Call for more secular counsel

All 179 public WA schools that applied for Federal Government chaplaincy funding but missed out have been included in the latest round of State Government chaplaincy funding.

Ms Catto said she was always grateful for school chaplains� work.

�We have no issue with the service they provide but I would like to see the funding extended to secular services,� she said. �It is something I bring up every time I meet with the (Education) Minister.

�It is a huge concentration of funding for chaplains.�

Education Minister Peter Collier said $2.7 million would be provided to the 179 public schools, with the Government committing $5.05 million to continue the program next year.

Shenton College is one of the 11 western suburbs schools to receive the funding and Chaplain Matt Denholm said the money would secure the service to stay at a level that reflects the needs at the school.

�Chaplains have a pastoral care role within schools,� Mr Denholm said. �They are seen as a safe person to chat with.

�Chaplains work with all students no matter what their background is.�

Mr Denholm said he agreed that more funding should be available to enable counsellors to work at public schools but did not believe it should come at the expense of chaplains.

�There is an ever-growing number of students that need to be able to access services such as chaplains, counsellors and psychologists,� he said. �Unfortunately, due to the volume of cases being dealt with by outside agencies, there is a long wait list as well as significant cost to parents which may impact their decision on whether or not to seek this support.�