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Cuts to Guidance Counsellors has had disproportional impact on Disadvantaged Schools – Nolan

16 May, 2016

Commenting today following the publication of a national audit conducted by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Deputy Carol Nolan has said that the new Government must reverse the cuts to guidance counsellors for schools and ensure that the service is adequately resourced to ensure equality of access.

Deputy Nolan said:

“The national audit carried out by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors clearly shows that the cuts to the guidance counselling services in schools have had the largest impact on schools in disadvantaged communities.

“Since 2012, Deis schools, or schools designated as being in disadvantaged communities, have seen a 30 per cent drop in overall practice hours while fee-paying schools have experienced a 1.9 per cent rise.

“Overall, non Deis schools have seen a 26.7 per cent loss in overall practice hours and it is clear that the previous Governments policy has resulted in the decimation of the service.

“Guidance counselling is not a luxury – it is a necessity for young adults as they make choices that will affect the rest of their lives.

“For children from disadvantaged communities, it is particularly important to receive this support and there must be immediate action to ensure that equality of access is restored for this service.

“I intend to raise this matter with the new Minister for Education and Skills in the Dáil this week and I hope to drive home the need for sufficient funding for the provision of adequate guidance counselling for students.” 

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