Teachers responsible for psychological assessments: not before 2024

A year ago, the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly passed changes to the Education Act that would allow teachers to take psychological exams. These changes sparked controversy, with many feeling it was dangerous to assign teachers a role that would normally fall to mental health professionals.

Recruitment process just started

A year later, no teacher has yet begun to take the Wechsler-Bellevue exams for children, which are provided for by legislative changes.

Minister Cardi answers reporters' questions in front of a children's mural.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardi insisted in 2021 that teachers can take psychological tests.

Photo: Radio Canada

School districts are just beginning to recruit resource teachers who will fill these new assignments. For example, in the scolaire francophone sud it is indicated that three people have just been appointed, and in the scolaire francophone du Nord-Ouest it is indicated that one person will start work in September.

Twenty-six people will be employed in the district, including six in the French language school districts.

COVID-19 has delayed the process

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dominic Cardiensures that everything was ready to move forward as of December 2021. Except that COVID-19 has delayed everything.

With Delta wave backing off a bit, and Omicron coming up, we decided, we’re going to make sure we don’t take resources out of the classroom, we don’t want to cause another disruption to the schools at a time that has been so hard for everyone.Minister confirms Cardi.

So it was decided to let the current school year end before hiring resource teachers who would administer the psychological tests. These people can already work in the education system. However, they must have a master’s degree to get one of the 26 new jobs.

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Over a year of training required

Once hired, the 26 teachers will undergo 15 months of training. This training should start next September.

Students and teacher in class.

Teachers must have a master’s degree before training to take psychological tests.

Photo: Radio Canada / Julian Lecchaure

The purpose of the training is to familiarize teachers with the test Wechsler. It will also relate to other types of interventions aimed, as the Ministry emphasizes, at Promote student learning.

Teachers will be paid during their training. They will be members of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Union, as are all teachers in the province.

So the teachers responsible for psychological tests are expected to take over their homework only in 2024.

Teachers assert that they do not replace psychologists

A bill allowing teachers to take psychological tests sparked controversy last year. The measure had been denounced by the College of Psychiatrists, as well as the School Psychiatric Association and opposition parties.

Teachers assure that they will not replace psychologists in schools.

Natalie Prideaux.

Nathalie Prideaux, president of the Federation of Francophone Teachers in New Brunswick, says teachers will not replace psychologists.

Photo: Radio Canada

We know that there is also a shortage of manpower on the part of school psychologists, we do not want to exclude the work of psychologists, we do not want to reduce their work either, we, the resource teachers who will be assigned to this type of work, pedagogically, will make assessments and recommendations to support Children at risk do better in the classroomExplains Natalie Prideaux, president of the Association of Francophone Teachers in New Brunswick.

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According to her, the role of teachers will remain limited. If they think that these young people need psychological services, they will be referred to psychologists, so we will not take their tasks or work, but rather help young people who are not currently receiving service, so that you progress. .

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