Sinn Féin proposes Legislation on Guidance Counsellors – Carol Nolan TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Teachta Carol Nolan, has today detailed legislation prepared by the party, which requires the Minister to outline an educational impact study on the current system of guidance counselling provision and allows schools to apply for a concession from the application of the policy on the basis that it has an adverse impact on the school, staff or students.
Sinn Féin has submitted a draft bill to the Bills Office and intends to move the bill as soon as possible after the Dáil recess.
Teachta Nolan said:
“Since 2012, guidance counselling has been provided for within the existing staff schedule, effectively meaning that guidance counselling competes for other resources within the school.
“The effect of this has been an overall cut to service provision by 27.6% and a reduction in one on one counselling by 53.5%.
“A recent ESRI report found that students from disadvantaged backgrounds were particularly affected by the measure as they particularly rely on guidance in terms of higher and further education choices.
“Sinn Féin has committed to the full restoration of Guidance Counselling Provision on the basis of one guidance counsellor per 500 pupils ex quota.
“Sinn Féin will be putting forward proposals in our alternative Budget in line with this commitment.
“In the event that the Government does not make provision for the full restoration of guidance counselling on an ex quota basis in this year’s budget, our party has proposed legislation that requires the educational impact of that decision to be examined.
“The legislation further allows schools to apply for a concession from the policy on the basis that it has an adverse impact on staff, students or the school.”