Vital staff beyond teachers 2017
Students are not supported solely by classroom teachers, but by the whole school environment. Other staff, such as psychologists, child and youth workers, attendance counsellors, and administrative staff play a role in creating a supportive environment in which students can learn.
People for Education collected information about the availability of para-professional such as psychologists, social workers, child and youth workers, and speech language pathologists in Ontario’s elementary and secondary schools.
- According to the Ontario Psychological Association’s guidelines, there should be 1 psychologist for every 1000 students. On average the ratio is actually 1 psychologist for every 3500 students.
- 38% of elementary and 40% of secondary schools report they have regularly scheduled access to a psychologist.
- 61% of elementary and 50% of secondary principals report they do not have sufficient access to psychologists to adequately support students.
- Principals reported a similar lack of adequate support in the areas of social work, speech language pathology, and child and youth work.
Access to these professionals also varies widely by region, with 46% of elementary schools in Northern Ontario having no access to psychologist services compared to 6% in Eastern Ontario.