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Written Answers - Schools Guidance Counsellors

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 762 No. 1

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 53.  Deputy Barry Cowen Information on Barry Cowen Zoom on Barry Cowen  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  his views on the recent ASTI survey which found that the majority of schools are considering cutting guidance provision along with dropping critical subjects from the leaving certificate programme in September this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19388/12]

 67.  Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will respond to claims from the ASTI that the curtailment of guidance provision in second level schools will lead to an increase in early school dropout; his views on a survey carried out by a company (details supplied) which shows that seven out of ten second-level schools are considering cutting back on guidance counselling by an average of almost eight hours as a result of his decision to abolish the ex-quota guidance provision for second-level schools from September onwards. [19511/12]

 97.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  his view on a matter regarding guidance counsellors (details supplied); if he will review proposals regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19636/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 67 and 97 together.

All schools must continue to provide guidance to their pupils. However, from September 2012 guidance provision will be managed by schools from within their standard staffing allocation. As things currently stand 42% of second level schools do not presently have a full-time guidance counsellor.

My Department has published Circular 0009/2012 to inform all post primary school management and staff of the staffing arrangements for post-primary schools for the 2012/13 school year, including in particular, the requirements to manage guidance from within the standard allocation. The circular is available on the Department website.

Schools will have autonomy on how best to prioritise its available resources to meet its requirements in relation to guidance and the provision of an appropriate range of subjects to its students. Decisions on how this is done will be taken at school level and I am confident that schools will act in the best interest of students when determining precisely how to use the teaching resources available to them.


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