Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD says his party will continue to fight for increased investment in guidance counselling services in secondary schools.

Deputy Byrne made the comments after raising the issue in the Dáil with Minister Richard Bruton.

Deputy Byrne said, “It’s well acknowledged that guidance counselling services play an important role in supporting students as they set about deciding what path they will take after they finish school. Despite this the previous Fine Gael led Government slashed guidance counselling funding to such an extent that many schools were left without any support service for students.

“Fianna Fáil insisted on increased investment in guidance counselling services in order to facilitate the current minority Government. The Confidence and Supply Arrangement contains a guarantee to ensure that every secondary school in the country is given access to guidance counselling services. Budget 2017 was the start of this process and it is expected that 66% of the original funding will have been restored by this coming September. The Minister made very clear that the resources announced in the budget are a separate resource and that schools who do not comply will be subject to inspection.

“This issue remains a top priority for Fianna Fáil and we will be insisting that further funding is made available for guidance counselling services in Budget 2018. We remain fully committed to achieving the guarantee made in the Confidence and Supply Arrangement to introduce guidance counselling in every secondary school. I am determined to ensure that this commitment is fully delivered on by the time the current arrangement is due to expire.”