Our professional support staff and school health nurses play a vital role in supporting student health, wellbeing and development in Tasmanian government schools.
The professional support staff team comprises:
- speech and language pathologists
- school social workers
- school psychologists.
Professional support staff work with children and young people in our school communities to build wellbeing and resilience and improve educational, social and emotional development outcomes.
School health nurses support schools to create a physical and social environment that promotes health and wellbeing. Their health promotion, health education, primary prevention programs and other brief intervention services help to improve health and education outcomes for children and young people in Tasmania.
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What we offer
The Department for Education, Children and Young People (DECYP) is a supportive environment where you can develop your knowledge and skills at any stage of your career. We have many opportunities for graduates and experienced social workers, school psychologists and speech and language pathologists.
You will be able to develop your career by getting involved in, for example, strategic planning, team building, projects and implementing new initiatives. You may also play a role in shaping the future of your profession though involvement with University of Tasmania education programs and research or supervising psychology, social work and speech and language pathology student placements.
Graduates in professional support staff roles
If you’re a newly graduated social worker, speech and language pathologist or provisionally registered psychologist you’ll be welcomed into a team and provided with a structured induction and orientation program, supervision and mentoring to help you transition from student to fully fledged allied health professional.
Psychologists with provisional registration receive Board approved supervision to meet general registration requirements (4+2, 5+1 internship pathways).
If you’re in your final year of study and would like to find out more about working with us, please email email@example.com.
School health nurses
School health nurse roles are not at entry level to nursing, commencing at Grade 4 level, they are suitable for nurses from a wide variety of backgrounds. There are also opportunities for senior professional support, staff nurse manager and clinical educator roles.
While there are no specific requirements, useful qualifications and experience include paediatrics, child health, youth health, community health, mental health, and midwifery. You will be provided with a structured orientation and induction program and ongoing support and supervision to transition to your new role.
Versatility and the ability to function independently will be key to success in the role which is very different from hospital-based and other clinically focussed roles.
School health nurses have the opportunity to develop their health education, promotion and brief intervention knowledge and skills and can play a significant role in the health, wellbeing and overall health literacy of our school communities.
Launching in 2023, the DECYP speech pathology scholarship aims to assist speech pathology students to finish their studies and start their career in Tasmania. The scholarship provides $25,000 to help meet the costs associated with studying an accredited speech pathology program. Visit DECYP speech pathology scholarship for further information.
Salary and benefits
Our job advertisements include details about the role’s classification and corresponding salary range. See information about the department’s current salary rates.
We offer our professional support staff and school health nurses:
- Flexible working arrangements such as part-time work,
- time for non-clinical duties during work hours,
- generous leave entitlements including long service leave, paid parental leave, the option to purchase additional leave and the State Service Accumulated Leave Scheme,
- generous professional development allowance,
- assistance with relocation expenses where applicable,
- salary packaging including novated vehicle leasing,
- a laptop.
Benefits for professional support staff:
- School psychologists receive 11.8 weeks recreation leave per year (pro rata) including public holidays that fall during school holidays.
- Speech and language pathologists and social workers receive 20 days recreation leave, 3 Christmas closedown days and ten days per year non-attendance time (pro rata and non-cumulative).
- Speech and language pathologists and social workers are entitled to $1,000 per annum (pro rata) for professional development expenses.
Benefits for school health nurses:
- The option to request leave during school holiday periods.
See the below relevant awards and agreements for further information about remuneration and conditions of employment:
- Speech and language pathologists and school social workers: Tasmanian State Service Award and Allied Health Professionals Agreement 2022
- School psychologists: Teaching Service (Tasmanian Public Sector) Award and Teachers Agreement 2023
- School health nurses: Nurses and Midwives (Tasmanian State Service) Award (S198) and Nurses and Midwives (Tasmanian State Service) Agreement 2019.
The department, with its strong advocacy and support for lifelong learning, provides a wide range of professional learning opportunities, including a biennial interprofessional conference for allied health and nursing staff. You will also be encouraged to utilise your annual professional learning allowance to undertake relevant training programs.
Formal and informal networks within the department will support your ongoing professional practice. For example, you can subscribe to a diverse selection of professional interest and working groups to keep up to date with developments in the field – or start one of your own!
The department’s Performance and Development Framework is designed to guide all staff to reflect on their work and continually enhance their skills and knowledge to meet professional development goals.
Our professional support staff and school health nurses work in a supportive environment with access to:
- clinical supervision, support and mentoring from senior staff
- advice and assistance from clinical educators
- regular team meetings (online and face-to-face)
- peer support (formal and informal)
- networking opportunities within your discipline and with other DECYP staff and external agencies
- the DECYP Employee Assistance Program including confidential wellbeing-related appointments with a trained counsellor.
Work environment (for professional support staff)
You will be allocated a number of schools and will work closely with senior staff, student support teachers, other professional support staff and school health nurses to promote the learning, development and wellbeing of students.
As well as working in your allocated schools, many professional support staff have a central base to connect with your manager and colleagues and carry out non-clinical duties. There will be regular online and face-to-face meetings with your discipline colleagues and the wider multidisciplinary PSS team.
You’ll have access to resources to provide clinical and other services. Speech and language pathologists have access to a comprehensive range of assessment tools and therapeutic resources and are supported by a Clinical Education Lead.
Work environment (for school health nurses)
You will generally be assigned to several schools if you work in primary or secondary school settings. You will have a regular roster and attend specific schools on your assigned days. You will work up to full-time at a single location if you are assigned to a college (Year 11 and 12) or support school (supportive environment for children with a disability from K–12).
The school environment is very different to a hospital and other clinical environments. Your work will depend on the national health priority areas, the school context and the needs of students and staff and therefore varies from school to school.
You will work autonomously, negotiating and liaising with senior managers, teachers and other support staff to identify and meet the needs of students and the school community. Support will always be available from your nurse manager, clinical nurse educator and team colleagues.
You’ll also have access to a wide range of resources to develop and implement health education and promotion programs in schools. You will have regular contact with your colleagues and manager as well as weekly online regional team meetings. There are also face-to-face regional meetings each term and two to three statewide meetings each year.
Living and working in Tasmania
Many professionals are choosing to live and work in Tasmania where there is a strong sense of community and a great lifestyle close to nature.
Working with DECYP will take you around your region and the state. We offer many rewarding opportunities to live and work in Tasmania’s North West, North or South in a range of urban, rural and remote locations.
How to apply
Ready for a career with us? Find out how to apply.
See the statement of duties (included in the job advertisement) to make sure you meet the essential requirements of the role.
The Information for applicants (PDF, 370KB) guide will help you prepare and submit your application and explains the selection process.
To be employed by the Department, you must hold Registration to work with vulnerable people. It’s important that you register every five years. Application and renewal costs are at your own expense.
All fixed-term and casual roles that are not advertised are filled via an employment register. Our employment registers are found on the Jobs Tasmania website and are located under the employment register tab.
The Allied Health Professional Children/Youth Support Fixed Term and Relief Employment Register includes the following fixed-term or casual roles: school psychologist, school social worker and speech and language pathologist.
For a school health nurse fixed-term or casual role you will need to apply to the Fixed Term and Relief Employment Register.
You can find the relevant Statement of Duties in the register and further information on how to submit your application. Please note the employment register is not a vacancy and your inclusion on a register doesn’t guarantee you will receive an offer of employment
Want more information?
If you would like to find out more about our roles, what we can offer, and available positions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in an advertised position, please contact the staff member named in the job advertisement.
You can find out more with these role-specific frequently asked questions.
How are school health nurses allocated to schools?
School health nurses working in primary schools are generally allocated to several schools, depending on how many hours per week they are working. Primary schools are generally allocated a nurse for one day per week or fortnight.
High schools are typically allocated one day per week but may be allocated up to five days per fortnight. District schools sit somewhere in between. Support schools and colleges are allocated a full-time nurse (five days per week).
Is there any travel involved?
Professional support staff and school health nurses are required to travel between their allocated schools and other locations for team meetings, professional learning etc.
You’re entitled to travel allowances and reimbursement of personal expenses that are incurred on behalf of the department where a vehicle is not provided.
Does DECYP employ nursing graduates?
DECYP school health nurses are Grade 4 roles. We don’t currently employ newly graduated nurses.
Does DECYP provide provisional psychologists with supervision to meet registration requirements?
DECYP employs psychologists with provisional registration and provides them with Board approved supervision to meet general registration requirements (4+2 or 5+1 internship pathways).
Does DECYP employ social work and speech and language pathology graduates?
DECYP employs social work and speech and language pathology graduates and provides them with a structured induction and orientation program, supervision and mentoring.