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Institute of Guidance Counsellors queries Minister Quinn’s commitment to the effective implementation of student support teams in schools.
Today, the Minister for Education and Skills and NEPS published a booklet to support the promotion of well-being in post primary schools. The Institute welcomes the publication of the booklet but questions the Government’s commitment to provide schools with the necessary resources to implement the guidelines. The booklet clearly outlines the responsibilities of the various student support team members in the guide, including those of the guidance counsellor.
The reality on the ground is that schools do not have the personnel or resources to implement the good practices in the guide. The guide states that “Early identification and intervention will ensure the best outcome”.
Over the past two years we have experienced a silent but steady dismantling of student support services in schools due to the moratorium on posts, the removal of ex-quota allocation for the provision of guidance counselling services and the reduction in home school liaison posts.
We are witnessing a crisis in schools with a breakdown in the support services which previously provided the ‘early intervention’ and assisted the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students.
We now have an inequality in service provision as schools struggle to cope with the myriad of personal and mental health issues presenting among the student population each day.
The Institute is calling on the Minister to support the good practices proposed in the guide by giving schools the resources to deliver them.
Gerry Flynn President Institute of Guidance Counsellors