Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue says reintroducing guidance counselling to secondary schools is one of the party’s key education priorities.
He was responding to a survey published by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, which found that the most disadvantaged schools have seen guidance counselling provision reduced by 30% since 2012.
“The decision to allow schools to manage guidance provision within their standard teacher allocation has been disastrous, resulting in the reduction of one-on-one guidance by an average of 26% in non-DEIS and 30% in DEIS schools”, explained Deputy McConalogue.
“Guidance counselling suffered one of the single greatest cuts in the education sector in the last decade and it has some of the greatest ramifications for children’s future. The loss of guidance counselling, particularly in less advantaged schools, where parental contributions and school fees are not available to replace the funding removed by the State, has resulted in a disjointed and inequitable system.
“Unless restored, the loss of guidance counselling will continue to significantly worsen social inequalities and entrenched educational disadvantage.
“As part of the Confidence & Supply arrangement to support this minority Government, Fianna Fáil has secured a commitment to ensure that guidance counselling is reintroduced to all secondary schools and we will be actively pursuing this proposal in the months ahead”.