Guidance Counselling Provisions Bill introduced by Nolan
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan today introduced the Education (Guidance Counselling Provisions) Bill 2017, which would compel the Minister for Education and Skills to conduct an educational impact study in relation to the reduction in guidance counselling hours.
Teachta Nolan said:
“Removal of ex quota guidance counselling hours has put the responsibility on principals to determine ‘appropriate guidance’ and effectively forces principals to choose between subject provision and guidance counselling.
“Given the many cuts to education in recent years, it is little wonder that guidance counselling provision has reduced as a result.
“Research by the ESRI shows that those from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more reliant on the supports and guidance at second level and that these supports played a more significant role in the choice made by these young people.
“DEIS schools report a 30% decline in guidance counselling compared to 26% in non- DEIS schools since changes were introduced in Budget 2012.
“This Bill will require the Minister for Education to comprehensively analyse the educational impact of the decision to retain guidance counselling provision under the current arrangements and publish the findings.
“Such a study will examine the impact on disadvantaged schools; the effect on progression to further education and training and details of schools that have reduced guidance provision as a result of the policy decision.
“While I recognise this in itself will not solve the problem, it will provide the hard data to inform future policy decisions in this area and hopefully, will improve accountability for the decisions made which have such a profound impact on our students.”