowledge and skills in the scientific approach to child and adolescent development including mental health assessment and interventions (e.g., anxiety and depression)
- knowledge and skills in learning and cognitive assessment and interventions (e.g., intellectual disability and learning disability)
- knowledge and skills in behavioural assessment and interventions (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- knowledge and skills in teaching and learning practices in schools
- the ability to develop and deliver wellbeing interventions and programs and staff support and professional development in the educational and psycho-social development and mental health of children and young people
- the ability to deliver mental health literacy education and prevention programs for school communities (e.g., resilience programs, self-care programs and study skills programs)
- a specialised understanding of the policies and procedures that guide the effective management of critical incidents in school communities
- the ability to provide expert advice about systemic procedures and practices in the school setting (e.g., behaviour management, discipline, pastoral care and peer support programs), and
- a careful regard for professional and ethical psychological practice, with a strong duty of care for children and young people, and a commitment to providing confidential and evidence-based service.
Psychologists in schools deal with complex student issues and engage in a wide range of professional activities whilst dealing with a range of stakeholders. The APS values this work and is committed to providing resources and support to its members who work as psychologists in schools.
Effective delivery of school psychological services
The framework for effective delivery of school psychology services: a practice guide for psychologists and school leaders
This document provides clear guidelines for the delivery of effective school psychological services and has been written by the APS for school psychologists, their employers and policy makers within Australian government, Catholic and independent schools.
APS Professional Practice Project Officer – Schools
The APS National Office has established a position dedicated to the support of psychologists who work in schools. The APS Professional Practice Project Officer - Schools can be contacted at the National Office on (03) 86623300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
APS resources for psychologists in schools
This section provides links to current APS resources which are relevant to the practice of school psychology.
APS register of school psychologists available to provide peer consultation
The APS register of supervisors for psychologists working in schools comprises a list of APS psychologists who have experience working in primary and/or secondary schools and who are available to provide supervision to other registered psychologists who work in schools.
Government-funded child and youth mental health initiatives
KidsMatter and headspace are two Australian government-funded child and youth mental health initiatives for which the APS is a development partner.
Websites and other resources of interest to psychologists in schools
This section provides links to a number of online external resources, organisations and articles, which are categorised under certain practice issues specific to the work of school psychologists.