In the early 1970s a group of school psychologists from different parts of the world, under the leadership of the late Calvin D. Catterall, came together to form an International School Psychology Committee in order to promote worldwide cooperation amongst school and educational psychologists.

The number of psychologists committed to this aim grew steadily until in 1982 the International School Psychology Association was founded with Anders Poulsen as its first President. Since that time, membership of ISPA has spread to all corners of the earth and the Association has become recognized by the United Nations as an important Non-Governmental Organization speaking on behalf of children and young people and their families.

The major aims of this Association are to:

  1. Promote the use of sound psychological principles within the context of education all over the world;
  2. Promote communication between professionals who are committed to the improvement of the mental health of children in the world’s schools;
  3. Encourage the use of School Psychologists in countries where they are not currently being used;
  4. Promote the psychological rights of all children all over the world;
  5. Initiate and promote cooperation with other organizations working for purposes similar to those of ISPA in order to help children and families.

The ISPA constitution also condemns any discrimination of racial, religious, sexual nature and recommends its members to conduct their professional life in conformity with this non-discriminatory principle.