Fianna Fail Leader Micheál Martin has today criticised the Government’s underhand approach to the pupil-teacher ratio at second level and the undermining of Career Guidance Counsellors.


The Government has decided that with effect from 2012/2013 school year guidance provision will be managed by schools from within their standard teacher allocation. This decision will affect up to 1,000 career Guidance Counsellors in 700 second level schools around the country.


Deputy Martin commented, “The Government is being dishonest when it says that it is protecting frontline services in education. The reality is that there will be a significant loss of teaching posts at second level, with some schools losing two teaching posts.


“Section 9.C of the Education Act 1998 obliges schools to provide guidance to students.

“The ramifications of this decision are very serious. Guidance counsellors are a vital link between schools, society and the wider world of work.


“More crucially, in today’s challenging environment, the pastoral and counselling dimension of the guidance service is essential to the well-being of many students.”