June 12, 2018

Government Not Granting Special Teacher Certificates to School SLPs and Psychologists 

The NSTU is concerned that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has stopped granting special certificates for specialists, including Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) and School Psychologists, in the public education system.

The current structure is built on one-stop services in education where School Speech- Language Pathology and Psychology services are accessible and comprehensive within the multi-tiered system of supports for students in public schools. There has been an increase in student needs over time and the NSTU expected Government to respond accordingly with an increase to the allocations for School SLPs and Psychologists.

NSTU President, Liette Doucet says that by denying new Special Teacher Certificates, the government is delaying the addition of much needed supports for students with exceptionalities recommended by Commission on Inclusive Education.

“It is disappointing to know that there are Speech-Language Pathologists and Psychologists who have recently graduated with excitement, ready to apply for the available SLP and Psychologist teaching positions and join the team of teachers providing student services to our most vulnerable students, only to be blocked access to these available positions because the Office of Teacher Certification is not granting Special Certificates.”

The second goal identified in the Commission’s Report is to “hire more qualified education specialists and reduce their caseloads, to ensure that students receive timely and appropriately intensive supports.” The hiring of more specialists is part of Phase 1 in the report’s timeline, which should occur between April and August of 2018.

Doucet adds, “The NSTU agrees with the Commission’s recommendation to increase student services within our public education system. The decision to freeze the granting of Special Certificates is surprising and seems counterproductive in response to the Commission’s Report and putting students first.”