Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has welcomed the publication of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors Core Competencies and Professional Practice Framework.

Deputy Byrne said, “The publication of this framework is a positive development as it sets out the future benchmark required for professional practice as a guidance counsellor. It will help enable the delivery of high quality training for all guidance counsellors and sets the bar high for future professional accreditation. The end result will see students receiving top quality advice when it comes to planning their careers.

“The Education Act 1998 brought forward by Fianna Fáil provided a legal obligation on schools to provide appropriate guidance counselling to students. However the previous Fine Gael – Labour Government made guidance counselling ‘ex-quota’ which meant that it had to fight for its place among other subjects. The end result was that many schools axed guidance counselling entirely. A core priority for Fianna Fáil in the Confidence and Supply Arrangement to facilitate a minority Government was to undo this damage by restoring guidance counselling to all schools.

“It is widely acknowledged that guidance counsellors are a particularly strong source of support for young people who do not have a family history of participation in third level education. The cuts that were imposed by the previous Government worsened social inequalities and educational disadvantage. Fianna Fáil is working hard to ensure that proper guidance and careers advice is available to all second level students.

“I want to commend the IGC framework which I have no doubt will serve as a good model for the future understanding and practice of guidance counselling.”